Thursday, October 18, 2007

The End of a Season

Ok, so if you read probably the last 5 or 6 blogs, they all start with me saying that I have taken too long to post a new blog. Again, I know that I have waited and put this off way too long. I have been done with my official Futures Tour season for over a month now....I know, I know, way too long to not have posted a blog. I guess I will say that in doing this now I have that much more to tell you about!!! (Sounds good anyway, right?!!)

I played my last event in Albany, NY and finished the season much like the rest of the tournaments...less than stellar, and definitely below my standard of where I want to be. It was very weird to drive away knowing that our season wouldn't start again until March. It was also weird to say goodbye to my friends out there. It's weird because we get into such a groove and get so used to seeing each other out there, it's hard to believe that we all have lives outside of that "life."

I had the pleasure of having a guest companion for my long and tedious drive back to Albuquerque from New York. My college golf coach, Jackie, whom many of you have been fortunate enough to meet, came up and made the nearly 2500 mile trip with me. We, as usual, had a great time and made quite the experience out of it. We planned a couple of stops for her to be able to see a couple of Aunts of hers, one of which is 101 years old. I won't go into details, but you can use your imagination, and it was quite comical watching her and her 98 year old sister communicate with each other and still act like sisters do!! I don't know Kristin, I just don't see us doing that. They would probably kick us out of the nursing home for arguing too much!! I also planned a stop in Nashville, Tennessee to see the very first host family that I stayed with about 10 years ago ( we figured out). Joy was pregnant when I stayed with them that summer and we were pleasantly surprised when we received the birth announcement later that year with the name Kailin Bailey on it. Gary and Joy also have a son named Ryan, so it was so fun to get to meet the kids finally and see Gary and Joy after all this time. We also stopped back through McKinney, Texas where I was early in the season to see and stay with my hosts from that week, the Crawfords. Just like before, we had a great time, and quite a few laughs to go along with it!! Probably due to the fact that I waited so long to write this, I really can't think of any super comical or embarrassing stories from our drive, which is very hard to believe. We did have quite a few choice words for my GPS unit, which I have named La Kisha...or something like that. I really don't know how you would spell that name. Anyway, she is very picky and sometimes we didn't want to do what she told we yelled at her!!!

I have been home in Bend the last few weeks and leave next week for warmer temperatures!! It has been much, much, much colder than I ever remember it being this time of year. My mom tells me it's because I'm a wussy after being gone for so long. I am convinced that the weather this time of the year has just changed!!! I am also convinced that we need a warmer house!!! (Kristin will back me up on this!) I have a Cactus tour event in Phoenix followed by Futures Tour Qualifying School again in Florida and another Cactus tour event back in Phoenix...then home for Thanksgiving!! I can't believe it's already nearing the end of feels like 2007 has just flown by. Although I have to remind myself that I spent nearly half of it out driving around and playing golf.

I will probably post another blog after Qualifying sometime. I again want to thank all of you for your continued support and encouragement as I travel down this chosen road of mine. I so enjoy all of your comments on here and your emails from time to time. I had a great time this season and am looking forward to another great year next year...but even greater when I play some better golf...the way that I know how!!!

Happy Holidays coming up to all of you and please be in touch!!


Friday, August 31, 2007

Week with Mom

Ok, well I can safely say that neither I nor my mom will be moving to New York City anytime in the near future. I believe I made the statement last time I was there ( a few weeks ago with Kelley) that I would not be driving into the city again. Well, I went back on that, as my mom and I drove in on Sunday night to have dinner with Sara and Michael. Someone told us that there wouldn't be any traffic coming into the city on a Sunday night...riiiiiight!! I think it took us about an hour if not a little longer, to go about 12 miles into the city. We stayed in New Jersey and went through the Holland tunnel to get to the city. My mom got her first taste of New Yorkers right on that drive over as people nearly run you off the road as they switch lanes, or to avoid letting you in their lane. I can't tell you how many times I got honked at. Although, that's not saying too much, as everyone honks at everyone for pretty much everything. I think I sneezed incorrectly and someone honked at me. There was a car that put on his blinker and I let him in and he waved at me through his window. I told my mom that I bet he wasn't from New York, and sure enough he was from Rhode Island. So, that was an interesting experience. The next day we rode the train over to New York from New Jersey and then rode the subway to get to different places we wanted to see. We kind of did the fast sight-seeing trip through the city. We saw Times Square, The Empire State building, Wall Street area, the Staten Island Ferry, Statue of Liberty, and the new construction of the World Trade Center area. We were both pooped by the time we were training it back to New Jersey.
That was our sight-seeing experience after the week of golf in Gettysburg, PA. It was extremely hot and humid and the course was anything but flat. My mom was a trooper, but I think we both lost a lot of salt in those few days. The first round resulted in 6 caddies that didn't make it. They either fainted, felt dizzy, or just couldn't do it. This should tell you how great my mom did!! I am not sure exactly what she thought of her first Futures Tour event, but she definitely got a taste of the life of a Futures Tour player for the week. We stayed in some very interesting hotels...we both had some fun reactions as we pulled up in front of them. I am very opposed to paying more than $70 for a stupid room with a stupid bed and a stupid shower!! As you can tell, I think hotel rates are ridiculous. Therefore, we stay cheap when Kailin's got anything to say about it.
After our trip into the city, we drove through White Plains, NY and we were able to visit a host family that I stayed with about 5 years ago at another tournament. It is so neat to me that I can call people up that many years later and get together. It was fun to see the kids all grown up, the oldest even going to college!!! WOW! We hung out in Albany for the afternoon, doing our laundry at the local laundromat and preparing for our 4:30 a.m. wake-up the next morning to fly out. My mom went on to visit a family member of hers and I flew to Albuquerque.
I spent the week off in Albuquerque and Las Cruces. I played a lot of golf, spent a lot of time in a Verizon store (long story...inside joke!!), and even got to go to the White Sands National Monument. That was a neat experience and if any of you are ever down in that area, I would recommend taking the time to see it.
I am here in Albany for our final event and then I will set out on the 4 day drive back to Albuquerque. I'm sure I'll have lots to write about as that happens and at the end of this event. Thank you again for your continued support and contact through emails and I will write again soon!!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

In Gettysburg...Ready to go!!

