Monday, December 14, 2015

ANNIKA, Vision 54 & YOU, Philadelphia-Area Golfers:PERFECT TOGETHER

VISION 54 is my favorite golfing philosophy! 

Coach Lydia running the putting station at
Annika's event at Fiddler's Elbow golf club. 
Those of you unfamiliar with the idea: it is the "vision" of Annika Sorentam's former coach Pia Nilsson!!

It is the belief that you can birdie every hole! A past shot has nothing to do with the shot being played NOW, in the present---that is, unless of course YOU (your brain) allow it.

I became familiar with it in my early coaching days. My goal was to create the best program I could and if you want to be the best you need to seek advice from the best.

I read the book Every Shot Has A Purpose. It is written by Pia  along with her Vision 54 partner Lynn Marriott. It was a no-brainer to send myself to Phoenix to spend some time with the golf gurus. I attended their 3-day workshop in February, 2006 where we spent time in the classroom (a favorite place of mine) learning V54 principles.

Then off to the range, short-game area and the golf course to employ those same V54 techniques and strategies with the SWING we brought with us (no beating balls here, folks! But your joints will thank you!)

I employed their techniques to my coaching program & the rest is Hunterdon Central girls golf program history Click here to read more

I encourage you to checkout the opportunity below offered by a Philadelphia Women's Golf group, Women Golfers Give Back


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Oh, by gosh by golly: Itz Time to SAVE THE DATE for 2016 New Jersey Junior Girls Golf Tournaments

US Girls' Junior NY Metro Sectional Qualifier
Apawamis Country Club
Rye, NY
June 27, 2016
NJ PGA Junior Championship Qualifier 
Rossmoor Golf Club
Monroe Township, New Jersey
June 28 &29, 2016

62nd NJSGA Girls' Junior Championship 
date either July 5/6 or 6/7, 2016

Maureen Orcutt Trophy Tournament
White Beeches Golf & Country Club
Haworth, New Jersey
July 29, 2016

90th Junior Girls' Open Championship 
North Hempstead Country Club
Port Washington, New York
August 18, 2016

WMGA Girls' To The Tee
Westchester Country Club
August 1, 2016

Check back soon for more updates!!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


GGG co-directors on-site at 2015 US Women's Open 
Johnny & I have the fortunate circumstance of living near Savannah, Georgia through the end of April, 2016!

We remain committed as Directors of the 2016 NJSIAA girls north sectional qualifier -click here to read my 2015 recap). It will be six years since we left our beloved Hunterdon County home--coming back every year is lots of fun--seeing some old haunts, renewing old acquaintances and meeting new friends all in the name of GIRLS GOLF!!!!!!

Some cool things are happening at VISION 54 with my old buddies PIA & LYNN--yes, you may have seen them on GOLF CHANNEL as Golf Academy instructors.  They first came to my attention in 2006 when I sent myself out to The LEGACY Resort in Phoenix, Arizona to attend their 3-day Integration & Balance Workshop. (They have since moved to Talking Stick Resort.) I was in the classroom (always a favorite place of mine) and on-course with them. Gail Graham was in my playing group on day one. One of the players in the group made SIX consecutive birdies to close out our nine holes--whilst under Gail's quip-barrage--even at one point noting the hat trick that MIGHT occur if the player made the putts--PIA was along for the nine with us calmly mentoring us in a YODA-like manner (minus the squeaky voice and backwards talking---okay, so maybe NOT so YODA-like).
VISION 54 Integration & Balance circa January, 2006!
The memory has stayed with me.
CLICK here to read a good column on golf from the mental side.

WHY did I take a trip out there, you ask? At the time I was about to start a third season as coach of a high school girls golf team and wanted to LEARN FROM THE BEST. Learn I did, the rest is history---girls golf history in NJ! 

Speaking of the best as it relates to getting your kids excited about golf & LEARNING, I have a name for you: Nicole Weller at The Landings on Skidaway Island!!!!!! 

