Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Scrapbooks, News Clippings & NO SELFIES: Archiving My HCRHS "RED DEVILS" Varsity Girls Golf Team Family

I (aka Coach Lydia) have  been spending a lot of post-accident time archiving the golf coaching part of my LIFE!! 

SO FUN to look back through scrapbooks & (gulp!) newspaper clippings (remember those???) 

LOVED, LOVED, LOVED coaching all of you.

Have fun looking back. And as requested, I will post more scans as I complete them. Enjoy!
--more to com--where are YOU in this team photo?

My point in writing this blog tonight was to tell all of you, young & Young-at-heart, female & male about this AWESOME book : BE A PLAYER by Pia Nilsson & Lynn Marriott!

In February 2006, Coach Lydia (that's me)attended a 3-day Vision 54 clinic with Pia Nilsson & Lynn Marriott. 

LPGA pro Gail Graham was just one of the FANTABULOUS attendees in our group--- myself included????

I employed Vision54 techniques into my golf program during my third year coaching (I started the high school varsity girls golf program when I was hired in 2004--the first in Hunterdon County) Hunterdon Central Regional varsity girls golf team.
You can checkout the numbers here https://girlsgogolfing.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html

  • Creating happy golfers is easy when you commingle it with creating happy humans.

  • Happy humans who became part of their local fabric by collecting food for the Flemington Food Pantry at the annual Red Devil Invitational (18 holes) and Food Drive. Part of the participating school's entry fee was canned or non-perishable items! 18 years later we are still going strong! LPGA golf pro & New Jersey's own MARINA ALEX was the RED DEVIL Champion in 2006.!!! 

  • 2007 was a great year for my Hunterdon Central Regional high school varsity girls golf team golf team. Our record was, wait for it: 17 WINS & 0 Losses!!!!!!

  • Happy humans who collected over 12,000 dollars for the 2big hearts foundation by putting with courage from their heart during the Get Red for Birdies & Redder for Eagles campaign. We QUADRUPLED the amount of birdies made during the first season! And it grew from there!

Even though 2006 was year four of battling a "mystery" chronic illness (like you read about in the NYT medical mystery column, seriously, it turned out to be a Vector Borne Disease! 

Bartonella bacteria (2 types) attached to the outside of my red blood cells and a hybrid bacteria 1/2malaria & 1/2 parasitic worm wrapped in a biofilm inside my red blood cells. 
  • IT FORCED me to step back: from competing as an amateur golfer (almost immediately in 2003, I started to WD from tournaments & playdates with friends, from full-time head the coaching(June,2010), then assistant coaching (June, 2014) & finally stopped  volunteering( in  October, 2011)after our 4th season concluded as the 3-hour round trip commute was impossible to manage--and staying over in hotels was cost-prohibitive along with managing the pain)  with the junior Girls GO Golfing program I founded (September, 2008) to take the time (translation: lots of road trips to Cleveland Clinic:you get the idea) and FIND SOME RELIEF! 
  • After lotsa looking around, and outside-the-box alternative medical treatment requiring another 38 months of toughing it out, I found some relief at the same Lancaster clinic WNBA's Elena Delle Donne gets treated for her chronic Lyme. 
  • And TEAM LYDIA that's code for JOHNNY, the best partner /husband in the world and I finally got some improvement! Not a cure by any means but definite improvement. 
FYI: although I did not "look" sick to the outside observers: inside I felt like I was trapped underneath  one million garbage bags wrapped around my body, the real me wanted to get out but it was impossible as something seemed to be pressing me down. I went from being an "energizer Bunny" type to a fatigued, pain-ridden mess. I tried to do what I needed to do to get through each day.

Smiling GGGers with Coach Lydia back left

I did not want to disappoint all the GGG youngsters (ages 6 through 18) nor did I want to leave the highs school varsity girls golf program I began in 2004.

  • --at its conclusion GGG had over 100 participants registered. Girls came from ALL over New Jersey--even as far as NEWARK!
  • --I was proud of what husband & BEST LIFE-PARTNER EVER! had supported me creating  but sad to put the program on (what I was hoping was a brief) hiatus
  • When I could not find an entity to take it over, of course it was a VOLUNTEER effort requiring 2 nights per week, 4-5 hours, twice per week, for 6-8 weeks along with some at-home organizing ( and once we moved to PA from NJ it was an added 3 hour roundtrip commute time now, that's DEDICATION!!!)--it turned into (4) year break. 
  • GGG was slated to reboot in August, 2016 but I was a victim of a traumatic accident in December, 2015  :you can read about it here
SO , for now, I am remaining UNDAUNTED and REFUSING to ALLOW circumstances outside of my control to define me and my capabilities.

I must be content with scanning photos and posting memories of some really fun & cool times advocating for GIRLS to GET GOLFING in Hunterdon County (there are 5 total high schools in the county & only 1 girls golf team!)

