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Thoughout the 2010 spring season, Therese Hession, in her 19th year as head coach of the Ohio State women’s golf team, will bring fans inside the ropes with team and tournament insight through her blog “On Course.” Stay tuned throughout the season as the Buckeyes compete for a Big Ten championship and make a run for their 16th-consecutive NCAA Regional appearance.

April 16: A Round With Rosie

Our spring has been full of some very fine and steady golf, but one day that has been very memorable was our round of golf at Ansley Golf Club in Atlanta over spring break. Rosie Jones, who is an OSU Hall of Fame member, teed it up with the Buckeyes and shared with our team many stories and lessons from her Ohio State days, her LPGA tour days, and about her anticipation of leading the U.S. team in the next Solheim Cup in 2011!

After our round she even fixed a home cooked meal for the Lady Bucks at her beautiful home in suburban Atlanta. Looks like a little Buckeye grit resulted in quite a trophy collection as well as a fabulous home!

 The Buckeyes with 2011 U.S. Solheim Cup captain Rosie Jones.

February 28: Happy Birthday, Rachel!

Well, we have traveled to Valdosta, Georgia, and are teeing it up today at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club. It is also a special day for one our players. It is Rachel Rohanna’s 19th birthday, and Rachel will celebrate by playing 36 holes on her special day. Teammates Emma Jandel and In Hong Lim have prepared a special ‘birthday cake’. Rachel keeps a pretty strict diet so she will not have a regular birthday cake. Here you can see her with her carrot, celery, and peanut butter cake! The celebration also featured a van full of birthday balloons to welcome her for her trip to the course. Happy Birthday to Rachel – we hope she has a memorable 19th!

February 20: Teaching moments

We have another exciting event coming up this week. We are in Parrish, Fla., for the Central District Invitational. There are many fine teams here and once again this will be a great test for us!

As a coach I am very excited to teach our players many new things. A lot of these teaching moments have nothing to do with golf. Each winter we conduct a few speakers/activities for good life lessons. This week Lauren Dubas, a former collegiate golfer herself at the University of Notre Dame, spoke to our team about sun protection and taking care of your skin. I really want the team to understand how important this is so they have nice healthy skin long after their golf careers are finished.

We also participated in a test kitchen so the team could learn some good healthy recipes and how easy they are to prepare. In the past we have had bankers teach about making budgets and saving money, servicemen about how to change a car tire, check oil, and jump start a battery. We have also been fortunate to have LPGA Hall of Famer Betsy King and Alice Miller a multiple major winner on tour speak about their tour experiences. Next up will be a quick lesson in self protection. Don’t mess with the Buckeyes!  

Lauren Dubas (center) with the Buckeyes. Lauren is a resident of the
University of Cincinnati Medical School and former Notre Dame collegiate
golfer from Columbus, Ohio.

February 14: Back to Columbus with some hardware!

Wow, what a week in LA! We managed to dodge several storms, but completed our tournament right on time with near perfect weather in the final round. Our trip up to Wilshire Country Club by the famous Hollywood sign was cancelled due to all the rain, but we were able to play a great little seaside course not far away. 

We were having a great day until a player from the group behind us hit a shot and it landed right on the head of one of our freshmen, Susana. Poor thing dropped to the ground, but shook it off like a real trooper.  She walked another 6 holes with an ice bag on her head. Sunday we played 9 holes of a College-Am event with the great folks at Northrop Grumman and completed the rest of the course on our own. Then I had to witness my Indianapolis Colts losing the Super Bowl. Our team knew the best medicine for me – a top finish in the upcoming event.

We teed off day one with two very fine teams, Arizona State and Wake Forest. We opened with a 300 which left us in the middle of the pack. The second day the Lady Buckeyes stepped up their game and shot 297. We were fortunate to complete this round as we had a rain delay with one only hole to go. After an hour break we headed back out to complete our last hole and after 15 minutes the rain began again. We barely finished thanks to the help of several squeegee’s from the nearby tennis courts and a fabulous greens crew. 

The final round we shot 300 again and were in a tight battle for third all day with six teams. One second we were in third the next second we would be seventh! I know I sprouted a few gray hairs, but when it was all completed we edged out all the teams we were battling for the day. We were able to get changed and headed down by the beach for sunset and a nice dinner before boarding our flight home. Our week was a great start for the Lady Buckeyes to the spring season.

