Borowicz hopes to go long in Oklahoma
By Bruce Meadows
Monica Borowicz was an outstanding tennis player, eventually competing at Santa Rosa JC, where her team advanced to the state tournament and Monica earned Big 8 Conference MVP honors.
But while she still loves the game of tennis, she got turned on to golf at a young age, and when her competitive tennis career ended, she started chasing that little white ball more seriously.
She made the golf team at Sonoma State but had to re-try out again her senior year, playing well enough to grab the final roster spot.
Monica was introduced to golf when she was 12 when her father, David, took her to the driving range, explaining “my dad got me a set of clubs and we starting hitting balls on the range.”
“Monica has always hit the ball long, and far . . . she likes to hit things hard,” says David. “She was that way in tennis, too.”
“We were watching the men’s long drive competition on TV and started wondering if there was something like that for women,” she says.
That led her to compete in a televised women’s long drive competition recently in Denver where she found the high altitude to her liking, launching her best drive 369 yards, which put her just one yard short of advancing to the semifinals.
Her success got her thinking and she researched women’s long drive competition and found a World Championship event was scheduled in Thackerville, Okla., Sept. 5-6. She applied and will be in the field of 32.
“My dad is good at spotting things and always felt I had a natural ability for golf,” explains Monica, who carries a 4 handicap. “I think my efforts in Denver helped me get in the Oklahoma event.”
She’ll see a lot of the same women she went against in Denver, including New Zealander Phyllis Meti, who won the 2016 Oklahoma competition with a 302-yard drive. Also present will be Sweden’s Sandra Carlberg, who won in Denver with a 402-yard thin-air bomb.
“The women I met in Denver were so nice,” said Monica, whose sisters Alexandra and Kasia were both outstanding tennis players. “It’s a close-knit group.”
Besides distance, accuracy is vital. Women get eight balls to hit and have to keep them within a grid based on width.
“All it takes is one good ball,” said Monica, who works at BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse at Coddingtown in Santa Rosa. “I’ve seen girls hit seven balls off the grid then win it with their last shot.”
There will be three events scheduled on next year’s women’s long drive tour in addition to the World Championship in Oklahoma. The 5-7 Montgomery High grad hopes to compete in all three.
The payoff for winning the World Championship, which will be televised, is $20,000 considerably less than the $125,000 the men can take home. But as Monica explained, the money would help her continue to compete and sponsorships are not out of the question. And she hopes that with exposure, the long drive tour could expand to more than three events.
She also hasn’t dismissed the idea of someday competing on the LPGA Tour, although she admits “I have a long way to go in order to do that,” adding that length is her strength, the short game is a challenge.
“I’m realistic, but optimistic,” says Monica, adding that she has been hitting some 330-yard drives in practice. “It would be a shock if I won but all it takes is one good drive.”
In case you were wondering . . .
In addition to those common, nagging questions, such as “why do I slice?, or “why can’t I putt?”, or “how do I get out of that damn sand?,” there are questions that I find a little bit more interesting.
Like what is your favorite golf course . . . and your least favorite? Or how do you stay cool on the golf during these hot summer days? Or if you had the time and money to travel to any place you wanted to play golf, where would that be?
I tossed out these and a few other questions to pro and amateur golfers and will share some of their responses. I will list the questions below and would love to hear what you have to say.
Here are the questions I gave to a cross-section of pro and amateur golfers. Please feel free to send me your answers.
- With the weather warming up, what do you do to stay cool on the golf course? Do you try to play earlier or what?
2. If you have the time (and money) to get away, where do you like to travel to for a round of golf?
3. For pros and golf courses, what special summer activities (clinics, camps, etc.) are you offering?
4. What events (tournaments, etc.) do you know about?
5. Why should golfers come to your course . . . what makes your place attractive?
6. Golfers, what is your favorite course in the area, and why? And what golf shops are your favorite and why?
7. Golfers, what is your LEAST favorite course and why? If you have a problem, maybe we can figure out why and let our readers know.
