By Lpga Tour MediaFebruary 9, 2003, 5:00 pm
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. ' Playing, teaching, creating world-renown philosophies in coaching and being a friend are the characteristics of the multi-talented Pia Nilsson. Nilsson, who was born in Malmo, Sweden, has a decorated amateur golf resume, four years playing experience on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour, a honorary membership in the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional (T&CP)Division, her own coaching company and a close teaching relationship and friendship with the No. 1 golfer in the world, Annika Sorenstam. A member of the Swedish National Team from 1974-81, Nilsson won the 1979 Swedish Junior and 1981 World Cup Championship. From 1983-87, she played on the LPGA Tour, then two years later became the Swedish National coach.
After I played on the LPGA Tour, I returned to Sweden and suddenly received requests to talk to and practice with the girls on the national team during their training camps, Nilsson said. I loved it and soon realized I could coach others to go beyond what my generation had. In 1989, they needed a coach for the Swedish girls and womans amateur team, and they asked me if I would be interested. I was eager for them to learn from my experiences in the United States and on the LPGA Tour.
Thus began her coaching of the Swedish National Team, where she immediately began coaching the then 19-year-old Sorenstam and LPGA Tour player Carin Koch. Fellow Swedes Charlotta Sorenstam, Sophie Gustafson, Catrin Nilsmark and Maria Hjorth joined the team in the following years. By 1996, she was the head coach for all of the teams ' girls, boys, men, women, amateurs and professionals.
When Annika and Carin were on the Swedish National Team, there were very few Swedes who dared to be as good as they could be, Nilsson said. We had a lot of talent, but Swedes are known to be level and not daring. We needed to change the belief structure.
In 1991, Nilsson changed this structure by creating Vision 54 for the Swedish National Team. She had a meeting with Annika Sorenstam, Koch and the rest of the team and challenged them to birdie every hole in one round. She reminded the players that they had birdied every hole on their home course once before and now it was time to combine all 18 birdies. She also started to do a lot more on-course coaching, and even as the players turned professional, they kept receiving education and coaching.
Once one believes in the idea, like Annika does, then it is possible, Nilsson said. It is dream come true to be a coach of a player like her. Annika is always asking questions, and there is a lot of trust between us. When she shot 59, we knew it was one step closer to 54.
Nilsson is also close with Sorenstams swing coach Henri Reis. The duo has worked together in coaching the worlds best golfer.
There has always been a trio, and for many years when Annika first came to college in Arizona and her first years on Tour, Henri wasnt there, Nilsson said. A coach should be needed, not just be there to hang around. She calls me when she needs something, and its nice for her to know that I am here.
In 1998, Nilsson served as captain of the European Solheim Cup Team and in 1999, after 10 years of being the head coach, she left the Swedish National Golf Team to start Coaching for the Future (CFTF) with Lynn Marriott. After attending Arizona State University, Nilsson made Phoenix her home in the United States. So, the Swede made her home once again in ASU country, partnered with Marriott and created CFTF, based at the Legacy Golf Resort, with the goal of globally coaching players and teachers.
Lynn has her students, I have mine, and we do seminars together, Nilsson said. When we started Coaching for the Future, Lynn was the director of education at the Karsten Golf Course, and was teaching many of the Swedes. Thats when we realized we should combine our teaching and philosophies.
Nilsson believes there needs to be more instruction on the course, not just on the driving range, therefore she wanted to teach coaches her philosophies. She wants coaches around the world to think more about their own philosophies, intentions and beliefs and incorporate it into their coaching.
We are motivated and committed to evolve the experience junior golfers have to a higher level, she said. Clearly more education is needed by coaches and teachers, and we need to be innovative with making the game a fun and worthwhile activity for juniors.
Both Nilsson and Marriott are part of developing and conducting training for The First Tees Golf and Life Skills Experience. Nilsson is on the education and research advisory board of the LPGA National Education Program (NEP), a series of education programs combining hands on instruction with research-based theory. Nilsson and Marriott provide their opinions about teaching and help with coaches workshops. They will hold two seminars this year at the McDonalds LPGA Championship Presented by AIG and the U.S. Womens Open, two of the LPGAs four major championships.
In the last 15 months, Nilsson and Marriott have traveled all over the world with CFTF holding workshops and conferences. They have traveled to such countries as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada, Holland and Norway to conduct seminars, which include indoor and outdoor sessions where the teachers can role play and receive practical feedback about their coaching and teaching. Workshops can last from a half-day to three days depending on the function. CFTF also holds workshops in Phoenix where the company is based. CFTF consists of three primary areas: BESTCOACH, GOLF54 and GLOBALCOACH.
BESTCOACH is a coaching education and certification for golf coaches and teachers. It is based on the idea that each person can be your own best coach. Coaches and teachers are taught in seminars about the core framework of developing a vision and strategy to make the impossible possible.
GOLF54 represents the belief that human beings can score a lot lower in the future than they do today. TheGOLF54 program is based on the Vision54 concept and consists of threedayclinics where players are taught how to integrate the physical, mentaland emotional parts of golf and to practicein the most efficient way possible.
GLOBALCOACH focuses on workshops in the business world, such as Volvo, McDonalds or other sports organizations. GLOBALCOACHs intention is to provide a coaching frameworkfor human beings who want to performbetter and develop their skills. This intention can be in golf, business and life. Nilsson usually spends four or five months every year in Sweden, where she has a residence in Stockholm. She is still involved with Swedish golf and is a sounding board to the current Swedish head coach.
Nilsson is especially proud of her hometown, Malmo, Sweden, which will host the 2003 Solheim Cup at Barseback Golf and Country Club, Sept. 12-14.
I am very excited to have The Solheim Cup in my hometown, Nilsson said. We are conducting a CFTF seminar before the event, co-hosted with the Swedish Golf Federation. It will be a great opportunity for coaches to experience Sweden and CFTF, and it will help promote The Solheim Cup.
After traveling the world teaching and coaching, will the ever-busy Nilsson ever go back to playing?
I love to play, but my first priority is to teach and coach and continue learning new ways that I can help the players reach their 54.
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Lincicome grouped with two rookies in Barbasol

