'A perfect day for golf'

2015 02 467939455

Former LPGA Tour player Kathryn Imrie is at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am this week, caddying for ex-US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice for a third consecutive year.

Rice made history when she and businesswoman Darla Moore were admitted as the first female members of Augusta National in 2012 and, with Imrie on the bag, the 17-handicapper is aiming to make the cut alongside playing partner Jason Bohn.

Imrie has sent us her day one diary that you can read below.


Pebble Beach was amazing today with temperatures in the mid to high 60s, blue sunny skies and light winds. It was a perfect day for golf.

This is my third year of caddying for Condoleezza Rice in the AT&T Pro-Am, but this year Condi decided to add another practice day to her preparations.

We left Palo Alto early this morning and headed straight for the main practice range. It almost felt like the old LPGA days for me because the first three people I met were Dave Brooker, former caddy of Suzanne Petterson on the LPGA who now caddies on the PGA Tour, Ty Votaw, former LPGA commissioner who came up to say hello, and Barry Lida, who was the Callaway rep when I played. It was like I was in a time warp!

Reality struck when Hank Haney introduced himself to Condi and then I realised it was the AT&T again where the who's who of golf and the celebrity world collide for a week of fun in the sun.

Three different courses are used over the first 54 holes - Pebble Beach, Spyglass and Monterey Peninsula. Then it's a return visit to the beautiful Pebble Beach Links on Sunday for those who make the cut.

Condi's playing partner this year is Jason Bohn who is famous for winning a million bucks after making a hole-in-one many moons ago. Once he holed the shot, he promptly turned pro, took the cash and has been building up a steady career ever since. Condi played with him two years ago and this year there is only one goal - to make it to Sunday.

The foursome today was Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo, his partner Ryan Palmer, Condi and Jason.

Condi's golf has been a little erratic of late with glimpses of brilliance mixed in with some not so desirable stuff!

Kathryn Imrie Condoleezza Rice

Today, for example, on the par-5 second she hit an incredible fade round a tree to set up a five-foot birdie putt and then played the next few holes very well. Unfortunately, her evil twin showed up for most of the middle part of the round when the golf was not pretty apart from a few good ones here and there. The technical issue is coming over the top, resulting in a smother to the left or, if the club comes in too open, a semi-shank to the right creeps in. Yikes!

Just when we were trying to figure out a cure for this, Tim Barter followed the group while he was doing his homework for Sky TV.

He thought Condi's lower half was not working, which was true, but that was only part of the problem. In golf, there is always a cause and an effect in the swing. Condi's poor lower half action was a result of coming too much over the top (or vice versa).

After the round, we found solace at the very private Cypress Point driving range where we went to work. There were two main things going on. During the take away, she was starting the club too much out and up, which was restricting her turn and not allowing her to attack the ball from the inside. We worked on taking the club more inside on the back swing and hitting out on the follow through. I am very glad to report this practice session was very successful and saw the return of a nice baby-draw off the tee and crisp iron shots. Phew!

Tomorrow, Condi is playing at Cypress Point in the morning and then a few more holes back at Pebble in the late afternoon. I am sure it'll be just as amazing, even if the caddy is a wee bit pooped by then!

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