Chip Shots with Crystal Smith: Hoosier Fall Invite

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Thumbnail image for PA120169.JPGHey Illini fans,

We got back from Florence, Indiana, on Sunday. We played in the Hoosier Fall Invitational hosted by Indiana University at Belterra Resort and Spa. We placed 8th out of 12 teams. Obviously, not the finish we envisioned, but we are working hard on improving what we struggled with at Belterra.

If you have ever been to Florence, you could not miss the only skyscraper within 20 miles. That skyscraper would be the Belterra Resort and Spa. This hotel was huge! The Starbucks in the lobby put a smile on Jackie's and Sam's faces when we arrived. And Michelle's jaw dropped to the floor when she saw the Ben & Jerry's ice cream shop in the lobby as well. And when there is a casino in the building, you know there is a buffet somewhere around the corner. For breakfast and dinner we ate at The Ultimate Buffet, and it was every college kid's dream. You would think we should have lost weight after playing 54 holes, but we probably gained weight from Indiana's tournament. Assistant Coach Jackie ate the biggest omelette I've ever seen for breakfast one morning, and Coach Slone went up for seconds for dessert one night!! The Ultimate Buffet was ultimate and more.


After a full dinner on Friday night, we had a little problem when we got back to our room. Turns out, a water main broke over the room I was sharing with Pim! There was water gushing out of the ceiling, and our room was flooded. The water traveled all the way down to Coach and Jackie's room on the ninth floor. Luckily all our computers and clothes made it through the tidal wave, and we just had to move to a different room. Pim and I lucked out, and we got an upgrade to a spa room! We had the team soak their feet in our jetted tub after the 36 holes. It felt so good!

Now that Indiana has come and gone, we are focusing on our last tournament of the fall season. This week we have mainly focused on short game because we feel that a lot of shots were lost around the greens at Belterra. At practice we have been focusing on 120 yards and in, with an emphasis on putting and wedges.

Sam has had a lot of experience at The University of Texas Golf Club, and she has informed us that short game will be key on their fast greens and Bermuda grass. We have already started preparing for the Betsy Rawls Longhorn tournament this week in practice by working on our short games. This tournament has a strong field and we are looking forward to a successful final event of 2012 with some spectacular play!

Until next time Illini fans!


Crystal Smith

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