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 17, 2018, 9:54 pm

Brittany Lincicome will tee it up with a pair of rookies when she makes her first start in a PGA Tour event Thursday at the Barbasol Championship at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky.

Lincicome, an eight-time LPGA winner, is scheduled to go off the 10th tee at 9:59 a.m. ET in the first round with Sam Ryder, 28, and Conrad Shindler, 29. They’re off the first tee Friday at 2:59 p.m. ET

Lincicome will become just the sixth woman to play in a PGA Tour event, joining Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Michelle Wie.

“The first three or four holes, I’ll be a nervous wreck, for sure,” Linicome said.



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Lincicome thrilled by reception from male pros

By Randall MellJuly 17, 2018, 8:31 pm

Brittany Lincicome wondered how PGA Tour pros would greet her when she arrived to play the Barbasol Championship this week.

She wondered if there would be resentment.

She also wondered how fans at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky., would receive her, and if a social media mob would take up pitchforks.

“I can’t stop smiling,” Lincicome said Tuesday after her first practice round upon arriving. “Everyone has been coming up to me and wishing me luck. That means a lot.”

PGA Tour pro Martin Piller, husband of LPGA pro Gerina Piller, welcomed her immediately.

Other pros sought her out on the practice putting green.

She said she was also welcomed joining pros at a table in player dining.

Fans have been stopping her for autographs.

“It has been an awesome reception,” said Dewald Gouws, her husband, a former long-drive competitor. “I think it’s put her much more at ease, seeing the reception she is getting. There’s a lot of mutual respect.”

Lincicome, 32, wasn’t sure if she would be playing a practice round alone Tuesday morning, but when she made her way to the first tee, Domenico Geminiani was there, just about to go off.

He waved Lincicome over.

“He said, `Hey, Brittany, do you want to join me?’” Gouws said. “Come to find out, Dom’s a pretty cool guy.”

Geminiani made it into the field as a Monday qualifier.

“The two of us were both trying to figure things out together,” Lincicome said.

Keene Trace will play to 7,328 yards on the scorecard. That’s more than 800 yards longer than Highland Meadows, where Lincicome finished second at the LPGA’s Marathon Classic last weekend. Keene Trace was playing even longer than its listed yardage Tuesday, with recent rains softening it.

Nicknamed “Bam Bam,” Lincicome is one of the longest hitters in the women’s game. Her 269.5 yard average drive is 10th in the LPGA ranks. It would likely be dead last on the PGA Tour, where Brian Stuard (278.2) is the last player on the stats list at No. 201.

“I think if I keep it in the fairway, I’ll be all right,” Lincicome said.

Lincicome is an eight-time LPGA winner, with two major championships among those titles. She is just the sixth woman to compete in a PGA Tour event, the first in a decade, since Michelle Wie played the Reno-Tahoe Open, the last of her eight starts against the men.

Lincicome will join Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Wie in the elite ranks.

Zaharias, by the way, is the only woman to make a 36-hole cut in PGA Tour history, making it at the 1945 L.A. Open before missing a 54-hole cut on the weekend.

What are Lincicome’s expectations?