Ok, so I played on Sunday again last weekend, great would be even better though if I would post a low number and move up the leaderboard rather than down. It's coming...soon!! Like now! I went with a friend to the Baltimore Ravens (football) game last Sunday night. She has a friend that plays for the team and got us tickets. I felt like I was at a high school football game in October. I say that because for those of you in know how cold and wet it can be that time of the year. It was freezing!! Unfortunately, ever since Sunday, that is how the weather has been. It's been overcast and on and off raining for 5 days now. I think tomorrow, finally, it's going to break away and it's supposed to be 90.
I have played on this course all week and feel very ready to go. I picked my mom up last night in Baltimore and she got to see the first of many glamorous days in the life of a Futures Tour player. It was a little crazy around the golf course the last couple of days with pro-ams and getting the carts ready and wow, I can't even explain.
I will be playing this weekend for little Peaches. For those of you who don't know, Peaches (our little Bichon Frise) has been with us since I was in Kindergarten. Wow...she was 19 or 20!! That is a really long life for a dog. About 3 or 4 years ago the vet told us she had 3 months to live, and we were fortunate enough to have her this long. Even as I say that, I get teary eyed and can't believe she's gone. I guess it doesn't matter how long you have to prepare for losing someone or something you love, you can't prepare enough for when it actually happens. She has been a great member of our family, along with us for so many volleyball and golf tournaments and I can't even tell you how many times she has gotten into food of ours that we left somewhere on accident. Peaches never missed out on any kind of a meal!!!
This week's for you Peachy!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A story worth sharing!!!

Ok, so I know I just sent out my much needed and anticipated weekly blog, however, this was a story I just could not keep from sharing. This morning Kelley and I went to the course to practice, luckily before the storm hit and then had the afternoon to spend at the house. We proceeded to take the two sea-doos out on the Y River which is directly in the backyard. This was our second outing on the machines, so we felt pretty comfortable in knowing what we were doing. At some point during our ride (probably one of the furthest points away from the house we could be...5 miles) my machine decided that it was not going to work properly anymore. As it turns out, something is lodged in the pipe or some technical term that I do not know, and it should be fixed very easily. However, at the time, we were quite concerned as to what we did to the machine. It was running, but would not gain any speed and would just rev the engine. We considered jumping in the water to try to get whatever was lodged out, however, there are jelly fish in this water and neither of us wanted to get stung. So, we cleverly hooked the machine up to the other machine to tow it back to the house. I am quite impressed with myself that I could tie knots that would hold. That is such a guy thing to know how to do, and I wasn't sure that I could do it. Then began the humiliating, hilarious, and ridiculously slow ride in towards the house. I am sure people were having a good laugh at us, seeing as how we were maybe going 5 mph. It was a very long ride. We found ourselves quite delirious by the time we were getting to the house. We were making up songs, laughing at ourselves, and we even created names for our machines. Big Red and Yellow Sub!! Yep, we're pretty silly. So, after getting ahold of the Patten's son, he convinced us that this stuff happens often, and we should not be worried or concerned that we did something wrong. Good news is that we're ok and hopefully the machine will be too. Bad news is that our enjoyable afternoon on the machines was cut short.

Also, as a side note, the story I told about falling in the hole on the dock...well, it turns out my injuries are a little more extensive than I had previously thought. When I went to hit balls yesterday, I realized that my left arm was very very sore and tight. I thought maybe it was from riding the sea-doos the day before. Kelley was not sore, and neither was my right arm. As it turns out, we discovered that when I fell, my entire left side hit the dock on the way down, hence the soreness in my arm. Again, great news that no serious injuries resulted. What a joke!!!

Catch up time...

I know, I know...I haven't written in a while. It seems that these weeks are all starting to blend together, and by the time I think about writing on the previous week, we are well into the current week and I have more to write about. I keep telling myself that I need to post a blog and it continues to slip my mind. I will just give you an outline of the last few weeks.

I was in Albuquerque for our week off and had a great time being a "normal person" whatever that means!! I went back to Albany, NY to get my car and my friend Kelley and I drove to Concord, NH on what appeared to be back highways, at 10 pm...quite the adventure. We found the house and slipped in quietly around 11:30 that night. The next morning I woke up with bites all over my legs. was nice! We still aren't sure what the exact cause was, initially we were thinking bed bugs, but I just don't know. After putting a cover on the mattress, I didn't have any more problems with the bugs. There were 6 of us sharing a bathroom that week and it was small living for the week...needless to say, it was nice to pull out of there on Sunday.

Then on the way over to Morgantown, WV (11 hours) Kelley and I stopped to see my good friend Sara and her husband in New York City. We stayed one night with them in their apartment. I definitely confirmed the fact that I am not a big city girl. Way too many people, way too many cars, not enough space. I definitely missed the open land and mountain views of home while we were there for the night. I just couldn't do it!! Also a quick note to say that when my mom and I go to the city next week to sight see...we will be taking the public transportation into the city as I hate driving there! People just make their own rules and lanes and oh my goodness do they ever like their horns?!! Makes me nervous.

I played last week in Morgantown, WV and we had some more than interesting weather. When we arrived, the course had already seen 12 straight days of the course was wet to say the least. For the days leading up to the tournament, we had huge storms every afternoon. And I mean huge!!! Thursday's practice rounds were all messed up because the course was nearly unplayable. The back 9 was even closed. I happened to have the first tee time Friday morning, and boy was it wet!! I played well for 2 days...well, for about 33 holes. I had a few oops' and they ended up costing me making the cut.

