So I’m sittin’ here on the couch looking at coffee machines on Amazon.com. You’d be amazed at how many gosh darn coffee machines there are to choose from these days. You’ve got anything from the $7.99 Vietnamese Drip Filter Maker to the $2,499 Jura Impressa J9 One Touch… Beast of-a-Bean Dripper.

But don’t worry, I am not overwhelmed! You see, I have studied my subject thoroughly. My last four years as a journey-woman on the Symetra Tour where I fearlessly traversed about staying with one host family after another allowed for many opportunities to test coffee setups. During my stint on tour, I stayed with 21 different host families from Florida to Kansas to New Hampshire and everywhere in between. (Wow… thank you to all my hosts! For you math geeks out there… at $100 a day for a hotel room… 5 day stays… $500 week… 21 times… $10,500 a year… and I stayed with most of those people at least twice, some three and four times… so multiply that by three… $31,500… and there it is… money saved with host housing= a very nice car!)

Allie White Changing Seasons Changing GearsBack to coffee though! Let me tell you, I’ve tested some machines! You’ve got your 1 cup Keurigs, your hardly still pluggin’ old school pots, the pots on timers, the easy to breaks, the hard to starts, and that amazing one that is built into your car and can be operated by your smartphone from remote villages in third world countries (okay I made that last one up…) but you get the picture!

Thus, through my rigorous experimentation, I know that the $39.95 Cuisinart DCC 450BK 4-Cup Stainless Steel that I’m hovering my mouse on right now is the c-pot for me. I discovered her in North Carolina on a cold spring mornin’, couch surfin’ per usual, and in need of a caffeine lift. It’s a beautiful thing and I’m sure of it.

Now, what does all this coffee talk have to do with Women’s Golf anyway? Welp… nothing says Graduate School like reading late into the night with a cup of coffee in your hand. And since I just played my last Symetra Tour event of my 2016 season in order to begin my Graduate studies this Fall in Journalism at Ohio University… this coffee pot seems like a really big life purchase. I mean, it wasn’t too long ago that I didn’t even like coffee.
I also have the honor and pleasure of being the Graduate Assistant Women’s Golf Coach for the Bobcats as well. I am pretty stoked about both learning opportunities!

Although, I’m becoming very aware that this whole Grad School thing is going to be a big change. I have gotten pretty used to being the free spirited golfer who thinks about birdies, 10-hour drives, and good places to go hiking and or drink a beer. Now I need to trade those agendas in for citations, highlighters and assisting my 12 person golf team with excelling at a D1 level on all cylinders.

Unlike my well studied coffee pot decision…This GA gig is no sure studied thing! Class starts tomorrow and they finally gave us the book list of which I’m supposed to have already read a chapter from some $200 textbook (new). Considering that I just clicked the Amazon button to mail out that particular book (rent $30)… I think I might not get that chapter in tonight…. In my defense, they only had all summer to get me the book list…

But enough about the future and this symbolic Duncan Doughnuts beverage brewer… I must first tip my hat to the summer golf that has passed.

Allie White and Olivia Jordan Higgins Ohio Womens Open
Allie and Olivia Jordan-Higgins after the playoff

In my last tournament of the season, the Symetra Tour’s 32 years and going strong Decatur-Forsyth Classic, I snagged a top 20 finish. This made me 4 for 4 with cuts on my last swing of events. Just the week before I also picked up my first professional victory at the Ohio Women’s Open in a heated playoff against good friend, golfer, and fellow writer, Olivia Jordan-Higgins.

I greatly appreciated this last month of fruitful golf, especially considering that I started the season 0 for 3 with cuts and followed that up with a mediocre middle of the road stretch in June. Seriously, with entry fees alone I was a couple thousand in the hole and now I’m buying coffee machines ya know!

It was nice to finally win a tourney because that is always a goal. I hadn’t had a W in 7 years so it was pretty exhilarating to finally have that feeling again! I still have this dream of teeing it up in just one LPGA tournament (which I’ve been very close to doing)… so I have little doubt that if I get the chance to tee it up a bit next summer then I certainly will try again.

Allie White 2016 Ohio Women's Open winner
Allie wins the 2016 Ohio Women’s Open. Photo credit: The Crescent-News

But for the moment I can feel the change of seasons: Autumn and mocha lattes are in the air.

Before I go on my scholarly way (and don’t worry, I still have a few good womensgolf.com articles coming at y’all this Fall!) I just want everyone to know what they need to watch for out for as the Symetra Tour comes to its final stretch of the season. There are only 6 events left and the difference between that card earning 10th spot on the money list and the oh-so-close, dreaded 11th place finish is only one top five finish away from each other!
Now, I know that I am a biased advocate of the Symetra Tour… but if you are wondering why you should pay attention to the “Road to the LPGA Tour” when the LPGA, LET, PGA, WEB.COM, Latin American, and etc. Tours are all having season-ending excitement… keep in mind that the Symetra Tour is the most underrated of all professional tours- case and point: At Symetra’s FireKeepers Championship in Battle Creek, Michigan despite having 31 LPGA pros competing with us… Symetra Tour player Laura Gonzalez still took home first prize. The Symetra Tour is full of players who either have been, will be, or are almost good enough to be on the LPGA. Women’s golf is deep right now and Symetra Tour events are easy to access, affordable, and fun. Players are relatable and the struggle is real. So pick your favorite player and get on board for the journey!

Here’s What You Need to Watch For the Fall:

1. How much money can money list leader Madalene Sagstrom finish with? She is the only Symetra player to ever earn over $100,000 and she’s not finished yet! Current standing: 1st on the money list at $123,678.

2. Who’s going to conquer Kansas? With two events back to back in the brutal winds and unpredictable weather on the west side of Kansas in the far off cattle lands… who will be tough enough to win? And can those players making the Wizard of Oz journey back up their performances with the gut to prevail in El Dorado, Arkansas on easily the best, most difficult, most beautiful course we play all year long, Mystic Creek (It’s my favorite! With perfect weather the course yielded a +11 cut line… the highest cut I ever experienced on Tour by far).

3. With her victory at The Firekeepers, Symetra standout Laura Gonzalez won an exemption into the LPGA Major, the Evian Masters. Her game is amazing right now. How will she handle the big stage?

4. And of course, who will be in the Top Ten and win their LPGA Tour Card!? 4th place Clariss Guce is coming on strong!? Marissa Steen is again in the hunt?… Jackie Stoelting?… it’s anyone’s game!

5. And then there is, the sometimes forgot fact, that there are all those journey-women out there who are fighting to stay in the top 80 and earn their Symetra Tour card back. A year outside of the top 80 could (if Q-school goes poorly or not at all) potentially mean having small chances of quality competition in 2017.

And that’s what you need to watch for! Enjoy the changing seasons y’all but don’t forget to keep your eye on The Road to the LPGA!

Image credit: Feature photo of Allie White – Brian Brakebill


 

Allie WhiteAllie White from Lancaster, Ohio, is a professional golfer and golf journalist. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Journalism at Ohio University. With four years of experience on the Symetra Tour, a cut-made at the 2009 U.S. Women’s Open, and a 2016 Ohio Open Championship, White hopes to continue her golf career during her academic breaks.

“I grew up on an 88-acre farm in Southeast Ohio and currently live in the same area with my dog Finley where I cheer like crazy for all of my favorite Ohio sports teams. I love to play my guitar, listen to music, watch movies, and read good stuff! 

My two biggest golf dreams are to play in Toledo Ohio’s LPGA event and to make it back to another US Open. I’m still hunting for that first hole in one!”

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