My Game Career and Schedule

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Editor's Note: Each month, GOLF CHANNEL'S Kelly Tilghman will be answering reader and viewer questions. Kelly is the first female in golf television history to be a lead play-by-play commentator.
 
I have heard some snippets of your golfing resume and background, but I thought a lot of your viewers would like a little synopsis of your college/amateur career and your touring years. And I really think you are doing a great job in the (booth) ' keep it up! ' Ross Cullins
 
Kelly Tilghman
Kelly Tilghman played professionally in Australia, Europe and Asia from 1992-96. (WireImage)
Ross,
Thanks for the compliment. I love the game of golf and I've been playing it since I was around 11 or 12. I had a strong junior career, winning a lot of local events around the Carolinas. As a teenager, I competed in the a U.S. Junior Girls' Championship and a Junior World at Torrey Pines at the same time that Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods were playing in the event. I had no idea who Eldrick Woods was at the time, but Phil's reputation was already on the rise. I spent my collegiate career at Duke and captured one individual title during my four years; it came at the Furman Invitational. A few years later, I was trying my hand on the mini tours and overseas, where I competed against Annika Sorenstam and Karrie Webb on a regular basis. Even though my professional career only lasted a few years, I enjoyed every minute of it. Through it, I was able to see the world and compete against two of the greatest players the women's game has ever known. Now, I draw from a lot of those experiences to help my broadcasting career.
 
Thanks for asking!
Kelly
 
What is your current handicap? And how often do you get to play in a year? ' Brett Cale, Tampa, Fla.
 
Hi Brett,
Currently I don't have an official USGA handicap. I never bothered to reinstate my amateur status once I stopped playing regularly but I would assume it has automatically returned to me by now. If I had to guess, I'd say it's about a 6 or 7. I can still go a little low from time to time, but I get most of my satisfaction these days out of hitting solid golf shots. It's such a great feeling. There was a stretch of about five years when I only played about six times a year. I was milking a well deserved break from years of competition. Lately, I've been teeing it up a lot more. This year, I've already had the pleasure of playing with my on-air partner, Nick Faldo; Rocco Mediate; and I actually played Bel Air Country Club last week for the first time with Hall of Fame member Amy Alcott. We had a blast. This job affords me fantastic opportunities and I try not to let them pass me by.
 
All the best,
Kelly
 
What is your favorite course that you have played and where are you just dying to play that you havent? ' Sarah from Manitoba
 
Hi Sarah,
I think my favorite golf course to play in all of the world is one that I lived on for the majority of my youth. It's called the Surf Club in my hometown of North Myrtle Beach, SC. I love it for so many reasons. It's loaded with southern charm, as it is nestled just a few hundred yards from the Atlantic Ocean. Every night when I was a teenager, I would sneak out to play 'the loop,' which was a three-hole stretch that started and ended right in my backyard. My two brothers liked to join me for a little late-evening competition. Nothing beats those South Carolina summer sunsets. The one course that I still look forward to playing is Augusta National. I've always been a huge fan of the Masters Tournament, but I have yet to tackle this venue that I've reported on for years. I have a few friends who are members so I can't wait to take them up on their invitations!
 
Best wishes,
Kelly
 
I have noticed that you are a LEFTY. Being left-handed did it effect (sic) you adversely in your college golf game or did it positively effect (sic) your game. Lastly, I have a teenage daughter of whom I would (like) to take up the wonderful game of GOLF. Any tips or suggestions to get her involved and LOVING the game like myself? ' Rodney C
 
Rodney,
I've always embraced the fact that I'm a lefty and, for the most part, I'm a true southpaw! I've always been amazed at just how many people notice that, too! I eat, write and throw a ball left-handed, but I do play golf and a few other sports right-handed. I think being a left-handed person who plays golf right-handed has been an asset for me. With my strong hand leading the golf club, I could come through with a little more power at impact. Phil Mickelson is a mirror image of that. He's a righty who plays golf lefty and it hasn't hurt him one bit. As far as your teenaged daughter is concerned, if she loves the game I would recommend letting her pursue it at her own pace. Anytime you force a child into something, they tend to resent it. You should also understand that golf is a game that requires patience and maturity. If your daughter only shows a little interest, then that's probably a good sign because that's usually all today's teenagers can muster! Good luck, Rodney, and thanks for the support!
 
Kelly
 
I noticed that you and Nick didnt do the FBR Open. Where were you guys? Youre not allowed to take a week off (kidding). What is your schedule like? ' Kay from Virginia.
 
Hi Kay,
I liked your comment. You are right. I'm on a torrid run right now, but that won't always be the case. I will be taking a much needed break in March and April, but for now I'm keeping my nose to the grindstone. Part of the reason I'm working so much is because Nick and I are slated to work a lot with CBS this year. They carried the majority of the west coast events and they'll be back in full force this summer. When all is said and done, I will probably have worked around 20 to 25 live tournaments for the GOLF CHANNEL and that's about the norm for most play-by-plays.
 
Thanks for the interest!
Kelly
 
Do you have any words of wisdom on how to eat properly while always on the road living on restaurant and hotel food? ' Charles from Caramel, CA
 
Charles,
I'll be honest with you: I'm actually eating something that's bad for me as I answer this question! You can't be a robot out here, can you?! But in reality, I've really worked hard to watch what I eat over the years because my job and my lifestyle in general require so much energy. My diet is mostly high protein and low carb, but notice that I didn't say 'no carb'. I love to sneak in a cookie or a few chips from time to time. One of the reasons I work so hard is so that I can enjoy some of the treats in life. One of the keys to eating well on the road is avoiding late dinners. For breakfast, you try to throw in a little oatmeal and fruit. Lunch usually consists of a balanced mix of protein and carbs and then I dive into a nice piece of fish or white meat for dinner, all the while, making sure I eat my veggies! Good luck with your diet. I truly believe that a good plan will improve your quality of living.
 
Kelly
 
Unfortunately, I haven't seen any of your coverage this year because I've been deployed for the last 6 months to Iraq. Fortunately, I will be home in about a month and change. Just in-time to be in the delivery room for the birth of my first Son. I was wondering how you would recommend getting back into the game when I get back after a 7-month hiatus. I left a 10 handicap and this is the longest that I've gone without swinging a stick. Should I take a lesson first to check my basics? Hit the course and see how it goes? Or get a few range sessions in and then work my way back onto the course? I've been working out plenty, lots of core workouts (wearing battle gear), lots of arms (carrying weapons), but I haven't hit a ball since I've been here. I wish you and The Golf Channel the best of luck. I will be watching once I get home. ' Captain Matt Gomes; Beaufort, S.C.
 
Captain Gomes,
First of all, welcome home! Secondly, thank you for bravely serving our country. Finally, congratulations on once being a 10 handicap and I'm sure you'll get back to that point in no time. There is no doubt in my mind that you are a person who understands the art of disciplined workouts and I would strongly recommend getting back to the basics with a fundamentals session on the range. I would also say that spending time on the putting green; working on your short game could really help you rediscover your touch. Instead of using drills, play a few games from around the edges of the green to keep it fun. You deserve a good time. Also, try to avoid using the golf course as a means of working on your technique. Let the golf course serve as a well deserved walk in the park for you in place of your dutiful trudge through the desert terrain of Iraq. Enjoy your time at home and on the links!
 
Thanks for the questions,
Kelly
 
Email Kelly with your questions for next month's Q&A