Now on to the good stuff....I am in the most gorgeous, relaxing, fun, awesome place ever. Through friends of friends, I have housing this week in a huge home on the water in Queenstown, Maryland. They have 5 girls staying here this week, if that gives you an idea of the size. 2 boats, 2 sea-doos, a!!! Kelley and I went sailing with a friend of hers the other night ( a first for me...and I decided that it's just too much work when you can turn on an engine and drive a regular boat!!!) I know, I'm boring. Yesterday after our day on the golf course we came back and went on the Sea-Doos. Funny story on that real quick. They have a rubber/plastic type of ramp/dock that they store the sea-doos on. Well, we were putting the covers back on them and I was walking behind the machine pulling the cover over the back. There is a rather large hole in the dock (one that's supposed to be there) and I backed right into it, fell into the water, hitting my whole left side on the plastic dock on the way down. Good news - no serious could have been bad! Bad news - I'm going to have a bruise covering my entire left hip and leg. It hurts to roll over in bed!!! Good one Kailin!!! I am told that is a first, so i guess I will leave my mark on this house after all. Our plan today after practicing this morning, as the course is closed to us for the pro-ams, is to come back and enjoy all of these fun toys and relax!! My bed might just eat me this week...meaning, I just melt into it! So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that we are living the life this week!!!

I promise to write more often, this week when the week is over...I promise!! My mom is coming to caddy for next week's mandatory caddy event in Gettysburg, PA. She gets here on Wednesday and I'm very excited! Come to think of it, I don't think she's seen me play as a professional! Not that it's any different...still a golf ball and a golf course! But, I don't think she has. We should have a lot of fun and plan to see some fun stuff while we're over here also!

Living rough in Queenstown!!! ~Kailin

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Playing on a Sunday!!

Ok, so you know that saying that you don't know what you've got until you lose it? Well, I can't say the same is true for me and my game and my tournaments lately. I knew every Sunday morning when I had missed the cut what I should have been doing and where I should have been. Instead of practicing, or hiking, or caddying for a friend, or doing laundry and driving, I should have been playing the 3rd and final round of the tournament. Today I finally did that!!! It felt so good to make the cut yesterday and be able to tee it up on Sunday!! We had some weather that should have made me feel a little at home this week. We had 3 completely different weather situations which equals 3 completely different golf courses. Friday I got the short end of the stick with temperatures in the 60's, rain for about 9 holes, and wind. (The afternoon tee times got to enjoy their rounds in dry clothes!!) Saturday was warmer but very windy. And today, well, the conditions were perfect!
I know that a lot of you are wondering about last week and the infamous DQ that is next to a player's name. There are so many ways to get DQ-ed (Disqualified for those non-golfers) anymore that it's always the question of the day. I had about 20 people ask me that day after the round, and another 30 or so the next day who came to give me a smile or pat on the shoulder after reading that I had run out of golf balls on my 16th hole. Yes, I ran out of golf balls. This course had many places to lose balls and I seemed to find most of them. I would have been done on the 14th if not for a playing partner who climbed down a huge embankment and to my surprise, found one of my balls! So, I walked the remaining 2 and a half holes with my group with my head high and a smile on my face knowing that it was just one of those days and this didn't define who I was as a person or a golfer. I had many comments from people in my group and of the staff that helped to ease the bruise a little. I was told that I handled the situation like a champ and that it took a lot of guts to stick it out and finish (well, 16 holes that is) and most people in that situation would have walked off the course long before that point. So, I took that for what it's worth...and here we are this week playing on a Sunday. :)

A few side notes of humor...entertainment...or embarrassment in my situation!!

  • Take note when you are driving in central New York. Highway 87 is not the same thing as Highway 90 (the thruway as it's known around here!). Yes, I found this out the hard way. Oh, we're not talking 20 or 30 miles, we're talking a good 130 miles in the wrong direction!!! Check it out on a map to get the full picture. I was headed to Syracuse from Hartford and going through Albany. I missed the turn-off to go West on 90 towards Syracuse and instead went North on 87 towards CANADA...Yikes!! In my defense, the directions told me that 87 would turn into 90 at some point, and I believe I was on the phone with my Dad when this happened, hence the reason I missed it. End of the story is I ended up right near Lake Placid...the Olympic training site. I did get to see some pretty places in New York that I would not have seen otherwise, but are you kidding Kailin?!! It was so far out of the way, and to make matters worse, there was no easy way to get over to Syracuse...I had to go back the same way and cut over, but it took me FOREVER! I was mad, tired, frustrated, and kind of amused all at the same time. You'll thank me if you ever get over here and have to drive on these roads yourselves..just you wait!
  • I have a friend traveling with me. She doesn't talk, she doesn't take up any space with her stuff in the car, we always have the same tee times, and she's content just hanging out waiting for me. No, I am not on drugs...but I have a little spider friend that hangs out on my trunk. I know what you're thinking right now, I've gone a little nuts with all this travel. But really, there is a spider who has been through all kinds of weather, weeks of sitting in random parking lots, and many, many, many miles with me. I ruined her web a couple of weeks ago, I'm not sure why. Then when she rebuilt it and has been with me ever since, I decided that I have a little travel buddy. You might be thinking weird, but hello, doesn't anyone remember Charlotte's Web?!! (By the way, I don't actually know the sex...does anyone know how to tell with a spider?)
  • At the pro-am dinner this week, in the opening speech by some guy...I can't tell you who he was, he referred to us as "a traveling circus." This made me laugh because it's so true. He made reference to our cars with all the clothes hung in them and packed to the brim and license plates from all true! This should give you a pretty good image of what we look like traveling all over each week!
I am flying out tomorrow morning for Albuquerque for the week off. We play in Concord, NH next and I am assured to get there without any detours as I will have a travel companion. No, not the friend Kelley. Together, hopefully we can get there in the appropriate time estimated and in one piece!!

Just a side note, there was an article written on the Duramed Futures Tour page about me if you didn't see it. The URL is or you can find it by going to the home website. Also, Lisa Mickey, the media person for the tour writes a side blog some weeks and she wrote one this week that has people buzzing and raving about it. It's the Mickey A La Cart side box on the left hand side of the web page and this is the URL I would recommend reading it, she has a very good outlook on what it's like out here and she is one of my favorite people on the staff out here!!

Until next week...

Friday, July 13, 2007

Long time no blog...

