Ups and downs I wouldn’t trade for anything
THE END OF THE LAST YEAR was hectic and took its toll, which was the Ladies European Tour Qualifying School. In the end, I chose not to take part in the competition. In fact, right after the LPGA Tour qualifiers, I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle it physically and given my schedule, and there was a lot of other factors that contributed to my decision to stay in the United States. I have gotten set up here over time and coming back could prove too difficult. I’ve been staying in the US for four years now and I have gotten very used to the local lifestyle. It took me a while to adjust, but today I feel very comfortable around here. I am glad that I made this decision and now I can try to quickly return to the top women’s competition.
I am far from saying that the Epson Tour (formerly Symetra) is a second-rate tour or that it’s easy to succeed there. There are usually a lot of great players in the starting field and the competition is tough. Fortunately, I know the course where the first tournaments are played very well from the Symetra tour, and the others will be similar. You could say that the courses on both tours are very similar, so they are definitely not easier now than when I played there in the last three years. It’s always nice to know a little bit about what you’re getting into, but learning something new is always a challenge.
There are over twenty tournaments on the Epson Tour and the season ends in early October. It’s a bit shorter than the LPGA Tour, which ends in December. The tournaments follow each other in quick succession and most of them are held in summer. We’ll see how I’ll manage to stuff them all in my schedule, but I’d like to play most of them. But don’t worry, I’m also going to Prague – partly for my partners and partly to attend several charity tournaments, which I like best and also help to organize. At the moment, I plan to come home at the end of April, so that I could return to the US for the most demanding summer part of the tour.
I am also keeping in touch with Luboš Koželuh, and my wish is to play at the Ladies European Tour in Beroun because of the fans, but it is not 100% yet. We’ll see how I’m doing in America and if I will have the luxury of skipping some of the tournaments.
Europe has been getting more and more similar to the American calendar. I’ve seen the tournament schedule and there are really a lot of events again on it. There is plenty of new ones that are interesting. But I decided to stay in Florida. Even though it’s more expensive here, I have great conditions in Florida that allow me to train all year round. Sarasota, unlike California, is still financially manageable. But it’s a completely different level on the west coast.
A lot of people are now asking me about Sára Kousková. I am very happy for her success and the fact that she got into the top 30 amateurs for Augusta means a lot to Czech golf. After all, just playing on the course where the Masters is played is every golfer’s dream. 🙂
I already wrote to her last year after her success in Konopiště and Beroun and offered to help her with anything she needs. I remember well how the advice and experience of Zuzana Kamasová helped me twelve years ago. I want to do the same for Sára and other Czech and Slovak golf players who come to America.
I’m also getting questions about the new Netflix series. Many people will be probably surprised that our life is not a bed of roses as they might have thought. Some people still think that we just live in luxury hotels and make a living by strolling through green parks. Yes, it’s a bit of exaggeration, 🙂 but people in general don’t really get a full picture of what life on tour truly looks like. It’s a nomadic life with a lot of uncertainty. We stay somewhere for a week and then just pack up and move on. The season is very long and you often run out of energy, so it’s crucial to find balance in everything. It’s different when you’re new or have been playing on the tour for three or ten years. I see it on myself. There’s not much time to relax or have fun, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. And if someone followed me everywhere, I mean a film crew, I probably wouldn’t mind.
Golf should generally be more open to people. Most of us are just ordinary people who simply do what they enjoy and try and make their dreams come true. The money is fine, but after those twelve years in golf, I already know it’s all ups and downs. There are good years and there are bad years. So I’m grateful for the few good ones… And for the bad ones too, even though they are much harder.
So that’s it from me from Florida. See you next month and on some tournament in the Czech Republic. – WITH MONIKA TAUCHEN
The article was published in GOLF DIGEST C&S magazine on Thursday, March 24, 2022