Janie Carpenter: The Women’s Southern Golf Association is involving the 15 southern states and Washington, D.C. LPGA Tour stars Lexi Thompson and Stacy Lewis have been past winners. Some of them will also continue to become LPGA professionals. It gives them really excellent experience with the competition level that we have. This year is probably one of our stronger fields with all the positive handicaps, and it gives them some experience in the match play.
Eric Morgan: This tournament’s been in the works for about three years. Myrna Robinson, one of our longtime members, served as past president for the Women’s Southern Golf Association. As soon as I got here, probably five years ago, Myrna and I started discussing it a little bit and then she said, well, do you think we can host it, and I said, “Absolutely, we can host it.”
In the meantime, we’ve put new greens on the golf course. We’ve done a lot of golf course work that has just really brought us way above par of golf courses in terrific shape. We’ve built a new clubhouse, which really you can see all this out here from the clubhouse. So, we really have the infrastructure to host a tournament to this level.
What it means to Lockwood Folly, just having this caliber of talent here … Our whole community, all the residents in the community as well as outside of our gates, have really embraced this and are excited about what talent this has brought to us here a Lockwood Folly. We’re just so happy for having these players here in our community.
We’ve got a little slice of heaven here. A lot of the players here, they’re very pleased with the golf course. It’s in great shape. It’s tough, but it’s fair. A lot of the players have enjoyed playing it so far. It’s not one of these open courses where you just grip it and rip it, which a lot of these girls can, but it’s a shot maker’s course. And so, they’ve really got to do some thinking on it.
In the amateur division (Monday), we had two 69’s and a 71, so three girls broke par, and I had a lot to do with the course set up. It wasn’t easy. I tell you that now, but just with the way the conditions of the course and the conditions of our facility, all the parents, the coaches, and players that are here have enjoyed being here.
Rachel Kuehn: The course is set up really nice. It doesn’t play very long on the scorecard, but it’s playing kind of long because you can’t hit many drivers off the tee. You have a lot of layup from water, layup from bunkers, doglegs, so you end up having a lot of long irons. I typically hit my long irons pretty straight, so I kind of have an advantage I think in that sense.
Susan West: This is a shot maker’s course. You got to put the ball in the fairway. There’s a lot of trouble. There are a lot of hazards. There’s a lot of water. There’s a lot of bunkers. I mean, it’s a shot maker’s course, so you have to have a strategic game plan. To me, when you’re tempted to do something different, you have to force yourself to stick with your game plan. So, it might not hit driver a lot at all, and you’re tempted to do it, but you got to stick to your game plan.
Rachel Kuehn: You don’t get to play many match play tournaments, so it’ always fun and exciting. It’s a different style of play, and then you really have the best players from the entire southeast. You can definitely be a lot more aggressive in match play because bogeying one hole counts the same as tripling a hole. It’s a different style of play because you can shoot for the pins and you really base how you play off how your competitor’s playing. It’s kind of fun.
Susan West: Oh, I’ll tell you. Lockwood Folly folks have gone above and beyond. They’ve really outdone themselves. The player experience has been over the moon, really off the charts. They’ve done such a great job. We know we go to different golf courses and you don’t know what you’re going to get when you get to the golf course, but I think as a player, it’s the player experience and these members in this community have really come out and made our player experience just fantastic, and we’re very appreciative.