I apologize for the delay between blogs. When I left Kankakee, Illinois 2 weeks was all craziness from there. I drove 2 days (15 hours) to Hartford, Connecticut to leave my car and fly home. Here's a new one for you...I hit a chair in the middle of the road on my drive. Yes, a chair. I never thought I would be saying this, but be careful when you're on the road, because you never know when furniture could be lying around in your lane. It was a very strange deal, and happened so quickly I couldn't even tell you details! However, it was scary and luckily my car doesn't seem to have any damage as a result. I am lucky that the car in front of me didn't hit it and send it flying into my windshield!

I was home for a week, and we worked like dogs the whole time. I never imagined that a wedding could be so much work. There are so many details that you don't even think about having to think about! I hope my sister realizes how much work it all was, because there were a lot of friends and family who put in more than a few good hours to make it all come together. My parents did a fantastic job and everything turned out beautiful and perfect! It was an emotional day, but a happy one, and it was fun to see my sister so happy and looking beautiful!!

I traveled all day Tuesday (July 10) back to Hartford, getting here at 1:00 a.m. Funny thing is, my clubs didn't arrive with me. At 1:00 in the morning, there aren't a whole lot of options to hope they come in on a later flight. I was pretty much out of luck for my 7:00 a.m. practice round the next morning. I got a set of clubs my host housing put together for me, used a putter from my car, and borrowed woods of a friend in my group and groggily played a practice round the next morning. As of 3:00 the next afternoon, I still hadn't heard a word from the airline. And as many of you know, of course the number they give you doesn't actually result in someone on the other line, it is merely an answering machine. Yeah, like anyone ever returns those calls. So, I made the 25 minute drive back to the airport to raise a little hell in person. Long story short, I spent 4 and 1/2 hours at the airport baggage claim that night and luckily received my clubs on a 9:00 pm flight from Las Vegas. I was preparing for the worst and coming up with a plan as to what clubs I could use if I didn't have my own come Friday!!

This course is challenging, but very fun to play, as it requires certain shots and requires some course management instead of bombing away at your driver every hole. I had a great day, much better than a 76 describes. Playing that way and having a few things go my way could result in a much lower score...thus, the plan for tomorrow!!! We are in Syracuse, NY next week and then have another week off. I apologize again for my lack of communication...time just goes by so quickly when you're super busy and having fun!!
Talk to you all soon!!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

Ok, so in all honesty, I didn't feel that it would be fair to submit a Father's Day story to the Duramed Futures Tour page this weekend after not having my Mother's Day story posted. So, Dad gets a little blog on here just like Mom!! First, Happy Father's Day to everyone that it applies. I had a fun day here in Decatur celebrating with another family, but would have preferred to have been at home celebrating with my family..(well, in all reality, it probably wouldn't have been celebrating...probably more like helping in the yard to get ready for the wedding!!!) Anyway, I have a couple of stories about Dad to share. This is really quite fun since most of you know him and can truly appreciate some of the "crap" that he dishes out!!
I believe it was my sophomore year in high school, before I was to turn 16 and get my driver's license. Driving home from high school practice, with my younger sister in the car, we passed a bright yellow (popular at the time) truck. He informed me that if I could shoot under 70 the next day in Prineville at our tournament then he would by Kristin (my younger sister) that truck. Wow...wait just one minute. This is quite a deal for me, huh? So, you're telling me that if I go out and break 70 then you will by that truck for my sister? Where is the benefit in that for me? He seemed to think it was a good deal because she wouldn't be able to drive for 2 years so she would let me drive it. Yeah, right...knowing my sister, I'm sure she would just gladly hand over the keys!! End of the story is I missed a short birdie putt on the 18th to shoot 69, so I ended up with a 70 and we didn't have to worry about the details of the truck!!! He still tells that story with a huge smile on his face, I think because he realizes how lousy of a deal that was for me?!!!
Another memory I have I am not as clear on the details. I believe it was something very similar though. If I were to break 70 during my summer tournaments he would shave his head. (I think this was actually meant as torture for my mom as she hated his hair that short) I shot 67 at the OGA Members course at Tukwila and happily called him and informed him that he lost the bet. He showed up the next day with a buzzed head. Everyone was giving him a hard time telling him that he hadn't followed through with his end of the bargain and that a buzz was different from a shaved head!! I have the picture and the fun memory of all of those birdies, knowing with each one that he was going to have to follow through with his end of the deal!!!
(Maybe I need another "deal" Dad...perhaps that would help bring in the birdies??!!!) Just kidding!
I feel very lucky to have such a supportive, involved, and caring Dad and know without a doubt that I will always have his love and support no matter what I do on or off the golf course. I know that he shares my passion for being out here and with that my disappointment when I do not perform to my expectations. It is great to have the support system that I do at home! I am hoping that he and my mom both will be able to be experiencing it a little more with me out here once the wedding is over! (hint)
Happy Father's Day you always!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Random Blog

Ok, so I'm going to apologize in advance for this being a short, random blog. I do not have wireless internet and don't want to take up the computer for very long. I'm going to just tell you about a few random things that happened over the last week or so.

Today I competed in my 3rd "Yes One Grand Challenge" putting contest. Every few weeks they have one for people who are using the Yes putters. They hold 3 or 4 different shot-gun qualifiers and the low 3 scores and ties get into a sudden death playoff after that. The first week, I didn't post a score that went to the finals. A couple of weeks ago in Lake Geneva, I was 2 under and qualified for the playoff. The first hole of the playoff I 3-putted and was eliminated. This week, I qualified again and survived 4 holes until another girl drained a putt and the whole thing was over. So, the way I see's a progression and next time guess who will be the winner?!!!

At last week's event in Hammond, Indiana on the first tee of the second round we were given our pin sheets and scorecards. Then we were handed a memo from the head honchos of the tour. The memo read as follows:

The Duramed FUTURES Tour Executive Committee has exercised its right to make the following amendment to the 2007 Player Rules and Regulations. This change goes into effect immediately.

Repairing Ball Marks, Replacing Divots, and Raking Bunkers
In any round of practice, pro-am, or tournament competition, any player who fails to replace a divot or repair a ball mark as a result of a shot she has played, or fails to rake a bunker after playing from the bunker will be fined fifty dollars ($50) for each offense. This violation may be reported by a fellow competitor, caddie, volunteer, spectator, etc. and the fine is not subject to appeal. Any repeat violations of this policy may result in additional fines and/or further action by the Tour.