Former LYD-golf camper, GGG participant, HCRHS varsity girls golf team member Radhika Ragam says this about golf & her  experience as a junior in GGG & as a member of the HCRHS varsity girls golf team (2 years with me as head coach & then 2 years under Head Coach Bobby Nicolson who took over for me as I became a volunteer assistant.):

In my experience, all I've felt I've needed was an equal playing field to showcase my abilities. 
Women are often overlooked, dismissed or simply not even thought of when it comes to traditionally "male" dominated fields of interest. 
But that doesn't mean we are not as capable. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunities and the resources to be a part of one of the best high school girls golf teams in the state. 
It became my passion, my hobby, my fun fact in classes, and the main topic of discussion during many of my college and even medical school interviews. 
It taught me discipline, leadership, and teamwork. I've even been asked by my colleagues, both male and female, to teach them how to play and provide them with tips. 
If I didn't have the chance to be a part of a girls golf team in high school, I probably would not have delved as deep into the sport as I have. 
Golf is something that makes me unique, that earned me a lot of respect, and something that I will continue to practice throughout my life. 
I think every girl should have the chance to join a high school girls golf team, to have the opportunity to experience the same things that I did, to learn similar lessons and skills, and to have golf impact and empower them in more ways than one.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Girls GO Golfing SALUTES LPGA Stacy Lewis on Her Winning Way At Cambia Portland Classic as CHAMPION DONOR to Houston Area Traumatized Residents: KUDOS to you Stacy & Sponsors KPMG & Marathon

(From story on LPGA.com) 

It was closer than Stacy Lewis probably wanted it to be, but in the end, Lewis still got the job done, capturing the Cambia Portland Classic presented by JTBC by one shot over In Gee Chun.
Lewis, who fired a 3-under-par 69 Sunday, will donate the whole of her winner’s check - $195,000 – to the relief efforts in her adopted hometown of Houston, Texas. It was Lewis’ first win on the LPGA Tour since 2014. Click here to read full story by Adam Stanley

Friday, September 1, 2017

Tandem Golf Swinging with MIRAcle Girl (yeah, that's me) aka Coach Lydia and Nora

Its all about the BASic short game for my
practice as I slowly build-up ALL aspects
of my game along with H-E-A-L-I-N-G!
Coach Lydia & Nora having golfing fun late March, 2017 in Savannah!Good luck with your golf season N-O-W, August, 2017!

(from left) Miracle Girl aka Coach Lydia having fun coaching Nora!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Alex FINISHES Tied for Third at CP Women's OPEN! GGG Salutes YOU!

GGG Missed Jersey Girl MARINA ALEX at the Solheim Cup last week--SHE'S BACK with a 66 in Round One at the LPGA's Canadian Pacific Open

Click here to read about Marina Alex first round 66 at CP Women's Open


CLICK here to read about Marina Alex's 2017 Women's Open AWESOME Performance

Monday, August 21, 2017

FIREWORKS at the SOLHEIM CUP this weekend! TOTAL ECLIPSE of awesome golf!!!

GGG salutes the US team! 

Females play golf at the highest level of competitive golf when they are afforded competitive equity with their male counterparts!!!

From Ron Shirak:

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Ultimately, the hill was too steep to climb, the hole dug the first four sessions too deep to escape. Europe got out to a fast start in Sunday singles play, but slowly red spread across the leaderboard. The five-point deficit was simply too big to erase and the United States won the Solheim Cup for the tenth time in 15 tries 16½ to 11½ at Des Moines Golf and Country Club.
Despite the final score, this Solheim Cup had more magical moments than a Penn and Teller show. On Friday, in the first shot she ever hit in the Solheim Cup, Danielle Kang urged the crowd to clap and cheer while she was hitting, and she did it again in Sunday singles play.
On Saturday, Brittany Lang and Brittany Lincicome shot 61 in their four-ball match against Mel Reid and Carlota Ciganda and still had to play all 18 holes to get the win.
And in an epic tussle on Sunday featuring 11 birdies and two eagles, Lexi Thompson and Anna Nordqvist halved the opening singles match, a truly fitting outcome in a match neither deserved to lose.
Sprinkled into all that was 18-year-old Angel Yin putting on a power display that had the galleries giggling in disbelief. Kang made putts from everywhere and even the rival captains – Juli Inkster and Annika Sorenstam – rocked out together to “Dancing Queen” on the first tee the final day.
Throw in the large, appreciative galleries and the incredible way the community embraced the event, making everyone feel welcome, and it was all reminiscent of the movie “Field of Dreams” when Kevin Costner is asked if this is heaven and he replied, “No, it’s Iowa.”

CLICK here to read more about SOLHEIM CUp's awesome golf