Let there be light: Austin's ShadowGlen Golf Club is back

By Travel ArticlesJuly 17, 2012, 4:00 am

MANOR, Texas -- The gates are reopened, the water is back on and ShadowGlen Golf Club is well on its way of regaining its place among the best public courses in the Austin area.

Manor broke its water contract with ShadowGlen during the summer drought of 2011, turning the water off for seven months. Considering it was one of the hottest and driest summers on record in central Texas, the damage was crippling. As the course's owners fought the city for their water rights, the grass sat unattended -- and baked.

The city and ShadowGlen reached a settlement in the spring of 2012 and a 10-year deal was secured, so the course reopened March 15. The maintenance crew had a lot of work to do to save what was left of the grass. It will take most of the summer to get the course back to peak condition, and discounted green fees will reflect the work in progress.

ShadowGlen Golf Club: A course worth saving

It doesn't take many holes into a round at ShadowGlen to realize this was a facility worth saving. It's certainly a unique layout in the area.

While most courses, especially to the west of Austin (and even nearby Bluebonnet Golf Club), are set on rocky, hill-country terrain, ShadowGlen has subtle, rolling hills, small creeks, ponds and mature trees that make the course feel like you might be somewhere in the Midwest.

Designed by the Texas-based team of Roy Bechtol and Randy Russell, the course originally opened in 2004 as a 'Top 10 Best New Course' of the year by Golf Digest. The layout can stretch to more than 7,100 yards and features large, multi-tiered TifEagle greens (which by June 2012 were rolling quite well again). Tough pin locations can be the course's main defender, as landing zones in the fairways are quite large in most cases.

Two relatively straightforward par 4s kick off the round, but the third hole is one of the best par 5s in the Austin area. The approach shot must find its way through a handful of trees peppered in the fairway leading up to the green.

It's probably best to play it safe there, but it'll be tough to exercise much restraint on the ninth hole, a drivable par 4 if you're willing to sail a tee shot over a hazard almost the entire way to the green.

If the wind is cooperating, the 18th hole is a green-light special. Although water guards the green, it shouldn't be much of an obstacle on this 513-yard par 5. With a big drive off the tee, a final shot at eagle is possible.

Military appreciation at ShadowGlen Golf Club

ShadowGlen has made strides to become one of the most veteran-welcoming golf courses in Texas. The club hosted the Veterans National, an event held by A Veteran's Voice, in 2010 and will host it again in 2012. And each month, the club, in cooperation with A Veteran's Voice, hosts a veteran's appreciation event, where military are invited to play 18 holes free of charge. Contact the club directly to learn when the next outing will be held.

ShadowGlen Golf Club: The verdict

ShadowGlen Golf Club's potential is as high as north Austin and Round Rock's top daily-fee courses such as Avery Ranch Golf Club, Teravista Golf Club and The Golf Club at Star Ranch. But the fact that ShadowGlen is in a less-populated and lower-income area means the green fees are always going to be a little lower, making the course one of Austin's best values.

Facilities at ShadowGlen G.C. include a driving range and multiple putting and chipping greens. The clubhouse has a restaurant, Foundry's, which serves breakfast and lunch. Golfers can dine inside or relax with a few drinks on a beautiful deck overlooking the course.

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Korda happy to finally be free of jaw pain

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 2:43 am

PHOENIX – Jessica Korda isn’t as surprised as everyone else that she is playing so well, so quickly, upon her return from a complex and painful offseason surgery.

She is inspired finally getting to play without recurring headaches.

“I’d been in pain for three years,” she said after posting a 4-under-par 68 Friday to move two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

Korda had her upper jaw broken in three places and her low jaw broken in two places in December in a procedure that fixed the alignment of her jaw.

Korda, 25, said the headaches caused by her overbite even affected her personality.

“Affects your moods,” Korda said. “I think I was pretty snappy back then as well.”

She was pretty pleased Friday to give herself a weekend chance at her sixth LPGA title, her second in her last three starts. She won the Honda LPGA Thailand three weeks ago in her first start after returning from surgery.

“I'm much happier now,” Korda said. “Much calmer.”

Even if she still can’t eat the things she would really like to eat. She’s still recuperating. She said the lower part of her face remains numb, and it’s painful to chew crunchy things.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“Chips are totally out of question,” Korda said.

She can eat most things she likes, but she has to cut them into tiny pieces. She can’t wait to be able to eat a steak.

“They broke my palate, so I can't feel anything, even heat,” Korda said. “So that's a bit difficult, because I can't feel any heat on my lip or palate. I don't know how hot things are going in until they hit my throat.”