She has some original ideas and a creative flair to get your youngster golfing. Those of you looking for age-appropriate (i.e. 3 to 10-year -olds) Christmas golf gifts, stocking stuffers, prizes or a curriculum you can integrate into your existing junior programs and/or camps:
CHECK HER ACTIVITY book & cards out here  

I wrote about Nicole in a GGG column you can checkout by clicking HERE!
Nicole Weller & Lydia Siipola are all smiles
when it comes to talking junior golf!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

2006 Red Devil Invitational Champion , Vanderbilt University & Wayne Hills High school Alum Jersey Girl Marina Alex Tied for the U. S. Women's Open Lead at 4-under par

Paired together in Monday's practice round and now tied together at the top of Thursday's midday leaderboard at the U. S. Women's Open at Lancaster Country Club!!! Go, Jersey!

Marina Alex looking smooth on the par-3 12th ole during her practice round on Monday
  is tied for the lead mid-day Thursday (photo by John Siipola)

Click her to see Marina's post-round interview
Karrie Webb tees off on par-3 12th hole during Monday's practice round
shares the clubhouse lead with Marina Alex midday
through the opening day on Thursday (photo by John Siipola)

GGG co-directors & Life Partners Lydia & Johnny Siipola  on-site
for Thursday's U. S. Women's Open a.m. action at Lancaster Country Club 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Lancaster Country Club Makes 2015 US Women's Open Debut This Week: On-Site Preview Photos from GGG Co-Director Johnny Siipola

Enjoy the walk uphill to the 374 yards par-4 #2
On the top of the world at the 374 yards par-4 #2 green.
Looking majestic in the distance is the uphill 399 yards par-4 3rd green

Aussie Karrie Webb watches New Jersey girl &
former Red Devil Invitational  Champion Marina Alex
tee-off the par-3 signature hole #12 169 yards

Signature Hole par-3 #12 169 yards  from the teeing ground

par-4 #16 358 yards downhill dogleg left & then back up the hill

Anna Nordqvist perfecting her putting

Natalie Gulbis keeping her head in the game

Staying connected on the range with a little help from a sphere is Paula Creamer
Major Champion Karrie Webb strikes an iron on the downhill par-3 169 yards #12

CLICK HERE to read more about the US Women's Open taking place at Lancaster Country Club from July 9-12

US Women's Open at Lancaster Country Club

The par-4 fifth hole provides a stern test from tee-to-teen despite not featuring a single bunker 

 (USGA/Fred Vuich)

GGG plans on being on-site today (July 6), Wednesday (July 8), Thursday (July 9) and Saturday (July 11.)

Check back for updates!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Former GGGer & Red Devil Amanda Beebe Completes Competitive Career at Swarthmore: Congratulations, Amanda!!!!

Amanda Beebe
Looking like a Red Devil, former Hunterdon Central & GGG golfer Amanda Beebe swings away in her final Garnet appearance  at the Centennial Conference Women's Championship at Blue Ridge Country Club on April 28, 2015.

A Look Back at Amanda Beebe's Golf Career at Swarthmore
• Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Team (2015)
• Centennial Conference Spring Academic Honor Roll (2015)
• Centennial Conference Spring Academic Honor Roll (2014)
• Centennial Conference Spring Academic Honor Roll (2013)
• All-Centennial Conference First Team (2012)

2015  Tri-captain .

Recorded a 94.50 scoring average as a junior … Made the Centennial Conference Spring Academic Honor Roll … Tied for sixth among 39 golfers by carding a two-round score of 182 at the Stevenson Spring Invitational (4/13) … Won the Muhlenberg Invitational (4/21) by firing an 81, which was four strokes better than the second-place finisher … Concluded the spring with an eighth-place mark of 184 at the Centennial Conference Championships (4/26-27).

Finished sophomore year with an 88.3 scoring average … Made the Centennial Conference Spring Academic Honor Roll … Carded an 85 to finish sixth in the McDaniel Women’s Fall Invitational (9/23) … Placed second with a score of 84 at the Swarthmore Fall Invitational (9/24) … Finished in fourth place in a field of 37 at the Gettysburg Fall Invitational (9/30) … Won with a round of 81 at the Dickinson Women’s Golf Invitational (3/23) … Placed fifth at the Gettysburg Invitational (4/6 -7) with a two-day final score of 177 … Finished in 17th place at the Centennial Conference Championship (4/28-29).

Made the Centennial Conference First Team … Won the Swarthmore Invitational individual title with a score of 86 (9/24) … Shot an 85 at the Gettysburg Invitational (9/30) to finish in fifth place … Finished in fourth out of 24 competitors at the Eastern Invitational (3/26) … Won the Ursinus Women’s Invitational (4/18) with a score of 84 … Shot an 84 and finished fourth at the Centennial Conference Championship (4/28-29).

