I am very happy and excited to be in Waterloo, Ont., this week for the inaugural Manulife Financial LPGA Classic. I grew up about 50 minutes from Waterloo. I have spent time here in both the winter and summer playing in hockey tournaments and golf tournaments.
The course is in excellent shape and looks much different than I remember it from last summer. The grandstands and scoreboards look very cool, especially the 18th hole. I'm sure the stands will be jammed packed with fans every day.
I'm told it didn't take long to get over 1,200 volunteers for the event, either. Canadians are proud to volunteer because they love golf and Southern Ontario fans are going to enjoy watching top talent from all over the world play in Waterloo. It will be nice for me to have family and friends plus members from the Brantford Golf and Country Club, the course I played on growing up, come to watch me.
I must say that it is nice to see normal-looking rough. At our last event, the Wegmans LPGA Championship at Locust Hill in Rochester, N.Y., the fairways were tight and narrow and the rough was long and challenging and it left for hardly any breathing room off the tee. I finished T62 with rounds of 77-71-78-76.
This week in Waterloo, you can let the shaft out. By this, I mean, 'Swing away, no fear!' It will all be about positioning on the greens because I figure the officials will tuck the pins on the huge greens at Grey Silo.
I'm still working on my swing, still trying to get my sequencing in order for my down swing. My hips seem to be outracing my upper body, so I'm working a lot on my tempo and my grip pressure. I want to feel the club almost come to a complete stop at the top of my swing. This should let the hips and upper body come down to impact in sync. Easier said than done, but perfect practice swings enforce the feel.
As for grip pressure, on a scale from 1 to 10, I have been about an 8. I'm working on getting it to a 4 or 5. How do I do this, you ask? By paying close attention to it at address and through the backswing. It's a feeling-and-thinking drill for the range, but when I get out onto the course, it will be all about the target.
That said, I'm very excited to get underway this week. Come out and watch us in Waterloo at Grey Silo!