Korda has 27 screws in her skull holding the realignment together. She needed her family to feed her, bathe her and dress her while she recovered. The procedure changed the way she looks.

While Korda’s ordeal and all that went into her recovery has helped fans relate to her, she said it’s the desire to move on that motivates her.

“Because I was so drugged up, I don't remember a lot of it,” Korda said. “I try to forget a lot of it. I don't think of it like I went through a lot. I just think of it as I'm pain-free. So, yeah, people are like, `Oh, you're so brave, you overcame this and that.’ For me, I'm just going forward.”

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Finally adapted to short putter, Martin near lead

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:54 am

PHOENIX – Mo Martin loved her long putter.

In fact, she named her “Mona.”

For 10 years, Martin didn’t putt with anything else. She grew up with long putters, from the time she started playing when she was 5.

While Martin won the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2014, about nine months after giving up Mona for a short putter, she said it’s taken until today to feel totally comfortable with one.

And that has her excited about this year.

Well, that and having a healthy back again.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“I've had a feeling that this year was going to be a good one,” Martin said. “My game is in a special place.”

Martin was beaming after a 6-under-par 66 Friday moved her two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

“Just a beautiful day,” Martin said. “I was able to play my game, make my putts.”

Martin hit all 14 fairways in the second round, hit 15 greens in regulation and took just 27 putts. After struggling with nagging back pain last year, she’s pain free again.

She’s happy to “just to get back to a place now where my ball striking is where it has been the last few years.”

Martin, by the way, says Mona remains preserved in a special place, “a shrine” in her home.

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Clanton rides hole-out eagle to lead at Founders

By Associated PressMarch 17, 2018, 1:47 am

PHOENIX - Cydney Clanton holed out from the fairway for eagle on the par-4 13th and closed with a birdie Friday to take the second-round lead in the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

Clanton shot a 5-under 67, playing the back nine at Desert Ridge in 5-under 31 to reach 9-under 135.

Clanton's wedge on the 13th flew into the cup on the first bounce. She also birdied the par-5 11th and 15th and the par-4 18th. The 28-year-old former Auburn player is winless on the LPGA.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

Ariya Jutanugarn, Marina Alex, Karine Icher and Mariajo Uribe were a stroke back on a calmer day after wind made scoring more difficult Thursday.

Jessica Korda and Mo Martin were 7 under, and Michelle Wie topped the group at 6 under.

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Ko's struggles continue with Founders MC

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:26 am

PHOENIX – Lydia Ko loves the Bank of Hope Founders Cup and its celebration of the game’s pioneers, and that made missing the cut Friday sting a little more.

With a 1-over-par 73 following Thursday’s 74, Ko missed the cut by four shots.

After tying for 10th at the HSBC Women’s World Championship in her last start, Ko looked to be turning a corner in her quest to find her best form again, but she heads to next week’s Kia Classic with more work to do.

“I just have to stay patient,” Ko said. “I just have to keep my head high.”

It was just the fifth missed cut in Ko’s 120 career LPGA starts, but her fourth in her last 26 starts.

Ko’s ball striking has been erratic this year, but her putting has been carrying her. She said her putting let her down Friday.

“It seemed like I couldn’t hole a single putt,” she said. “When I missed greens, I just wasn’t getting up and down. When I got a birdie opportunity, I wasn’t able to hole it.”

Ko came to Phoenix ranked 112th in driving distance, 121st in driving accuracy and 83rd in greens in regulation. She was sixth in putting average.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

Cristie Kerr saw the struggle playing two rounds with Ko.

“Her game’s not in good shape,” Kerr said. “She seemed a little lost.”

Ko, 20, made those sweeping changes last year, starting 2017 with a new coach (Gary Gilchrist), a new caddie (Peter Godfrey) and new equipment (PXG). She made more changes at this year’s start, with another new coach (Ted Oh) and new caddie (Jonnie Scott).

Ko doesn’t have to look further than Michelle Wie to see how a player’s game can totally turn around.

“It always takes time to get used to things,” Ko said. “By the end of last year, I was playing solid. I’m hoping it won’t take as much time this year.”

Ko had Oh fly to Asia to work with her in her two starts before the Founders Cup, with their work showing up in her play at the HSBC in Singapore. She said she would be talking to Oh again before heading to the Kia Classic next week and then the ANA Inspiration. She has won both of those events and will be looking to pull some good vibes from that.

“This is my favorite stretch of events,” she said. “And I love the Founders Cup, how it celebrates all the generations that have walked through women’s golf. And I love the West Coast swing. Hopefully, I’ll make more putts next week.”

Ko, whose run of 85 consecutive weeks at Rolex world No. 1 ended last summer, slipped to No. 12 this week.