A weekend in Manhattan — Interview with Liz Breed — Must-click women’s golf links
The IX: Golf Thursday with Addie Parker, May 26, 2022
We meet again on another Golf Thursday with so much to discuss, including my trip to Manhattan, but before we get started I’d like to take a moment and share my deepest condolences to the families of the victims involved in the Ulvade, Texas shooting. Our editor and founder Howard Megdal described how I imagine every parent maybe feeling at the moment in yesterday’s post. There’s nothing more for me to say other than the fact that we cannot allow this to happen again. Schools should be a safe haven for our children and we must do everything in our power to protect them from the monsters with guns and the monsters that enable them to buy guns.
Now…to switch gears entirely let’s talk about New York City.
Last Thursday morning, I spent six and a half hours on a train headed for the Big Apple, and I spent the entire time talking to another girl about everything under the sun. I learned about the time she spent living in Switzerland, she confided in me about her roommate drama, we talked all things Ted Lasso, and most importantly she told me about her ambitions to become a journalist.
As we exited the train into the insanity that is Penn Station, an older woman sitting in front of us complimented us on our friendship, saying that she had never heard such a wonderful conversation between two friends. In this moment I realized that I didn’t even know the girl’s name. We of course exchanged names and numbers and promised to stay in touch. I knew then, that my weekend in New York was going to be another incredible one.
And it was.
On Saturday afternoon temperatures had climbed to 93 sweltering degrees and I stupidly boarded the wrong subway thinking that I was headed to Brooklyn and yet I ended up in Hudson Yards. What seemed like the biggest mistake ended up being exactly what I needed. I walked around aimlessly, completely defeated over my failed attempt of acting like a “local”, but then I found myself at a bar right next to the Vessel. I sat down, ordered a cocktail and just people watched for a while. Eventually two couples took the spots next to me and altered the course of my day.
The kind lady to my left complimented me on my outfit and asked what I was drinking. I recommended that she ordered the frozen margarita because it truly was one of the best I’ve ever had. We ordered are drinks and dove into random small talk. After a couple of minutes we landed on the subject of golf. After a few more minutes she pieced together the puzzle and recognized me as “Gavin’s sister”, the guy from TikTok.
It was a crazy coincidence that felt like fate. Of all the people I could sit next to at a random bar in New York City, here’s this woman with her husband, brother and sister-in-law saying that they recognize me from my brother’s social media.
I never made it to Brooklyn on Saturday, instead I sat at that bar for hours talking to strangers as if they were old friends.
Eventually I left the bar and my new friends and made my way down to the Chelsea Pier — where there is a massive driving range overlooking the Hudson.
My only experience with “New York golf” was playing out on Long Island at Sebonack Golf Club — where the 2013 U.S. Women’s Open was held, but that’s another story for another day.
Ultimately, meeting my new friends, discussing golf, and then seeing one of the golf hotspots in the city made me realize that this game, at its core, is about people. As a child, I learned how to introduce myself, make eye contact, and shake hands at my local First Tee. That blossomed into me being able to hold a conversation with just about anyone who would listen. Golf has taken me around the world, meeting people who, too, love it just as much as me. That golf bug we all know so well, empowered the development of a massive driving range in addition to over a dozen municipal golf courses in the concrete jungle. Their development never would have happened without the desire of wanting them there.
Over the last two years, we’ve seen a burst of new golfers picking up clubs for the first time and falling in love with our game. Having a thriving community of golfers, playing mainly on municipal courses, where attire doesn’t matter as much, and having the latest and greatest equipment isn’t a priority in the city that thrives on the diversity from borough to borough — is the future.
New York is where I feel like I can thrive. The city energizes me and I hope to one day (sooner rather than later) move into a little shoe box apartment, eat way too much take out, and adapt into a place that could chew me in and spit me out. A large part of what’s keeping me in Virginia is the community of golfers I’ve built around myself. Friends, family, students, they are so hard to leave but seeing what kind of space New York has cultivated for golfers is all too enticing. To learn more about this community and where to play my Five at The IX interviewee, Liz Breed, tells us about some hidden gems…don’t miss it!!!