Ok, first, I would just like to say that we are professionals. Is this a joke that we're having to be threatened with a fine in order to make people fix divots and ball-marks. I have always been a strong believer in karma with golf, and I fear that if I don't fix a divot in the fairway...guess where I'm going to end up the next day?!! Also, why is it difficult to fix 2 or 3 ball marks when you're walking to your ball on the green? I don't know about you, but I found this saddening.

And lastly, I have to refer once again to our volunteer cart drivers, bless their hearts. I heard some stories from last week's event that made my situation seem like heaven. A friend of mine had a driver that literally drove on the green on the first hole. Drove on the green!!! Right across the first green. I think I would have needed a change of clothes if I were in that group because I probably would have wet myself. Anyway, my driver on the last day was pushing 85 or 90 and was the sweetest thing ever. He was very much trying to error on the cautious side and stayed pretty far away from us. The other girl that had her bag on the cart and I were constantly having to tell him to come on over, don't be shy, pull right up next to us. I say constantly, and I mean pretty much every shot!!! Also, for anyone that was following, during the last round I started very hot and had some struggles from there on in. I had 4 penalty strokes with all the hazards that surrounded that golf course. Anyway, Ben (that's our driver's name) kept informing me that my penalty strokes were just killing me and my score. He also would inform me after I took drops and was prepared to hit my next shot that I should be careful not to hit the ball into hazards that were up by the green as well, and told me where all of the trouble was. For anyone that knows of the major sins is bringing up the trouble, because that's what goes into the golfer's mind. The brain doesn't hear the word "don't" so all it hears is "hazard up there on the left" or whatnot. Anyway, at this point all I could do was laugh and I did a lot of it!!!

We are in Decatur, Illinois this week for the tour's "MAJOR" of the season. It has the biggest purse ($105,000) and is a 4-day event, when they are normally 3. I hear that this tournament has the biggest fan base and support of the tournament, so I'm excited to see. It is a mandatory caddy event and I have been given my volunteer caddy for the week. I believe that I have the only female caddy of the whole maybe that will be good luck!! Live scoring again this week at I'll write more next week!!
~Kailin ( turns out that wasn't a short blog after all...I had a lot to say apparently)

Monday, June 4, 2007


Success is defined in the dictionary as degree or measure of succeeding, or a favorable or desired outcome. My week in Lake Geneva would be described as success. I know some of you are thinking..."hmmm, 81-77 and missing the cut, how is that success?" But, that would be my description of choice. I say that because I am getting so close. Again, you're wondering how an 81 and a 77 is getting close to where I want to be. It was a matter of 2 or 3 different swings that cost me a number of strokes and a stretch of poor putting for about 4 or 5 holes. Other than that, I am hitting the ball very well, better than I have been, and gaining the confidence back, slowly. This was the best venue we have been to all season, and I would recommend a vacation to this area to anyone. It is absolutely gorgeous here.

The weather was interesting all week, lots of rain, and many delays. I will leave this morning for Hammond, Indiana, which is only 2 hours away. You have no idea how exciting that sounds after the 10 and 12 hour drives we were doing in Texas. They are having a fun, free, money available to win Par 3 contest today in Hammond. A friend and I are going to play, mostly because we can enter for free and win money, but also because we thought it would be fun and good practice!!

I had fun at home and was disappointed to leave, probably because after being gone for so long a week doesn't seem long enough. Also because I knew I was leaving for 5 weeks and the next time I go home it will be pure craziness with the wedding. It already is craziness there...a word of advice, do not go into the wedding business while planning your own daughter's wedding. There is a lot going on at the Downs' residence and I am not disappointed that I don't have to deal with all of that!!! Good luck with that Mom and Dad. Off to Hammond, until next week...birdies!!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Home Sweet Home!!

There was positive and negative at the conclusion of Saturday's round in Kansas City. The negative was that I missed the cut this week (by one) after two tough days of battle with the strongest course we have played all year. The positive was that I get one more day at home. No offense to my family, but I would have rather played golf on Sunday...Sorry!!! Anyway, with the week off, and with my Dad already being in Kansas, I flew home with him and am getting to spend the week here. I will switch modes at the end of this week and be the host of my sister's wedding shower. It's a nice little break from golf, but you can definitely say that I won't be going into the wedding shower business. Not only do I get to throw the shower this weekend, but I am finally getting to see the progress that is being made on the wedding site (the house) and also am able to see the cutest little puppies ever (we have an English Setter and a Golden Retriever for those that don't know). Oh, yeah, I'm also getting to see my family!!

For the second tournament in a row, my Dad made his appearance as caddy!! I never quite know how it's going to go, because when I was younger he always used to be overly intense and spoke when he wasn't always spoken to. (As most of you know, the three up's of caddying are show up, keep up, and shut-up) Anyway, this has not been an issue at all. I have enjoyed every minute of it, and enjoy having him out there. This is almost going as far as a compliment, and generally I only write these things when it's some special day for him (i.e. Father's Day, Christmas, or birthday)...but I'll make an exception this time. I can honestly say that he has a calming effect on me on the golf course. I feel at ease and seem to hit shots that I wouldn't normally hit, but that he makes me believe I have the ability to. It's fun to have a caddy, making it feel more like you have someone on your team, rather than you against the world!! Seeing as how the majority of our tournaments are nowhere near Oregon, and my sister is taking up all of their time planning this wedding, my parents aren't able to be out with me all that often right now. However, when they are it is fun and very appreciated.

Well, next time I write I will be in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. The tournament is June 1-3 and will again have live-scoring. I have submitted a blog to the Futures Tour for the weekly player's blog that they post on the website. I will let you know when it is scheduled to be put up as I'm sure that you will all be very anxious to read it!!! Off to have a great week at home!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!!!

