The U.S. Women’s Amateur is half over, and there are some things I have observed throughout the week. Some have been good, some not so much:
- Enough caddying already. Several players in this field are receiving way too much “coaching” from caddies this week. I know some are dads who want to make sure their daughters do well, but let your girls play. Every shot caddies/dads are stepping behind their player checking their line, lining up putts and making their player overthink. Let the girls go out and play. If they have a question, let them ask it; otherwise, I think their confidence level is somewhat questionable.
- Heat wave. It is so hot in Charlotte that a few of the courses in the area have been forced to close due to poor course conditions. The course at Charlotte Country Club is in great condition despite the heat, and the USGA is doing something great for players. Today, USGA officials were carrying ice buckets with cold towels in it. On each tee box there is ample water and Powerade, but the iced towels are a nice touch.
- Small crowds. Perhaps the heat is keeping fans away, or that local favorite Cydney Clanton was ousted in the Round of 32. But this is the U.S. Women’s Amateur, and crowds have been somewhat disappointing. Hopefully over the weekend we will have a great turnout. As for now, the only fans out there seem to be parents or volunteers.
- Tough rough. When players walk up and spot their ball in the rough, the look on their faces say it all. Players that hit fairways are being rewarded, and those that miss have to scramble for par or settle for a bogey. Several players are hitting 3-wood off the tee to be more accurate, and it’s a play that works out more often than an errant tee shot. When players play out of the rough, they are taking their medicine. There hasn’t been too many women trying to do the impossible. Instead, they accept their mistake and are chipping out.
- Bring an umbrella. The weather report for the quarterfinals indicates it will be a wet one. Isolated thunderstorms are expected to roll through the Charlotte area. This could be a blessing in disguise for players. On one hand, the greens will soften up and the weather will cool off. On the other hand, though, a stoppage in play can really effect some players’ rhythm. Whatever you do, bring an umbrella and the SPF 50!