If you came here for NCAA updates, I got you covered in the links. Thanks for letting me rant a little — see you all next week!
“Give me such shows — give me the streets of Manhattan!”— Walt Whitman
This week in women’s golf
If you have links you wish to share for Golf Thursday, sources for golf news, or want to talk about anything at all, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org ! Discussion of any kind is always welcome…I mean it…MESSAGE ME!
The biggest story vibrating through social media this week is the article written by tour player Alison Lee, where she shares her struggles about this “unforgiving game”. The story went live this week as a part of the LPGA.com initiative “Reflections” as a way to share more personal stories of the players for fans and sponsors to get to know them.
“People don’t see that side of golf. They don’t see the anxiety, the mental anguish on both the women’s and men’s tours. The pressures that are set on us by ourselves and society.” It’s a vulnerable piece that will resonate with so many people in and outside of golf. If you haven’t read it yet…please do so!
This is a glorious week for match play lovers. Between the NCAA national championship and this week’s event, we have been spoiled. Round one matches were completed yesterday but there’s plenty more golf to be played and I’m interested to see who ends up on top. Stay up to date with the leaderboard and everything in between.
Two decades after Annika played Colonial, LPGA pros ponder taking on the men again…”Only one woman has made a cut in a PGA Tour event, and that happened before the LPGA had officially formed. Babe Didrikson Zaharias, who first played in a PGA Tour event at the 1935 Cascades Open, made three 36-hole cuts in 1945: first at the Los Angeles Open (a third-round 81 kept her from making the field for the final 18 holes), a 33rd place at the Phoenix Open and 42nd at the Tucson Open.”
The stars of the LET are ready to light up the 26th edition of the Ladies Italian Open presented by Regione Piemonte, scheduled from June 2-4 at the Margara Golf Club in Fubine Monferrato which will host the competition for the second consecutive year.
Epson Tour News
The Epson Tour is in Florida this week for the Inova Mission Inn Resort and Club Championship. Catch all updates here.
Okay now here’s where things get CRAZY. This could be it’s own Golf Thursday feature but we’re going to break down all things NCAA national championship right here, right now…ready?
To kick things off, let’s start with the individual title…Stanford’s Rose Zhang. Zhang has had a dominant first year, being the #1 ranked college player in the nation. Not only did she win the natty, and player of the year, but she’s also the recipient of the ANNIKA Award.
She’s undoubtedly the best amateur in the world and her success story is just beginning…
If you’re curious, check out the full leaderboard for the individual title.
Now on to the real drama — the team title.
One of the biggest stories to come from this year’s national title run has been San Jose State. Their appearance at Grayhawk wasn’t surprising, if you’ve been paying attention, they’ve been one of the hottest teams all season long. They were the ONLY non-Power Five school at the natty and Bay-Area neighbors to Stanford, but the competition is friendly! Beth Ann Nichols breaks down their resurgence to glory and how the team prepared for this week.
Day one took many victims, with winds reaching up to 20 mph…and lots and lots of bogeys. But day two also saw its fair share of devastation. Arizona State’s Calynne Rosholt and Alabama’s Isabella van der Biest hit each other’s balls on hole 17, resulting in some double-bogeys.
But ultimately it came down to eight teams in the quarterfinals: No. 1 Stanford vs. No. 8 Georgia, No. 4 UCLA vs. No. 5 Auburn, No. 3 Texas A&M vs. No. 6 Florida State, and rounding out the top eight No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 7 San Jose State. View the match ups here, and the results here.
Semifinals followed the same day, where is was Stanford vs. Auburn, and Oregon vs. Texas A&M.
Ultimately the top two ranked teams beat out their opponents for a historic national title showdown.
“I’m incredibly excited to have this opportunity. It’s not easy to get this far, so as a coach, I certainly don’t take these things for granted,” said Oregon head coach Derek Radley. “I just feel like we’re so strong from top to bottom, all five. I have firm belief in no matter who we’re playing, we’re going to be right there and give ourselves a chance.” Full article details and more quotes can be found here.