I would first like to say Happy Mother's Day to all you mom's out there. If any of you have seen the special article they have on the Future's Tour web page, you will notice that I did not have a story posted there. As it turns out, I wrote one and got it in on time, but failed to send it to the correct email address. Figures huh? My mom said that she wouldn't even have noticed as she probably wouldn't have found it on the website. Anyway, I thought I would take this route of sending a special little message to mom.
I don't have one specific special memory of my mom and I or even a golf story. I do, however, remember very well all of the time and energy my mom has put into my golf for a number of years. Traveling long distances, putting together snacks and sandwiches for the team, carrying all of my extra clothing and umbrella and other crap around the golf course, baring the not-so-kind weather that comes with being a golfer, being a constant in my support system through good and not so good rounds, even caddying sometimes....and the list could go on and on!!! What I'm getting at is how thankful I am for everything that you have done for me mom. You are very loved and very missed. Happy Mother's Day!!!

I enjoyed my short week off last week in Albuquerque. It was so weird to not be playing practice rounds or getting up Friday for a tournament tee time. However, I would be lying if I said that it wasn't kind of nice for a little break!! I drove about 4 hours on Friday night and arrived in Dalhart, TX. For any of you who have never been here, you are not missing out on much. I literally had to drive with one hand covering my nose as I drove the 15 miles into town to refrain from throwing up. I have been through some smelly towns and smelly cow smells before, but this one was in it's own league. I am not sure how people live there, but it is an understatement to tell you that it was stinky!!! I got up on Saturday morning to finish the drive to Kansas City. I had to make a small detour as the highway was closed through Greensburg, KS. The highway that I took instead ran parallel to the highway through Greensburg, and while I'm not certain, I would be willing to be that the tornado swept up through the area I was driving through. There were power lines and poles down, trees completely uprooted and laying everywhere, and huge water system lines overturned and mangled. It was very humbling to think what these people had been through not to long ago. I arrived safely in Kansas City and am fortunate enough to be staying with a host family that I met a couple of years ago when I was here for the Women's Public Links tournament. I have a one day U.S. Women's Open local qualifier tomorrow and then will begin my week for the Future's Tour tournament, which will be held in this area as well, but at a different golf course.

Happy Mother's Day again!!!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Unplayable Conditions

For any golfers out there, we all know that there can be unplayable conditions in the game of golf. Lightning and thunder, torrential downpours, a course that's flooded, snow, and there are probably some others that I am missing. However, I didn't think I would ever be adding wind to that list. On Saturday, the Futures Tour made a decision to suspend play for the day due to severe winds. No really, severe winds!! They made reference to earlier this year when the PGA canceled a round due to high winds. Other than that, can any of us remember ever hearing of a professional golf tournament being canceled due to wind? No, I didn't think so.
Saturday morning I got up and battled the winds for my 8:09 tee time. I don't know the exact numbers, but it was something around 24 m.p.h. with gusts higher than that. I played great, battled the conditions, and shot the low round of the morning. I knew going into the round that I needed to have a decent score in order to make the cut, but I also knew after a 71 in those conditions that I would be fine. In fact, I figured I probably would have moved significantly up the leader board. So, after my round, I'm on the range hitting balls and we hear the horns. (The horns signify the rules official's stopping play) We were all looking at each other with very confused looks on our faces as there wasn't a cloud in the sky and it was about 80 degrees out.
Long story short...they suspended play due to unplayable wind conditions. I have never seen some of these girls more up in arms and fired up as I did when they canceled the round. Those of us who played in the morning felt that it was highly unfair that we had all just played a round of golf in those conditions and the afternoon tee times were going to get off free. It was an experience I will never forget. If you haven't read the daily wrap-up for the 2nd round in El Paso on the Duramed Futures Tour page it's a must read. They make reference to a cart being thrown to a stop when the wind blew the key to the off position, nearly throwing the rules official through the windshield. Wow, are you kidding? Truly, you're not fooling any of us. We aren't falling for that!
A little bird told me that I should focus on the fact that I played so well in those conditions and that I can't control what happens about the rest of the day. Well, I had to share my story though, because even though I couldn't control the situation, I felt that I had the right to be upset about their decision.
So, I made the cut and had a less than stellar round on Sunday again. I know you're all thinking that you should inform me that it helps to shoot a low score on the last day. When you play well it moves you up the leader board rather than down. Well, it might seem like I am missing that piece of information, but I really do know that. I am playing better golf and gaining a world of confidence. It's all a matter of putting it together and making some putts and scoring better.
I am off this week, in Albuquerque. I head to Kansas City this weekend as I have a Women's Open qualifier on Monday followed by the next Futures Tour event there later that week. I will be home in two weeks to throw a shower for my sister.
I had a great time last week with my Dad on the bag (even with all of the complaining he was doing...the bag was too heavy, the strap was too thin, it was hurting his shoulder) and Jackie down to watch. I found it comical that when we got in the car Sunday night to make the drive up to Albuquerque that they were complaining about a 3 and a half hour drive. Ha...that's a piece of cake compared to 13 hour days in the car!!! Until next time...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Good Times in McAllen

I couldn't resist sharing some of my comical happenings while I was in McAllen. I realize that some of these (ok, maybe all of them) will probably not be funny to any of you who were not present. That old "you probably had to be there" thing comes into play. Nonetheless, I thought I should still share my funnies with you!!

