Jan. 30, 2012
Junior Erica Popson traveled to California this weekend to meet and train with the United States Curtis Cup team. She checked in with UTLadyVols.com to relay her experience.
Living in a Dream
I had a wonderful weekend filled with golf, amazing people that will most likely turn into lifelong friends, and lots and lots of awesome food. The only bump in the trip was Thursday with some flight delays out of both Knoxville and Dallas. No worries though because I meet up with a couple of other team members in Dallas so we went to dinner at Fuddruckers and spent some good quality time getting to know each other. That was my first time eating at Fuddruckers and it was a good burger. The only other bump was not getting to go to In and Out Burgers because from what I heard that place has an awesome burger and shake. Besides those two things the weekend was like living in a dream.
We arrived in Palm Springs, California Thursday night and they have probably one of the strangest but coolest airports. Most of the airport is totally outside! It was really interesting but I guess the weather is always nice there for the most part so they can get away with it. Our team manager picked us up from the airport and then we called our Team Captain to ask to order us some Mexican food for when we arrived to the resort (this trip will include a lot of food as you will see).
We got to the La Quinta Resort and met our Captain for the first time, which was exciting and nerve racking I must say. She was walking with our food to go because they kicked her out of the restaurant. She closed the place down waiting for us. What an awesome Captain! Then we went and to meet the rest of the team and hung out for a little while and then my roommate and I left to find our room. I must say that part was quite challenging because we stayed in little cottages and they all looked the same and it was pretty late at night.
The next morning both my roommate and I were wide awake at 5 a.m.! Stupid time change! It was all good though because we met as a team at 7 a.m. and loaded the SUVs and went off to the La Quinta Mountain Course for breakfast and then a quick nine holes. During breakfast our Captain told us some more about herself and what to expect for the weekend and the upcoming months on what to think about to prepare for the Curtis Cup.
After breakfast we went to play best ball matches on the Mountain Course which was absolutely beautiful! After we finished playing we had a short team meeting to discuss our thoughts about pairings and what we thought of each other's games. Then we headed over to PGA West for lunch and 18 holes in the afternoon. We had an awesome lunch then headed out to the course for 18 holes of alternate shot. That was a lot of fun since you must work more like a team together and really trust the other person. The golf course was amazing too!
After we finished up golf we convened for another short team meeting to again discuss our thoughts and strategies. Then we loaded back up in the SUVs and went on a Cold Stone run! That was so good and a nice snack before dinner. After our awesome ice cream we went back to the resort and got showered and ready for dinner. We ate on property at a nice restaurant and I had a filet with crab on top, potatoes, and asparagus. It was so good!
After dinner we had our official first team meeting in a private board room and learned some of the history behind the Curtis Cup and also came up with our team values and mission statement, which will be posted all over our locker room in Scotland this summer. Then off to bed after a very long day!
Up early again the next day for breakfast at the PGA West Stadium golf course. We got our own special room for breakfast and the rest of the morning to meet and hang out. Throughout the morning we did our headshots for the tournament, interviews, and team pictures! We got to wear our first uniform and must I say it felt awesome to be representing the wonderful USA!
After our "media day" in the morning we had lunch with 8 somewhat local women and then played an alternate shot match against them after lunch. I must say they were really good and it was fun getting to know and meet them. We had another brief meeting after playing to discuss and plan out strategies. Then back to the hotel again for a quick shower and off to dinner. We went to Clint Eastwood's restaurant, The Hogs Breath Inn! That was really good and we had some really amazing food which included some calamari, seafood linguini, one of the girls had filet and lobster tail, and ended it with some really good dessert.
After an amazing dinner we went back to our private board room and had another team meeting to discuss more about Nairn and what we need to do to prepare both our games and our equipment for the course. We also made some goals and objectives and started to discuss pairings. Lastly we talked about uniforms, travel arrangements, and food options for Scotland. Then back off to bed.
Some of us had to leave early the next morning to get to the airport and rest of us went and had a really good breakfast! More food! After breakfast I went and packed up and then headed to the airport with the team manager! Now I have woken up from my dream weekend and am back to reality and more motivated than ever to work extremely hard on my game! I must add and thank the USGA, all of our team staff, the resort staff, and all the golf courses and their staff's for such a wonderful weekend and making us feel like royalty!