What was the agenda for the weekend?
It was pretty
straightforward. We wanted to have the players compete in foursomes and
four-ball with a variety of other players and to gather as much information as
possible. Since this was the first time either Liz (Carl, the team manager) or I
had been a part of a practice session, we didn’t know what to expect. But for
the most part, all went according to plan. We had a couple of unforeseen
situations, but like Jack (Burke) told us – you just have to “play through
I had asked the
players to do some assessing of their mental games and to read one of my
favorite books on mental toughness, "10-Minute Toughness" by Jason Selk. They all pulled through and did a great job
completing their homework. There were a couple of things on my agenda that
didn’t get covered, so those items will have to wait until the team is
What was your biggest takeaway from the session?
I took away some
good information about the players on and off the course. I learned about their
styles of play and their demeanors. I left knowing that there are some
match-play strategies that I want to work on when the team is selected. We
didn’t have as much time to talk about these as I would have liked. I left
knowing that whichever players the Committee selects will be fierce competitors
and friendly ones as well. I left wishing that I could captain 14 players.
What do you hope the players took away from the
I hope they took
away a few more reasons why golf is the greatest game ever played. Foursomes
and four-ball are such a blast to play and I think the girls thoroughly enjoyed
themselves – some more than others on our rainy, cold last day! Of course, I
hope they took away a sense of excitement about possibly making the Curtis Cup
Team and what it is going to take to be their best in June. I hope they took
away a lifetime of memories from being with 14 champions at Champions.
Why was Champions Golf Club selected as the host site?
Jack’s wife) is a good friend of mine and when I was asked who I thought might
be willing to host us, she was the first person who came to mind. It was
important to me that we go to a club that would welcome us and work with us to
accomplish all of the goals for the practice session.
Suffice it to say,
Champions Golf Club went above and beyond. They provided us with complete
access to a great golf course, first-class accommodations, food and some
off-the-chart entertainment. It doesn’t get any better than having a five-time
Ryder Cup player and former captain talk to the players about how to be
successful. Robin played on the 1998 Curtis Cup Team and shared some of her
thoughts as well.
What did you learn that you will use at the Match in
Once the team is selected, I would like to talk more openly
to the players about possible pairings for our team. I see so many great
possibilities, but I want them to be a part of the process. I hope I learned a
little bit about each player so that I can be a source of support and
encouragement to them as they prepare for the matches and when they get to St.
Louis. I think they are going to make my job really easy.
You’ve talked about
your biggest takeaway. What was the most fun moment for you this weekend?
There wasn’t just one. Every aspect of the weekend was fun
for me. As the captain of the future team, there is nothing better than
watching 14 of the best American golfers playing meaningful rounds of golf. I
loved seeing them lined up on the range warming up. I loved seeing them walk
down the fairway. I loved watching them hit every shot and try to handle the
speedy and difficult greens. And of course, being around Jack and Robin was
extremely special for all of us. He gave all the players a signed copy of his
book, "It's Only a Game: Words of Wisdom From a Lifetime in Golf," which is a gem.