  • I volunteered for this week's junior clinic in McAllen. The Duramed Futures Tour holds one every week at each tournament site. It was approximately 96 degrees with the intense sun beating down on us. Mind you that this was after a 5 hour practice round and an hour of practice. I was given the task of teaching putting. My first group was about 10 kids around the ages of 6 or 7. No joke, after 2 minutes, they asked if they could sit down. Who am I to tell them that they can't sit? So, they sat. Now what? There are only so many things you can tell 6 year olds about putting without them actually performing the act. Imagine what our tournament rounds would be like if we could just stop and sit down whenever we felt like it.....Now there's a thought!!! I also should note that it's a little on the challenging side when a large portion of the kids you are attempting to teach do not understand English.
  • On Thursday there were 2 pro-ams (which I am not allowed to play in yet as a rookie) which meant that the course was closed. After a morning of practice at the course, my friend Kelley and I decided to have an afternoon of "girl stuff." This is turning out to be a bit of a tradition when we can't play a practice round on Thursdays. I guess you could call it a preparation day for Friday's round. Anyway, we were given coupons to receive a complimentary service of choice at the local beauty school. They were given to us at registration, and we figured that Thursday would be the perfect time. The comical part of this story is when we walk in only to find 4 Asian golfers, a golf mother, and Julie Wells, another girl from Oregon. As I sat there getting my pedicure, I observed the beauty school students (who didn't speak English very well, but attempted) trying to communicate with the Asian golfers, who spoke even less English. I found myself trying to translate what the other was trying to say...wait a minute...I don't speak Spanish or any other language for that matter. Was I kidding? Luckily, my student understood and spoke English. We had a very nice conversation, although I think she is still confused about the whole golfing tour, traveling around, my being from Oregon thing. We then went to a movie and we were the only two people in the theater. The movie was just released not even a week ago. We practically started gagging the minute we walked into the theater as the whole room smelled very strongly of mildew or must or mold or something. We had a good laugh about it, although at the end of the movie when we could still smell it, it wasn't so funny!! When I told the employee of the movie theater about the awful, nearly unbearable smell, she literally laughed at me, followed by an assurance that she would let her manager know. Yeah...and I'm going to fly to the moon tomorrow!!!
  • Each week we have many volunteers to make these tournaments possible. They kindly give up their time during the 3 day tournament and it is greatly appreciated by the players. Each group has a volunteer cart driver. The players who do not have caddies are allowed to put their bags on the cart (a cart caddy) and their other task is to keep score and they report our 3-hole scores to the live-scoring. Anyway, this week during one of my rounds I had an elderly guy (I'm guessing around 80-85) and he did a fabulous job. However, at one point, I was putting my club back in my bag and he sat back down on the cart and actually farted!!! I had to keep myself from laughing out loud, but if nothing else it lightened the mood for that hole!
  • After Sunday's round, my friend Kelley and I ventured to Progresso, the Mexican border town that is 15 minutes from McAllen. In my defense, we were going for a purpose. I was looking in the pharmacies for my special sunscreen (dermatologist recommended) and my Dad's gel for his shoulder. Much to the dismay of my parents and friends, we went and what an experience it was. First, did you know that they charge you to walk across the bridge? Yeah, it's a quarter to go into Mexico, and here's the real costs 30 cents to come back into the United States. Wait, you mean to tell me that I have to pay money, (not to mention 5 cents more than Mexico charges), just to come back into my own country? Wow!!! Well, it was a partially unsuccessful trip as I found out that they don't believe in Sunscreen in the pharmacies in the border towns of Mexico. You can buy Viagra by the case loads and you can have a filling done for $25, but you can't buy sunscreen. Interesting!!! I found my Dad's stuff and off we went, very thankful when we stepped back on U.S. soil. I found it amusing as we walked past a guy offering to shine our shoes. When he realized that we both had flip-flops on and would not require a shoe shining, he quickly offered a pedicure!!! Really, you can just switch and perform something like a pedicure that easily? HMMMMM!!!!!
  • And lastly, our trip ended with an adventure as we made the 12/13 hour drive today from McAllen to El Paso. As we entered San Antonio we were concerned we might be driving into a very large hurricane or tornado-ish storm. I can't express how black and scary looking it was. I hope to figure out how to get pictures on here soon...stay tuned!! Anyway, we were going 15 mph on the freeway, with everyone driving with their emergency flashers on as you could not see 3 feet in front of you. This lasted about 45 minutes. Yeah, and we still had about an 8 or 9 hour drive. Fun times, let me tell you!!!

I am in El Paso and am very ready for another fun filled week of golf on the Duramed Futures Tour. I am really enjoying myself and am especially excited this week as my Dad is coming in later in the week and will have the privilege (yes, privilege) of caddying for me. In addition, my college coach (and very best friend) is coming down to watch. I always enjoy having fans!!!

Monday, April 23, 2007

You know you're in Mexico...I mean McAllen when...

As I made the 9 1/2 hour drive today from Lafayette to McAllen, TX I thought to myself that I should post a blog about the good, the bad, and the ugly about spending a whole day a week in your car. First, let me just say that I made it to McAllen, and although I've heard a lot about not expecting too much when we make our stop here, I knew I had to be getting close when I turned off the I-pod and switched to the radio. I am not exaggerating when I say that there were 4 stations that were in English!!! No really, this is not a joke! My host housing took me to a small Mexican restaurant tonight and again I am not exaggerating when I tell you that we were the only Americans in the place. So...that should give you an idea of where I am!

Now, some small, simple things you learn to be thankful for when you are in your car all day:
  • My satellite radio that I got for Christmas (To be honest, I wasn't sure what my Dad was thinking with this purchase. However, it turns out that it's great when you're in your car all day)
  • Phone calls every so often from my Dad. He's just checking on me and they only last 45 seconds, but it's the thought that counts. (He's really just a big softy if you don't already know it!)
  • People that call to chat and keep you busy because they know how boring it can be by yourself.
  • How nice it is when people actually use their cruise control and get in the right lane when they're not passing someone.
  • The small joy you get from a favorite song coming on the radio or I-pod.
  • How good it feels when you have to get out to use the restroom or fill up the tank and your legs actually get to stretch out and have blood pumped back into them.
  • The reassuring feeling you get when you pass one of the Futures Tour trucks along the freeway. This is a reminder that we are not the only ones shifting in our seats for 10 hours and also a good sign that you are actually on the right road going in the correct direction.
  • The quick laugh you get when you pick a random exit and go into a Subway only to find a group of 4 other golfers who chose that very same exit and Subway. What are the odds?
  • And finally, the great feeling of being "home" for the week. I say that with quotes because that is technically what it is. However, how much can a place feel like home when you are in and out in 6 days?!!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Important Things