(Reprinted from Swarthmore Athletics)


Swarthmore Senior & Girls Go Golfing Alumni Amanda Beebe (Hunterdon Central, Whitehouse Station, NJ) finished 28th individually at the Centennial Conference Women's Golf Championships on Sunday, Apr. 26 at the Blue Ridge Country Club.
Beebe served as a tri-captain of the Swarthmore College men's golf team as the only female who was a part of the program. She won four tournaments in her career and was recently named to the Philadelphia Inquirer Women's At-Large Academic All-Area Team for her outstanding accomplishments on the golf course and in the classroom.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Hunterdon Central Regional High School Girls Golf Team Fourth But Not Forgotten in TOC Eight-Team Field

Three Girls Go Golfing Alumni Place in the Top 11 at the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions

Devils Place Fourth at 2015 Tournament of Champions 

at Cherry Valley Country Club, Skillman, New Jersy   

(from left: Sarah Gass, former GGGer Kaitlyn Flynn, Captain Kaitlyn Tempalsky, NJSIAA North Sectional Tournament Director & Retired Hunterdon County Democrat Sports Editor John Siipola  and former GGGer & Selfie-Photographer KatieLee--missing from photo Jennifer Delaney)


1. Ridge 314 
2. RBC 340 
3. WWP-North 359 
4. Hunterdon Central 364
5. Holmdel 376 
6. Moorestown 380 
7. Tenafly 387 
8. Holy Angels 397


1. Kelly Sim (AHA) 70; 

2. tie, Amy Gianchandani (Pingry), Allison Herring (Montgomery), Anina Ku (Ridge) 71; 

5. Yejii Shin (Old Tappan) 73; 

6. Former GGGer Allison Wentworth (Phillipsburg) 74

 7. tie, Former GGGer Megan McLean (Voorhees), EunWon Park (Tenafly) 75; 

9. tie, BrynneWiedeman (St. John Vianney), Nicole Kim (Bergen Tech) 76;

11.tie, Former GGGer Katie Lee (Hunterdon Central)MarybelleDeclan (Absegami) 77; 

13. tie, Christina Parsells (Kent Place), Erica Han (Lenape), Monica Schumacher (Ridge), Sayaka Carpenter (East Brunswick) 79; 

17. Nicole Totland (RBC) 80; 

18. tie, MehrSewant (Holmdel), Carolyn Wang (Ridge), Cassandra Lee (Wayne Hills), Ceilie Reynolds (RBC) 81; 

22. tie, YunheeKang (Ridge), Nicole Eager (South Plainfield) 83; 

24. tie, Alexandra Williams (Timber Creek), Rachel Tarnopoll (Pope John), Kirsten Ondres (Vernon), Anna Walsh (Ridge) 84

Former GGGer Wild Finishes Freshman Year at Tampa

Spartans Conclude 2014-15 Season at SSC Championships 

W. Golf: Jess Wild
SORRENTO, Fla. - The University of Tampa women's golf team finished its 2014-15 campaign with an eighth-place performance at the 2015 Sunshine State Conference Championships. The 3-round event was played at Red Tail Golf Club.

Barry University won the 2015 SSC title with a team score of 897 after rounds of 307, 304 and 286. The Bucs also had the medalist, Nicole Ferre, who shot a 215, including a tournament-best 69 in Tuesday's round.

Tampa carded a 958, registering rounds of 315, 318 and 325. Fatin Amin was 24th overall as the junior shot a 233. Amin scored 74, 75 and 84 as her 74 was the best round for UT.

Also golfing for the Spartans were Hanna Grevelius (243), Alyssa Morahan (244), Grace Marie Schian(248) and Girls Go Golfing alumnus Jess Wild (257) [Hunterdon Central, Flemington, NJ). 
In just its fourth season of women's golf, the Spartans continued their steady improvement while knocking off 43 strokes from last season's 1,001 at the SSC Championships. Previously, UT carded a 1,041 in 2013 and 1,215 in 2012.

