How to juggle a pro golf career when you’re a Mom

Twenty years in the past, that is precisely what novice Brenda Corrie-Kuehn — eight months pregnant — did on the US Women’s Open at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club alongside enjoying associate Jennifer Greggain, who was properly into her second trimester.

Yet the mother-of-three completed with a birdie and defied her obstetrician-gynecologist, who thought she was too shut to the due date to be on a golf course in 80-degree warmth.

“I said to her: ‘Over my dead body.’ I qualified for this, I worked hard to get there, I am going to play,” Corrie-Kuehn instructed CNN Sport.

Every week later, daughter Rachel was born, and her 56-year-old mother can have impressed others to stick with it dwelling life when your tummy and your docs are telling you no.

“It was not pretty. I don’t remember what I did, but there’s a point towards the end of your pregnancy where you just get big very quickly,” mentioned the nine-time US Open veteran.

“I think that happened between the time of qualifying for the Open and the actual event itself, and it’s hard to fire the hips with the added weight, so my swing changed and I couldn’t hit it very far. But I was glad to be there.

“Lots of people requested me: ‘How might you play that approach?’ What I used to be attempting to present was it is a part of life. I had some bodily restrictions and after the US Open I performed in a cart at house earlier than Rachel was born.

“What I was trying to show was just because you’re pregnant, and unless you have a medical condition, you can do the same things you did before you were pregnant and after you deliver. That was my message.”

With such {golfing} genes — Corrie-Kuehn’s mom was a Venezuelan nationwide champion and so was her dad — it is little marvel Rachel adopted in her mother’s footsteps to the famend Wake Forest University in North Carolina the place she additionally excels at golf, narrowly lacking out on the Augusta National Women’s Amateur finale at Augusta earlier this 12 months.

She has essentially the most avid supporter in her mother, whose recommendation for any pregnant golfer is to watch how lengthy you spend practising on the greens.

“It affected my distance a lot. Imagine having a 30-pound ball in front of you and trying to fire your hips, you would lose your balance. So my swing became very armsy and rhythmical.

“But there is no cause for the brief sport not to be good — though you can not sit and follow your placing for a very long time as a result of your again kills you.”

Strong moms

Three-time major champion Nancy Lopez has three daughters and won events while pregnant in the 1980s and 1990s.

In 2003, France’s Patricia Meunier-Lebouc played the Solheim Cup four months pregnant, taking some handy advice from Carin Koch, the Swede having played the 2002 competition at 12 weeks.

In 2005, Laura Diaz and Iben Tinning met in the biennial competition, American Diaz six months pregnant and Dane Tinning 16 weeks.

In the world of long drive championships, Lisa ‘Longball’ Vlooswyk became the first competitor in the field to throw her added weight into the biggest drives in the game.

In turn, she inspired five-times world champion Sandra Carlborg from Sweden, who was pummeling 300+ yard drives in the 2019 tournament when she was 24 weeks pregnant with her daughter Ebba.

“We had a medical tent as a result of it was very popular that day, the medical man was cooling me down with ice between units,” Carlborg told CNN.

“I felt secure and he mentioned: ‘As lengthy as you are feeling good, it is okay.’ I promised him if I felt something uncomfortable, I’d cease competing,” said the 37-year-old, who hit 80 balls at full tilt that day and whose longest drive is 401 yards, five shy of the world record.

Now expecting her second daughter, due in September, Carlborg has used the Covid-19 lockdowns to start a podcast called PowerMamas in Sweden to help empower new mothers.

Carlborg plays a shot.

“I’m getting weaker and weaker once more so I’m actually trying ahead to coming again as a robust athlete for subsequent 12 months. My objective is to be my strongest me — stronger than I’ve ever been and swing it quicker than I ever have.

“Many people say women are stronger after they’ve been a mom.”

Carlborg will get a few of her constructive outlook from the way in which her sponsors initially took the information she was having her first child.

“It’s a big difference nowadays. I was very nervous when I told my sponsors I was pregnant with Ebba, wondering what they were going to say, but I think that’s been a big change in the past few years, in all sports.

“I’m completely happy that we dwell not like 10-15 years in the past, individuals at all times used to say: ‘When you’ve youngsters. you’re out of your sport.’ I hope extra women are pondering that having youngsters will not cease them from being a high-level athlete.”

Former Great Britain rower Baz Moffat founded the Well HQ earlier in 2021 with two doctors — one of whom, Dr Emma Ross, has written a chapter on women and pregnancies in golf as part of a female athlete health book.

“Pregnancy and post-natal restoration in sport is a actually, actually new factor. Brenda is a actual one-off,” Moffat told CNN.

“It’s solely actually since Serena Williams in 2014 that this has develop into extra of a factor, by way of extra ladies sandwiching in kids inside their careers — as opposed to simply pushing their careers proper up till the purpose they need to have kids and that being the primary cause they retire from sport.”

Mother-of-two Moffat, who trained with the Great Britain Olympic team between 2004-08, said the change has been massive from her day as an elite athlete post the Beijing Games.

“I do not suppose there have been any mothers on the planet of worldwide sport again then. A couple of individuals tried to go away, have kids and are available again once more, inside a four-year cycle, however the assist techniques weren’t there.

“If the number one reason women are leaving their sport early is to have children, how can we support them throughout that? It’s not perfect now, but there are examples of women doing it fantastically.”

Laura Diaz shelters from the sun on the fifth hole during the friday morning foursomes matches in the 2005 Solheim Cup.

Even par in the future, a little birdie the following

Back at Wake Forest University, Kuehn’s teammate Emilia Migliaccio is the speak of US novice golf after making the playoff at Augusta however shedding to a clutch par from 17-year-old Japanese star Tsubasa Kajitani.

Like Kuehn, her mother too was a good expertise. Ulrika Migliaccio represented the University of Arizona and in addition performed alongside fellow Swede and 10-time main winner Annika Sorenstam.

So when Ulrika donned the well-known white Augusta boiler swimsuit to caddie for her daughter in April, it made Emilia gush with delight as she thought again to her mother as a golfer, not least enjoying the sport pregnant.

“I think the day before my mom had me, she played a round of golf and shot even par,” the 22-year-old instructed CNN, a big smile breaking out throughout her face.

“She was playing with two men who looked at each other and said: ‘Really? We’re playing this pregnant lady?’ Then she totally tore it up!”

Migliaccio her caddie and mom, Ulrika after losing on the first playoff hole to Tsubasa Kajitani during the Augusta National Women's Amateur tournament.

Migliaccio grew up aspiring to play sport professionally, has rubbed shoulders on group occasions with the likes of Patty Tavatanakit, Collin Morikawa, Jennifer Kupcho and Viktor Hovland and performs the sport to a degree most individuals can solely dream about.

Yet she has determined to observe her mother’s footsteps in not becoming a member of the skilled ranks.

“She didn’t really like living out of a suitcase, and decided the professional track wasn’t going to be for her. When I was questioning my career path, my mom shared her experience and she’s given me a lot of guidance.”

Like Ulrika Migliaccio that day on the course, Carlborg has a lesson for some male golfers too.

“Back in 2019, when I was 30 weeks pregnant, I was telling guys at an event not to complain about their big stomachs, they’re not stopping you hitting it far!

“So hopefully I can encourage a lot of individuals from being pregnant.”

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