At a time when there are far bigger and more important things going on in the world, especially this week with the unfortunate events at Virginia Tech, and with an even closer, sad situation this week at my host housing, I am reminded again (it's been a constant lesson), that there are simply worse things than a missed shot, a missed putt, or a "less than perfect" round of golf. That will be my humbling thought this week as I tee it up in Lafayette, LA. I have goals and ambitions out here and each time I play a round I strive for as close to "perfection" as we golfers can get. However, in the big scheme of things, the big picture, golf just really isn't all that important. I have been watching the news reports and the interviews with students from VT and keep thinking to myself how bad that situation must have been for those people and for the families of the people in those particular buildings. We take too much for granted each day and I for one am just thankful for all that I am able to do in my life right now. As for my host housing, I feel like maybe we were put in this house for a reason bigger than either Nicole or I will ever understand. We are staying with a single lady who has her 24 year old daughter living with her as well as her 3 year old granddaughter from another daughter. She got custody of the little girl and last spring the girl's mother decided to move away to Florida with a boyfriend. Less than a year later, the girl's father (who had just turned 21) was killed in a car accident this New Year's morning (coming to pick up his daughter none the less). Every time she grabs her picture book of "Mackenzie and Dad" my heart literally aches for her. Luckily, she has her grandma in her life, but how sad that she only got 3 years with her Dad. The little girl is elated (understatement) that two "big sisters" are here this week and follows us everywhere. Yes, even to the bathroom. Being the way that I am with kids (I absolutely adore them), I have taken to her and jump on the trampoline with her, play dolls with her and whichever other activities she randomly decides to partake in. My point is just how much of a reminder this week has been for how thankful I should be. 60 or 90, cut or no cut, I am so grateful to be playing and striving so hard to reach my goals, and to be out here living the life of a professional golfer. So, next time you think something is rough for you or you're having a bad day, be thankful for the good, positive things that are in your life instead. Signing of in Lafayette, LA (P.S. remind me later if I am ever considering it that I really have no desire to ever move to Lousiana). My tee time tomorrow morning is 8:36 and the live-scoring should be available again at for those of you who are at your computers!!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Moving on...

I write this as I am about to pack my car and move on to the next city, the next tournament, the next adventure. I am also writing this as a closure to this week and a beginning to another. In my frustrating, devastating, hellish, miserable round on Saturday, I found some humor and light on the course and choose to share that and the positive things rather than dwell on the negative. I found it a round of firsts for me, and for the Duramed Futures Tour I believe. It was the first time I had ever considered the possibility that I might run out of golf balls before I was able to finish. It was the first time I had ever considered that I actually might want to lose my last golf ball so that my name would have a DQ or a WD (Disqualified or withdrew) next to my name rather than the score that I was about to post. ( I learned from a girl I was playing with that her brother, also a professional golfer, once ran out of balls in a professional tournament...this made me feel just a little bit better for a moment) It was the first time that I had ever had to question a rules official standing by with about 5 holes to go what I was to do if I did lose my last golf ball. And as I explained to her that this was a first to me, she explained that it was in fact a first for them as a tour staff. I found humor in this and told her that I was glad I could be a first for them and that I didn't realize that I was so special. I didn't realize that a birdie on any hole, whether you are 4 under or 24 over, can put a huge smile on your face and make you want to keep going. I also didn't realize that I would ever be so proud of a 1 under finish in the last 4 holes. It was never such a relief to finish the last hole either. I had more mud on me when I completed that round than a little kid playing outside after a big rain storm. It was a long, ugly, cold, miserable, and forgettable day. However, I will take the positives with me, which were my last 4 holes, and the fact that I was still able to find humor in the situation and smile on the course, even when I was 20 something over par. I have decided that I would like to add another first to the Duramed Futures Tour. I doubt that there has ever been a player finish dead last and proceed to the next tournament to finish 1st. That is my mission this week and I am determined to make it happen. So, as I drive away from Frisco, Texas, I will leave behind in my rear view mirror some great memories, because I had some of the best housing hosts that a girl could ask for, and they even had a Bichon Frise (Peaches' kind). But, I will also leave behind the ugly shots, the ugly scores, and the ugly round!!!
On to Lafayette...where bigger and better things await!! (Maybe they need a new city slogan, that sounds pretty good)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Frisco, TX

Sorry it has been so long since my last post. We have been off for 3 weeks now. I got to spend some quality time at home and was able to attend a very close friend's wedding (Congrats Sara and Michael). We are in Frisco, Texas this week, playing at The Crossings at Frisco. We play our second practice round this afternoon, with the first round starting on Friday. I have an afternoon tee time, at 12:48. The weather is supposed to be anything but decent for the first round, but we'll just have to wait and see what comes our way. From here we travel to Lafayette, LA, and then on to McAllen and El Paso Texas.

I drove over from Albuquerque on Tuesday, after packing and organizing my car for the month that I will be living out of it. I feel like it should be really interesting to prepare for the 3 month trip that we have coming up. Let's just say that there's A LOT of stuff in there.

My profile has been updated on the duramed futures tour page, and they have put up my picture as well. I figured I would let you all know that, as some of you have been asking! The website will also have the live scoring available this week again. It's just as a reminder.

I'll be in touch after the tournament!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

First Blog

Well, this is the first official blog of the Kailin Downs blog page. I hope that you find this page fun and useful in following me this season. I am on my first official break, or off week, of this Futures Tour season. I am spending this week in Albuquerque before heading to Bend for a little family time and a friend's wedding in Washington. Our next series of tournaments starts in Frisco, Texas April 13-15. We spend 5 weeks in Texas and Louisiana, ending in El Paso, TX.

I would like to thank, with the utmost appreciation, all of my sponsors. I am living out my dream, or at least chasing it, playing professional golf, and that would not be possible without the financial support of all of you.
  • Mike and Cathie Groves
  • Bud and Jean Fincham
  • Tim and Lucy McCulloch
  • Ed and Marilyn Kentner
  • Don and Shannon Bauhofer
  • Les and Ann Mombert
  • Jay Audia
  • Pat McClain
  • Mark Hagenbaugh
  • Mitch Cole
  • Marilyn Rowell
  • Terry Rennie
  • The Honnens

Thank you all so, so much!

I will keep you all up to date, and until then...Fairways and Greens!!!