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Looking Back and Looking Forward

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.
Have you had any heroes in golf broadcasting/journalism and have you had the benefit of their advice and wisdom at any time in you career? ' Dan Dawson
Nick Faldo and Kelly Tilghman
Nick Faldo and Kelly prepare for THE PLAYERS telecast. (WireImage)
Dear Dan,
I don't have any broadcasting heroes per se but I do enjoy some styles more than others. I think it's important to understand a moment and the tone that it requires. I also think it's important to try to be yourself. That combination makes for a very thorough and entertaining anchor. On the sports side, Bob Costas does that very well. On the entertainment side, I think personalities like Matt Lauer and Ryan Seacrest are two of the best. The goal is to be informative and entertaining with the understanding that there is always room for improvement.
I read in last months questions that you do watch tapes of your performances. Like us all, I am sure you compare what you do to others that have preceded you. What do you think is your greatest opportunity for improvement in Golf broadcasting? ' Tom Haake, Centreville, Va.
Dear Tom,
I have the rare privilege of being able to watch my recorded work. Not many people can say that about their career. I would be inclined to think that if everyone was afforded this opportunity, they would probably take advantage of it. I remember when Tiger was just coming onto the professional scene. He would stop by the GOLF CHANNEL to look at all kinds of different tournament tapes. Golfers watch their swing on video all the time. When I do it, I don't actually compare my work to that of others. I just look at my performance individually and ponder the different ways that I can get better. Right now, my main focus is to continue growing into the role. It's a brand new position and I'm in the very early stages of transition. I'm trying to learn and have fun along the way.
I play maybe a dozen times a year during the warmer 8 months, and I usually hit the driving range 5 or 6 times a year to work out the kinks and tune up my swing. Any thoughts on how to continue to improve scores with limited amount of time available to play and practice? How do you keep your game sharp on the road? ' Dan Linney, Brentwood, Tenn.
Hi Dan,
I would recommend a lot of visualization drills to keep your golf game sharp when you have limited practice time. I know it sounds funny but there are proven studies that back up this suggestion. If you can spend five minutes a day recreating some of your best shots in your mind, you may find it easier to execute them when crunch time comes. Try it before you tell me that I'm crazy. Also, anytime you can work on your short game, even if it's indoors, it's worth it. Practice putting into a cup or chipping to a corner of the room when you have a little down time. Good luck!
I know that you are happy with your job and all. But when you cover all of the golf, do you ever (for just 1 second) wish you could be on the LPGA tour? ' par3man
Dear Par3man,
The short answer is no. I had a great run with my golf career but when I walked away it was because my heart told me to, not just my body or my checking account. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed the competitive side of golf, I wasn't completely fulfilled on tour. I needed a different kind of challenge. It was time to walk away and I haven't looked back since. I still have that competitive drive and I release it through other activities like working out or water sports. When people ask me what I would be doing if I didn't work in television, I find it hard to come up with an answer. That's how I know I made the right choice.
Thanks for the question.
You were a college golfer. Do you think someone with pro aspirations would be better off turning professional right away or going to college and playing there? It seems like international players do pretty well by professionally early. ' Glenn, Jacksonville, Fla.
Dear Glenn,
That's a very personal choice and one that I couldn't make for someone. I wouldn't trade my collegiate experience for anything in the world but things seemed to work out pretty well for a guy like Tiger, who left after his sophomore season at Stanford. It just depends on your drive. If you know that golf is the only thing you will ever want to do, then skipping college probably isn't a bad decision. Personally, I wanted options because I knew that golf wasn't the only thing for me. Keep in mind, you can always go back to school if you so desire.
I hope that helps!
What event are you looking forward to covering most over the rest of the year? What was your favorite event to cover ' even as a reporter? ' Tracey
I'm really looking forward to so many events, but the one that I think will be most intriguing is the TOUR Championship. It's the first time these players will compete for the FedExCup and I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of drama will unfold. Will someone have a putt for $10 million? That's exciting stuff, don't you think?! My favorite event so far this year would have to be the Sony Open in Hawaii, because it was a real pleasure watching Tadd Fujikawa make the cut and actually make a bit of a run on the weekend. I also enjoyed the first day of the Accenture World Match Play, because it reminded me a little of March Madness. The first two rounds of THE PLAYERS was also a blast considering all of the changes to that event and the par-3 17th.
Thanks for the question!
Email Kelly with your questions for next month's Q&A