Teeing off with Nicole Vandermade
On March 21, 2013, the Tee To Table team played in the Florida's Natural Charity Classic ProAm.
Nicole Vandermade, a first year tour professional, was picked to play with Tee To Table team.
Nicole displayed a great deal of patience while playing with us "out of season golfers" that day and did a great job in carrying us through a majority of the day.
The 2013 season is Nicole's first full season the Symetra Tour after graduating from the University of Texas in 2012 with a degree in Kinesiology.
As a former Texas Longhorn golfer, one of my first questions was if she knew Jordan Spieth, another Texas Longhorn golfer making his way in the PGA this year.
Nicole had some great things to say about Jordan and wished him well in the PGA.
Nicole spends her time in the Orlando area throughout the year and finds time to visit home in Canada when she can.
She has found that the Orlando area is the place to train and spend time with Sean Foley working on her game when she can.
After getting to know Nicole throughout the day, I believe she will be one to watch throughout the season and in the future.
Some interesting statistics:
- Winner of four events on the amateur circuit.
- Competed twice in the LPGA CN Canadian Women's Open (2009, 2011).
- Competed in the 2010 U.S. Women's Open Championship.
- Competed in three British Amateur Championships (2009-2011).
- Recorded seven top-10 finishes in collegiate play while at the University of Texas.
- Finished tied for 10th at the 2009 Big 12 Women's Golf Championship.
- Named to the 2009 Big 12 Women's Golf Championship All-Tournament Team.
- Winner of the 2011 Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational.
Florida's Natural Charity Classic: 13T
VistaMesa.com Gateway Classic: 30T
Current Ranking Money List: 21
Tee Time with Nicole:
Deanna: Describe what it was like playing college golf and how has it prepared you for today?
Nicole: Playing college golf was an absolute blast. I would not trade the experiences, friendships, and lessons learned during that time for anything in the world. Coming from a small town in Canada, living in a big city Austin, TX was quite a change for me.
I was introduced to Mexican food (which is now a staple in my diet- don't know how I lived without it) and also had to learn how to minimize my road rage during rush hour traffic (I used to think heavy traffic was when it took an extra 5 minutes to get across town).
I grew up playing several different team sports, so playing team golf in college was a very natural feeling for me.
I had a great time with all of my team mates and have so many great memories.
Winning with Big 12 championship my junior year was probably the biggest highlight. However, being a collegiate athlete is about so much more than just playing your sport. It is about time management, self-growth, learning how to deal with people, how to keep yourself healthy, among other things.
The skills I learned while in college have really helped me since I turned pro.
Deanna: What are your short term goals?
-Maintain an under par scoring average
-Win multiple Symetra Tour events in 2013
-Win Symetra Tour money list
-Gain full status on LPGA Tour for 2014 season
-Play in the CN Canadian Women's Open or Manulife Classic in 2013
Deanna: What is your favorite food? Of course, I have to bring the food element in.
Nicole: I have always been a lover of food, so it is really hard for me to narrow down what I would say my favorite food
would actually be.
My favorite types of food are Italian, Mexican, and Thai.
My favorite dishes are veal picatta, chicken fajitas, and Pad Thai.
Deanna: How do you believe woman's golf has changed?
Nicole: I think that women are more competitive and are driven to be the best. A big change in women's golf and women's athletics in general came when Title IX was introduced (equal funding for both men's and women's sports in college). This was a huge deal for women's athletics because it forced many schools to start up women's sports teams.
This gave more women the opportunity to pursue their athletic career after high school and was instrumental in helping women's athletics get to the point it is today.
Deanna: What's your day-to-day life like during the season? How is it different during the off-season?
Nicole: During the season day-to-day life is pretty structured.
The week starts by driving to the city where ever the tournament happens to be that week and check in with the host family I am staying with. The next couple days I am busy playing the golf course, getting used to the course conditions, and making final tune ups in my game. There is usually a pro-am and dinner one night of the week as well. Once the tournament rounds come I trust the work I have put into my game and try to just go out there and play.
When I am not in tournaments I spend most of my time at my home course working on my game.
This could mean playing some competitive matches against my friends to simulate the pressures of tournament golf, or dropping a few balls in the trees to practice shot making, or keeping the driver in the bag to work on my longer irons and getting comfortable hitting my 3 wood and hybrid off the tee.
When I do head to the practice range, I spend the most amount of time working on fundamentals like alignment, posture, and ball position.
This fall has really been my "first true off season", as previous years I was in school and never really had an "off season."
This past fall, I looked back at the year and spoke with my coach about what I struggled most with and what I need to improve on to come back as a more complete player. After doing this review, I developed a game plan to follow. I spent most of my time working on technique and mechanics with my coach and making the changes feel natural. This means I spent most of my time practicing, and not a whole lot playing.
I also spent 4-5 days a week in the gym working to improve my fitness. I also had the opportunity to play some pick-up basketball, tennis and got together with some friends that I normally would not have time to see.
Deanna: What is your favorite course to play?
Nicole: My home course Brantford Golf and Country Club and Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland are tied for my favorite courses.
Deanna: What golf tips do you have for ladies of all playing levels?
Nicole: Have fun.
Try spending a little time on the practice range.
Set small goals for yourself (like make a certain amount of birdies a round, or hit a certain number of greens) and focus on reaching those goals. Once you attain the goals, keep setting new ones.
Golf is about challenging yourself and having fun while doing it!
|PERFORMANCE STATS||YEAR TO DATE||RANKING|
|Official Money List||$2,828.00||21|
|Average Driving Distance||276.500||3|
|Greens in Regulation||75%||5|
|Putts per GIR||0.544||116|
|Rounds Under Par||2||17|
Keep following Nicole and the other great ladies of the Symetra Tour – Road to the LPGA.
Deanna Alfredo is the owner/founder of TeeToTable, Inc. Her focus is today's ladies' golf and how lady golfers are more prolific than ever. Her site www.TeeToTable.comfocuses on golf, travel golf, her creative outlet of cooking and teaching others helpful hints. Join her this year on ClickonDetroit as she ventures through her golf season and much, much more.
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