She would love to make the cut, but . . .

“Just going to roll with it and see what happens,” she said. “This is once in a lifetime, probably a one-and-done opportunity. I’m just going to enjoy it.”

Lincicome grew up playing for the boys’ golf team at Seminole High on the west coast of Florida. She won a couple city championships.

“I always thought it would be cool to compete against the guys on the PGA Tour,” Lincicome said. “I tend to play more with the guys than women at home. I never would have gone out and told my agent, `Let’s go try to play in a PGA Tour event,’ but when Tom Murray called with this opportunity, I was really blown away and excited by it. I never in a million years thought I would have this opportunity.”

Tom Murray, the president of Perio, the parent company of Barbasol and Pure Silk, invited Lincicome to accept one of the tournament’s sponsor exemptions. Lincicome represents Pure Silk.

Lincicome said her desire to play a PGA Tour event is all about satisfying her curiosity, wanting to know how she would stack up at this level. She also wants to see if the experience can help take her to the next level in the women’s game.

As a girl growing up, she played Little League with the boys, instead of softball with the girls. She said playing the boys in golf at Seminole High helped her get where she is today.

“The guys were better, and it pushed me to want to be better,” Lincicome said. “I think playing with the guys [on the PGA Tour], I will learn something to take to LPGA events, and it will help my game, for sure.”

Lincicome has been pleased that her fellow LPGA pros are so supportive. LPGA winner Kris Tamulis is flying into Kentucky as moral support. Other LPGA pros may also be coming in to support her.

The warm fan reception Lincicome is already getting at Keene Trace matters, too.

“She’s already picked up some new fans this week, and hopefully she will pick up some more,” Gouws said. “I don’t think she’s putting too much expectation on herself. I think she really does just want to have fun.”

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Stunner: Inbee Park steps aside for Int. Crown

By Randall MellJuly 17, 2018, 4:00 pm

There was a big surprise this week when the LPGA announced the finalized lineups for the UL International Crown.

Rolex world No. 1 Inbee Park won’t be teeing it up for the host South Koreans Oct. 4-7 in Incheon.

She has withdrawn, saying she wanted another Korean to be able to experience the thrill of representing her country.

It’s a stunner given the importance the LPGA has placed on taking the UL International Crown to South Korea and its golf-crazy allegiance to the women’s game in the Crown’s first staging outside the United States.

Two-time major champion In Gee Chun will replace Park.

"It was my pleasure and honor to participate in the first UL International Crown in 2014 and at the 2016 Olympics, and I cannot describe in one word how amazing the atmosphere was to compete as a representative of my country,” Park said. “There are so many gifted and talented players in Korea, and I thought it would be great if one of the other players was given the chance to experience the 2018 UL International Crown.”

Chun, another immensely popular player in South Korea, was the third alternate, so to speak, with the world rankings used to field teams. Hye Jin Choi and Jin Young Ko were higher ranked than Chun but passed because of commitments made to competing in a Korean LPGA major that week. The other South Koreans who previously qualified are So Yeon Ryu, Sung Hyun Park and I.K. Kim.

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Na: I can admit, 'I went through the yips'

By Rex HoggardJuly 17, 2018, 3:35 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following his victory two weeks ago at A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier, Kevin Na said his second triumph on the PGA Tour was the most rewarding of his career.

Although he declined to go into details as to why the victory was so gratifying at The Greenbrier, as he completed his practice round on Tuesday at the Open Championship, Na shed some light on how difficult the last few years have been.

“I went through the yips. The whole world saw that. I told people, 'I can’t take the club back,'” Na said on Tuesday at Carnoustie. “People talked about it, 'He’s a slow player. Look at his routine.' I was admitting to the yips. I didn’t use the word ‘yip’ at the time. Nobody wants to use that word, but I’m over it now so I can use it. The whole world saw it.”

Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Na, who made headlines for his struggles to begin his backswing when he found himself in the lead at the 2012 Players Championship, said he asked other players who had gone through similar bouts with the game’s most dreaded ailment how they were able to get through it.

“It took time,” he said. “I forced myself a lot. I tried breathing. I tried a trigger. Some guys will have a forward press or the kick of the right knee. That was hard and the crap I got for it was not easy.”

The payoff, however, has steadily arrived this season. Na said he’d been confident with his game this season following a runner-up showing at the Genesis Open and a fourth-place finish at the Fort Worth Invitational, and he felt he was close to a breakthrough. But being able to finish a tournament like he did at The Greenbrier, where he won by five strokes, was particularly rewarding.

“All good now,” he smiled. “I knew I was good enough to win again, but until you do it sometimes you question yourself. It’s just the honest truth.”