It was a battle, and Stanford seemed to be in control but the Ducks wouldn’t go quietly!
But ultimately Rose Zhang was being Rose Zhang and ended it for the Cardinal, bringing home another national title!!! It was a hell of a season, CONGRATS STANFORD!
This captured my attention and I’m bringing it to yours…in September of 1986, Sarah Hunter, head pro a Manchester Country Club went missing — she never showed for a scheduled lesson she had. Months later, her body was found. Her case was never solved. Read the full story.
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Five at The IX: Interview with Liz Breed
Liz is a golf instructor based in Brooklyn, NY. She grew up in Pennsylvania and played golf at the University of Kentucky. In 2015, she turned pro and it’s been a rollercoaster ever since! Here’s an edited version of my two-hour long conversation with her about the golfing landscape in New York.
Where are you based and how long have you been there?
I work at two different places. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I work on the south shore of Long Island at The Seawane Club. It’s a private course and what I’d call a more traditional, American links-style course.
For the rest of the week I’m at Brooklyn Greens, an indoor facility in east Williamsburg. I love it because I live in Brooklyn and if I want to…I can just ride my bike to work or even show up in pajamas! It’s an extremely fun environment with the goal of accessibility for anyone who wants to play. We’ve hosted clinics specifically for people who are queer, for non-binary individuals, you name it.
It’s rewarding to be at a place to welcoming and I get to build my schedule however I’d like, between the two places.
How would you describe the golfing landscape within the city…Do you think it’s more accessible to newcomers despite it being unconventional?
There’s a strong community of golfers in the city, that many people don’t know about or think to know about.
Golf is extremely accessible in New York! Obviously in Manhattan things get tricky, but there are so many indoor facilities and muni courses out in Queens and Brooklyn that can help you scratch that itch.
And of course, the further you get from the city, you have the more traditional layout of golf in Long Island and Jersey, but the options are plentiful for new golfers coming in that are probably way more fun than how you and I grew up in the game.
What are the biggest challenges you face being an instructor in NY?
I love this game because of people, and I hate this game because of people. I get my energy from people, and I love that…the emotional rollercoaster of it all is hard but it’s rewarding. It’s why I love New York! I have found a community of golfers that understand me and we can relate.
Golf is about people and having mental health stability! It’s a social and mentally taxing sport and a lot of the times I play therapist to some of my clients but the most challenging part of my job is always who i’m teaching.
A couple weeks back, I had a man not even make eye contact with me. For two hours, I had to work around him not looking at me and not really trying to listen to the things I’m saying. And you know, it’s easy for me to assume that it’s because I’m a woman or whatever, but it’s dehumanizing, and I feel like I sometimes have to jump through hoops to prove myself and I shouldn’t have to.
But at the same time…there are students who walk away feeling accomplished! After a lesson their dopamine levels are through the roof, we’ve hit a break through, and they know exactly what they need to work on. There’s always the good to cancel out the not-so-good.
Like I said, it’s a love/hate thing because of the social element.
Are there any hidden gems in the city that you’re willing to share with readers?
The three places I’m about to tell you are all accessible by public transportation. I don’t care if you bus or train to them, it’s your choice, but definitely go.
There’s Marine Park, which is for my more traditional golf lovers. It’s a public, 18-hole course designed by Robert Trent Jones out in Brooklyn with the most incredible views of the city!
There’s also Forest Park in Queens, where you can play for $40 and literally dress however you want. Show up in jeans, flip flops, it doesn’t matter.
Finally, for the short game lovers specifically, there’s Flushing Meadows Pitch and Putt…it’s lit! Like actually, there’s lights and you can play at night…it’s very cool.
How can we support you?
Liz has a blog, podcast, and you can even select different virtual lessons with her! All of that can be found here. She’s bad ass and is changing the way we think about what a golfer should look like…show her love!
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