Jan 24, 2023

T-Time Podcast // Ep. 6: Match Play Championship or Bust!

golf tips and tricks on the course podcast

Recap of the Arizona State Match Play Championship

Today on the podcast, Tori is joined by three of her favorite guests: Marci DuBois, Shannon Shaw, and Gary, Shannon's husband. They will discuss their recent experience at the Arizona State Match Play Championship at Aguila. The group will delve into the nuances of match play and their personal experiences at the tournament.

The Aguila Golf Course

Aguila Golf Course in Laveen, Arizona, USA | GolfPass

The Aguila Golf Course, located in Phoenix, is a true gem among the many options for golfing in Phoenix. With so many choices, finding a course in great condition that offers a fun and memorable experience can be overwhelming. But Aguila manages to do just that. This city course is in fantastic shape and a blast to play, making it a must-play for golfers in the area.

What makes Aguila even more special is that it's a great value compared to some of the more expensive options in the area. Many golfers may overlook Aguila in favor of a more well-known, expensive course, but they miss out on a great experience. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a casual golfer, the Aguila Golf Course offers a challenge and a great time. It's a sleeper course that should not be missed, and it's definitely worth checking out if you're looking for a great round of golf in Phoenix.

The Arizona State Match Play Championship

The Arizona State Match Play Championship is a tournament that utilizes match play format. Instead of competing based on total strokes, players compete against each other in individual matches. Due to the format, two games were combined into one tee time. This means that two pairs of players, such as Tori and Shannon, and Karine and Christine, were playing against each other at the same time. The players had little to no communication as they progressed through the holes.

A few holes into the game, the players discovered they were playing on a course just over 6,000 yards, significantly changing from what they were used to. They were surprised to find that the tournament organizers had placed them that far back on the course. Usually, they are used to playing on courses that were around 5,500 to 5,600 yards. This was a big challenge for them as the longer course required them to hit the ball farther than they were used to.

Marci's First Round

Marci played against Robin in the tournament, with whom she had never played golf. Robin was a great player, and Marci found it hard to believe she had never played with her. She also played against Molly, Sue, and Lee. Though she had played with Sue before, she had never played with Lee. She had heard that Lee was a dominant player, and it was exciting to play against her finally. The game was very competitive but more chatty than usual as they rode in the same cart. Marci beat Robin and then played against Lee. Though she lost the match, it was fun to watch them play. it provided her with some insight into her opponents. Marci enjoyed the match-play format as it allows for recovery from a bad hole. As long as there are holes left, you always have a chance.

MidAm Qualifier

The MidAm Qualifier is a highly competitive one-day event that offers a select group of women the opportunity to qualify for the prestigious USGA Championship. Despite its prestige, the event has a relatively low participation rate. This is likely due to various factors such as the demands of raising children, working, and ex-college players who no longer have the skill level to compete at this level. The tournament is typically held at the Maribel course. Competitors will play against a field of 10-12 other women for only two spots in the USGA Championship. The competition can be highly unpredictable. A score of 76 is sometimes enough to qualify, but a score of 79 could also secure a spot. Those who qualify for the USGA Championship describe the experience as unbelievable and incredible, stating that it is not just a glorified club championship but a truly elite-level competition.

Shannon’s Personal Trainer

Shannon has a TPI fitness instructor in Idaho to help improve her golf game and increase her distance. She mentions that she loves to work out but doesn't have a routine at the gym. She benefits from someone walking her through different exercises. She previously did a lot of yoga, but it wasn't helping her golf game. When she returned to Phoenix, she looked for a similar TPI instructor and found Andrew, who she recognized from the Desert Classic and begged to take her on as a client. The TPI program is focused on injury prevention, increasing distance, and strengthening her core. She spent most of her gym time working on her core.

How Gary Helped Shannon on the Course

Shannon felt nervous playing in a golf tournament because the other players were quiet. The next day, Shannon played in the consolation bracket against Christine, who was also a quiet player. She knew Christine would not talk during the game and was not feeling well. She was worried about walking 18 holes alone without anyone to talk to and was concerned that she would end up texting someone the whole time. To solve this problem, Shannon brought Gary to caddy for them and kept them company. Additionally, having Gary caddy for them would be helpful in bigger tournaments.

Shannon, Marci, and Tori all had a great time competing in the Arizona State Match Play Championship. They found the match-play format thrilling, with each hole feeling like a high-stakes battle. They also enjoyed the camaraderie among the players and the pressure to perform in a head-to-head match. They all agreed that the tournament was a great experience, and they were already looking forward to competing again next year.


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