 

 February 5: Off to La La Land

The Lady Buckeyes are flying out to tee it up at an awesome venue just south of Los Angeles in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. This will be our 15th year to run this first-class event in southern California. The view from the 4th tee is my favorite in all of college golf – look to the left and you see the Pacific Ocean, look to the right and you see snow covered mountains, and then hit your tee shot on this 200-yard par 3!

I will spend the next 24 hours preparing for the event, checking in with our generous sponsor Northrop Grumman, making final hotel arrangements, setting pin placements, marking ground under repair and setting the tee markers. After all duties are completed, I will head to the airport to pick up my assistant coach Amy and my whole team! This is another special treat for me to see all of them play.  This only happens once a year per NCAA rules at an event off your home campus. The team will enjoy this opportunity to compete, work on their tans and make a few birdies at the same time.

Saturday we will head to Wilshire Country Club and tee it up near the ‘Hollywood’ sign. You never know who you will see golfing in the next fairway. Lots of Hollywood celebrities like to play golf. Sunday will be a College-Am day with all the teams, our sponsors, and of course many members who graciously give up their course for us to compete. And as soon as we finish I will be running to watch my Colts in the Super Bowl in between filling my plate with the best food of the year at our fabulous dinner which follows play.

The competition will begin Monday morning and run through Wednesday. You can follow us online with live scoring on www.golfstat.com and click on the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge. Many thanks go to two of my college teammates. The first is Cathy Marino who was a member of Palos Verdes growing up. She invited me to her club 16 years ago while we were both coaching and who would have ever guessed what our little outing would grow into! Also another teammate will be coming to assist me this year, Debbie Hall Friede. She was a freshman on our 1979 National Championship team. College golf does help you make friends for life! 

 February 3: Taking on the pros

Wow what a weekend in Florida! The Lady Buckeyes had a great day of practice on Saturday and an awesome seafood dinner Saturday night. Sunday morning brought the main event – the first alumni match! It is a real honor to get to tee it up with six LPGA players.

Sophomore Nara Shin and freshman Rachel Rohanna took on Stacy Lewis and Meaghan Francella. The young Buckeyes shot 2 under for their best ball in their first six holes and lost the match by one shot. Boy the pros are good! The next six holes were alternate shot and once again the Bucks lost a point. In the individual matches we lost two more points head-to-head so after group one we were 0-4!

The second group featured junior In Hong Lim and freshman Susana Benavides against former Buckeyes Allison Hanna and Lisa Strom. These matches were very close and gave the current Buckeyes some hope to steal the show. The best ball match and the alternate shot were halved and In Hong was able to sneak by Allison so we won two points and lost two making the score 2-6.

In the final group, senior captain Emma Jandel and sophomore Vicky Villanueva took on two Hall of Famers in Meg Mallon and Beth Daniel. Vicky sunk a 50-foot putt on No. 6 to steal the point for best ball, but the Hall of Famers came back and got one back on the second six holes to seal the Alumni win. The individual matches were split with Vicky dropping to Beth after five holes and Emma sinking a 7-foot putt on No. 18 to steal a point from the two-time U.S. Open Champion! That will be a memory Emma will cherish. The final score was 8-4 with the alumni prevailing.

It was unanimous – we have to do it again! Revenge is in the air.

 The whole group — current Buckeyes with the LPGA pros

 

(L-R): Allison Hanna, Susana Benavides, In Hong Lim, Lisa Strom

(L-R): Meg Mallon, Vicky Villanueva, Emma Jandel, Beth Daniel

(L-R): Meaghan Francella, Rachel Rohanna, Nara Shin, Stacy Lewis

 January 27: Going to Florida … like the Colts!

Well my hometown favorite Indianapolis Colts of the NFL brought home a big win on Sunday and are headed to south Florida for the upcoming Super Bowl. 

The Lady Buckeyes are doing the same one weekend earlier to open the season facing six current LPGA professionals including former Buckeyes Meg Mallon, Lisa Strom, and Allison Hanna. After three weeks of focusing on fundamentals, we are excited about the challenge of facing these ladies head to head, in best ball, and also alternate shot formats.

We will have one day of practice Saturday and then tee it up in our first Ohio State Alumnae match this coming Sunday. I am excited to coach the Alumnae team, and my assistant coach, Amy Miller, will coach our current team. The alumni team better come out on top or I may be facing a 6 a.m. workout next Monday! Stay tuned …