For complete information on UT women's golf, please visit

Former GGGer on Gettysburg Women's Golf Team as Bullets Finish Strong at NCAA Division II Championship

Former GGGer & Red Devil
Nicole Petrocchi (pictured holding sign) celebrate the Bullets' finish at NCAAs

Final Results

Led by freshman Samantha Sessa's (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City) three-over 75, the Gettysburg College women's golf team lowered its score for the fourth consecutive day to clinch a 16th-place finish at the NCAA Division III Championship at the El Campeon Golf Course at the Mission Inn Golf and Tennis Resort on Friday.

Despite playing twice as many rounds as any other tournament this season, Gettysburg only seemed to get better as the national event went on. After posting a 364 on the opening day, the Bullets dropped their team score in each round, posting 357, 349, and 343, respectively, to finish with a total score of 1413. Gettysburg was the only team to post a lower score in each successive round of the NCAA Championship.   

Three players saved their best performances for the final day, including an outstanding showing by Sessa. She was one-under through the first half of the course after posting a pair of birdies on the third and seventh holes. The first-year finished four-over on the back nine on the way to the second-lowest final-round score among the 110 players in the field. The first-year jumped nine spots into a tie for 18th with a total score of 321 (82-84-80-75) and finished just three strokes shy of the top 10. Her total was the lowest score ever posted by a Centennial Conference golfer at the national championship, while her final-round tally was one shot off the lowest individual score by a Centennial player posted by McDaniel College's Kelly Cramp in 2004.

With a scoring average of 79.6 this spring, Sessa also broke the conference single-season mark of 79.89 posted by Cramp in 2005, as well as the program average of 81.6 set by Girls GO Golfing & Hunterdon Central Regional high school alumnus Kara McNulty '14 last spring.

Sophomore Sarah Hansen (Cumberland, Maine/Greely) managed Gettysburg's second-best finish, totaling 360 (90-88-91-91) to place 79th. Hansen carded a 91 for the second consecutive day, rebounding from a slow start on the front nine to finish just seven over on the back half of the course. She notched her fourth birdie of the event on the par-5, 448-yard No. 7. Hansen finished with a scoring average of 87.6 this season.

Senior Lauren Sobotka (North Caldwell, N.J./Mount St. Dominic Academy) was a model of consistency in the final round, carding 44s on both the front nine and back nine to tie her low of the tournament with an 88. She picked up her third birdie of the event on the par-3, 129-yard No. 15 hole. Sobotka climbed three spots in the individual standings to finish 83rd with a total score of 365 (95-94-88-88). A four-time All-Centennial Conference selection, Sobotka posted a scoring average of 85.6 this spring and her 87.7 career average ranks third in program history.

Junior Kate Schwartz (Laureldale, Pa./North Warren Regional (N.J.)) also turned in her best round of the event and climbed up the leaderboard. Schwartz opened with her best score on the front nine (42) before closing the day with an 89. The finish pushed her four spots in the standings into 88th with a total of 370 (97-91-93-89). Schwartz finished with a scoring average of 92.4 this season.

Another Girls Go Golfing & Red Devil alumnus Sophomore Nicole Petrocchi (Whitehouse Station, N.J./Hunterdon Central) rounded out the scoring with a 96 on Friday. Petrocchi bested her front-nine score by 10 strokes on the back half the course on the strength of four pars. She finished with a total score of 386 (97-103-90-96) to place 101st. Petrocchi logged a scoring average of 91.4 this spring.

Gettysburg, which claimed top honors in eight events and won its fifth-straight conference title, closed the year with a conference and program record scoring average of 346.7, besting its own record by 3.5 strokes. The team set a single-round record with 329 at the Dickinson College Fall Invitational, while Sessa broke the individual scoring record with a 72 in a dual with McDaniel.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Ku & Kudos at Stanton Ridge: Lyd Thoughts on NJSIAA North Jersey Girls' Golf Sectional

It feels good!

A week prior to the event the weatherman was calling for rain and thunderstorms, but it never happened. Thank you for that. It was just a perfect day!

All 10 teams showed up in time, the folks at Stanton Ridge could not have been more accommodating and the girls played some impressive golf.  And to top matters off, the on-line scoring concept worked nearly perfectly, thanks to Shawn Bennett. If you recognize his name it's because his dad is Tournament of Champions Director Dick Bennett

Did I mention Stanton Ridge? I did, but seriously, getting to play such a beautiful private venue followed by a great cookout is something to behold. Head pro Jeff Rickenbach was actually off on Tuesday, but showed up to help with the overall organization and carts (yes, we get to use as many as we needed). 

