Golf Manitoba is pleased to share the unique experience of Southwood Golf & Country Club member Rhonda Orr as she participates this week in the 2023 U.S. Senior Women’s Open at Waverley Country Club in Portland, Oregon.
Wednesday – Last day of preparation and you can see and feel the change of intensity. The players parking lot was full, the driving range was 2 deep, putting green was filled with mirrors and alignment aids. All much different than Monday and Tuesday. In the dining room people were in and out quicker and the discussions a little less jovial.
My day started with short game work followed by some time on the putting green where I met Julie Inkster. A quick lunch where I was able to sit at a table with Annika and her husband Mike. Some would find that intimidating but it was nothing compared to hitting balls 2 positions away from her on the range and watching in awe.
On and around the course you notice the addition of concession stands, security at the entrances, and electronic leaderboards.
They are expecting very hot weather so to keep the greens alive they are watering between the morning and afternoon waves. Even with that weather the course seems lush and green.
Thursday – As I walked to the first tee from the putting green I thought wow this is really happening! Marshalls with quiet signs, concession stand selling pizza, fans waiting to see you tee off, getting introduced as Rhonda Orr, Canada, it was such a rush.
Unfortunately the first hole started with a three putt , definitely some nerves involved which carried on for a few more holes. At times it was easy to settle in and feel like it was any other tournament. But then you would be faced with a large leaderboard or Annika’s group including the entourage would be on an adjacent hole and you were quickly reminded where you were.
One of my favourite places on the course is the VIP area providing great views of both 9 and 18 greens where you can also enjoy your favourite beverages and snacks. I learned that my player badge will get me and my guests absolutely anywhere on the property and anything we want to eat or drink!
I didn’t play as well as I would have liked but the experience is amazing and I am thankful to have the opportunity to do it again tomorrow!