Note: When I wrote a weekly column for the Press Democrat, I would occasionally rate courses around the area and would like to do that again, with your help.
8. Golfers, what could courses do to get more of your business?
Steven Altschuler, who writes “The Mindful Golfer” blog, likes to play Bennett Valley because “it reminds me of the old mature tree-lined courses I learned on in Philly.”
He says although it’s tough to play there when it gets wet, there is nothing “tricked up” about BV.
He thinks more courses should have nine-hole rates . . . getting paid for nine holes is better than not getting anything at all.
Windsor pro Demian Reddy advises golfers to play early and buy a Hydro Flask for hot days to keep your water or other beverages cold throughout your round.
He also likes to head north during warm weather and spend times in Oregon, usually Bandon Dunes or Bend, both great golf venues. He likes Washington, and the Truckee-Tahoe as well.
Demian thinks the best public courses are Sea Ranch, admitting it’s a long drive, and his own Windsor layout. Mayacama, which I once called “the best course you’ll never play if you are a Sonoma County resident” gets his vote for best private course.
He tabs Foxtail South as his least favorite, noting it has “an unimaginative layout, subpar conditions and No. 6 is the worst par 4 in Sonoma County.”
Overall, he ranks the top courses as Mayacama, Sonoma, Sea Ranch, Windsor, Fountaingrove, Bodega Harbour.
Jason Schmuhl, head pro at Windsor, says “when it’s really hot I lilke to play in the middle of the day and drink plenty of water and ride in a cart . . . some days when it’s real hot, it’s a ghost town on the golf course.”
If “money was not an issue,” Schmuhl would love to tee it up in Hawaii more often.
He likes Windsor because “our course has been in great shape and it’s fun to play because every hole is a little different,” adding pace of play is much improved at Windsor with rounds less than four hours possible.
He also likes Mayacama . . . “it’s obviously a pretty great course because of the setting and conditions,” and mentions Bodega “because it usually has some nice things in the shop.”
Pro Golf Now offers a few tips for hot weather, including playing early; waiting in the shade; start hydrating well before your round; don’t neglect your electrolytes; keep your head covered; take cooling towels and neck wraps; wear clothes that “wick,” and eat because your body needs more fuel when you make it work in the heat. Consider digestible carbs such as peanut butter crackers, bananas, a handful of M&Ms or nuts.
Tournament coming up
The ninth annual B’nai Israel Jewish Center Golf Tournament is scheduled at Foxtail North Sunday, Aug. 20.
Golf and a dinner contribution is $135 per individual, with golf and dinner for four priced at $500. Dinner only is $30. The dinner is underwritten and the golf is donated so your check is fully deductible.
Registration is at 11:30 a.m. with a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. A 5:30 putting contest will precede dinner.
“Whether you give because you know Petaluma’s Jewish Community and support the growth of ‘the tribe’ for what it means in Petaluma and around the world, or because you are doing Tom (Isaac) a favor, some of what you get is tangible.”
“I would love to have you with us,” says Tom,” and will appreciate your contribution even if you can’t be with us. If you have any questions, contact Cathy Simondi at [email protected] or call 707-981-4994.
Check it out . . .
Margo Zatkovich reports business is good for her “My New Arms” product for women, especially women golfers.
“It’s been good since ladies have found out that our sleeves have a 50 UV protection and that they can wear them on hot days and still get protected,” says Margo.
Check out “My New Arms” at www.mynewarms.com
Let’s hear from you . . .
I truly appreciate hearing your ideas for GOLF 707 and also those of you who have provided golf-related information.
I want to hear from more of you regarding just about anything golf-related. I’d like to get suggestions for feature story ideas for local golfers or golf courses, news on local kids playing in high school or college.
If you have golf events, clinics, sales. etc. on the agenda, let me know and I will try to help get the word out for you.
If you are interested in helping sponsor GOLF 707 like Bill Carson at Wine Country Golf Group has graciously done, let me know and we will give you the details. We want to continue this column but quite honestly need your help and support if we want to continue the column.
Email me at [email protected] and we will take it from there.