Then there’s Steve Peppe, who handled all the important matters (practice rounds, scorecards, water on ice—hey, it was hot) and just about everything involved in making the event seamless. 

General manager Jeff Miller was there to add insight and make sure everything was there that we needed. And assistant golf pro Kevin Wall took our scorecards and graciously handled all the final sheets. 

Membership Director Joanne Toth was her effervescent self when she stopped by the scoring table to say hi. I will do a better job of getting some on-course photos of golfing action next time. Thank you all.

The girls… oh yeah. What fun it is to see 50 of the best golfers in north Jersey on the Stanton Ridge golf course. I also got to reunite with some of my Girls Go Golfing alumni. 

Problems? Well, we had a few, but managed to handle things. Of course, speed of play is always an issue and we’ll be working on that this off- season—believe it.

Eight girls broke 80, with Ridge freshman Anina Ku tossing in a one-under 70. Three of the top four scores were registered by two freshmen and a sophomore. The game is in great hands!

Ridge wound up with the team title, advancing to the TOC with Hunterdon Central, Tenafly and the Holy Angels. Nice. 

Ridgewood, Bergen Tech and Northern Highlands were close behind, making it very interesting to watch the scores posted. Can anyone add four scores in their head?

My good pal Johnny added a nice touch this year, providing breakfast bagels (Clinton Bagel Company) for the coaches and volunteers. 

Volunteers? Yep, we had six adults join us to help with marshaling, scoring, etc. The fact is, we could use six more. That’s something for us to think about next year. More marshals. 

Kudos to Chrissy Ramadan, the assistant coach at Northern Valley. When one volunteer failed to show up (an email miscue there, oops), Chrissy jumped into a cart and marshaled all day long. Thank you Chrissy!

Here’s a behind the scenes note: One of our volunteers was Hilary Abramowitz, who represented the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf of Newark   We called that group, since we had accumulated a good amount of clothing for girls from Girls-Golf CEO Annie Margulis, along with shoes, hats and a brand new set of golf clubs (donated by Colonial Electric)
Clubs, Skorts & Shirts: OH, MY!
LPGA-USGA Girls Golf Director Beverly Harrison
shows-off the golf-related donations
from the Girls Go Golfing program

Hilary came down to pick up the donation and help us out as well. She and Beverly Harrison (pictured left) are the main wheels behind the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf of Newark.

As it turned out, Hilary proved to be invaluable. The on-line scoring involved having the coaches text us the scores after every hole… hmmm… that’s 10 coaches, times 18 holes, times four players… ouch! Let’s just say we were very busy at the computer. 
Girls-golf brand
clothing smorgasbord

Fortunately, Hilary was with me all day and was a fantastic help. She could be the coolest woman I’ve ever met! 

Oh yeah, my nephew Mike Leasure jumped in along with coach Brian Quirk of Ridgewood to complete the on-line scoring (while Hilary and I ate some lunch). Mike is a junior at the University of Pittsburgh and made the 3 hour round trip with Aunt Lyd & Uncle Johnny.

Thank you, Michael & Brian.

Okay, what could we do to make this even better?

Hmmm… of course, pace of play. We’re hoping to get more volunteers to shuttle the players between two or three of the holes… and emphasize the “one practice swing” concept, as well as “on-green issues”… we need to work harder on golf etiquette… and walking faster… teeing off immediately when you reach the tee, etc. These concepts need to be stressed throughout the season, not just when the players arrive at Stanton Ridge.

We’ll improve the on-line scoring system, making it easier on the marshals… we need more marshals on “trouble holes,” like #6… and we need to have a better plan when closing out the tournament and handing out the awards. We are working on increasing the overall course yardage. 

We will also look for breakfast, water  and lunch sponsors. I could go on.

Thanks again for all the help. Johnny and I love to run this event, I think you can tell.

Stay in touch, encourage more girls to try golf, and local schools to field girls golf teams (until they make their coed teams TRULY coed by having six girls and six boys on the roster--but that situation is better left for another blog) and we’ll see you next season!

Your golf & blog pal,

Coach Lyd