Photo Essay by Mark Seiden
Nancy Lopez, undoubtedly the best woman player in the world from the late 1970s to the late 1980s, visited Venice on January 6th, 2016 to celebrate her birthday and to share her skills and confidence at a “Nancy Lopez Golf Adventures” workshop at the Plantation Golf and Country Club.
“You have to have confidence you’re going to make every putt,” Nancy tells the 40 participants. “After all, there are only two options: you’re either going to make the putt or you’re going to miss it.”
“Keep your putting stroke short and close to the ground, with club face square to the ball at impact. Accelerate through the ball to get the tempo you need. Start practicing close to the hole, then practice three and four-foot putts until you know you can make them.”
“How many of you are great putters?” Lopez asks – “You all are! Let me hear you say it. ‘I’m a great putter!’” “Play Happy” is the overall theme of Nancy Lopez Golf Adventures.
Lopez, who won 48 LPGA tournaments between 1977 and 1997, demonstrates putting technique. Observing her are local professionals Sue Powers (2013 LPGA Teacher of the Year) and Marion Walker, who joined Ms. Lopez in presenting the workshop.
After her retirement from the pro tour in 2003, Nancy was characteristically optimistic: “I am at the beginning of a brand new chapter in my golf career.” She is now an entrepreneur with a full line of women’s golf clubs and accessories. In addition to her “Adventures in Golf” teaching program, she runs an “Adventures in Movement” program to benefit special needs students.
Venice resident and workshop participant Nancy Strenk gets a laugh from Nancy Lopez.
Mark Seiden is a former college professor of literature and writing who has reinvented himself in retirement as a golfer and golf columnist for the Venice Gondolier Sun. A book of his entertaining columns, “Golf’s Old Magic,” is available at Amazon. Mark and his wife Renee are dad and mom to five children and seven grandchildren.