We connected with three AJGA alumni to see how they're stayed busy at home during quarantine and their best advice for preparing for a return to competitive golf.
Cheyenne Knight is a two-time AJGA champion and two-time Rolex Junior All-American who notched her first LPGA victory at the 2019 Volunteers of America Classic. She was also one of four LPGA rookies to participate in the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship. Knight is an active supporter of the AJGA ACE Grant and spent time with Leadership Links participants in 2019.
Doug Ghim is a four-time AJGA champion, four-time Rolex Junior All-American and ACE Grant recipient. Ghim earned his PGA TOUR card for the 2019-20 season and made 13 cuts in 21 starts on the Korn Ferry Tour, including three top-10 finishes. Ghim was an ACE Grant Recipient during his junior golf career and now supports the ACE Grant. He also attended 2019 ACE Grant Cup.
Mariah Stackhouse is a four-time AJGA champion and three-time Rolex Junior All-American who also served as a Player Representative on the AJGA Board of Directors in 2011. Since earning her LPGA Tour membership in 2017, Stackhouse has compiled four top-10 finishes, including T5 at the 2019 ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer.
What are you doing at home during quarantine?
Cheyenne: I have been spending time with my family and dogs. We've been going on walks, playing cards and doing puzzles and we've been watching documentaries like "Tiger King" and the new Michael Jordan series. I've also been in charge of cooking dinner for my family every night.
Doug: I think we're trying to stay creative while at home. I bought a mini basketball hoop and I have been playing a lot of video games, mainly "NBA 2K". I recently bought Disney+ and watched all three Star Wars trilogies, "Rogue One" and "Solo". I'd have to say the first trilogy is my favorite.
Mariah: I am enjoying getting to cook and I have been calling my friends to get new recipes from them. I also downloaded Disney+ and I like the nostalgia that comes with it. Some of my favorite things I've watched are "Cinderella" with Brandy Norwood and Whitney Houston and "The Parent Trap". I also got really bored and bought a PlayStation 4 to pass some time.
How are you preparing for a return to competitive golf?
Cheyenne: I've been doing home workouts from my trainer and walking around our neighborhood. I'm trying to stay committed to my practice routine weekly, doing everything I do in preparation for a tournament. I like to make 15 five-footers in a row, chipping up-and-down drills, 40- to 100-yard wedge shots, and driving accuracy drills.
Doug: I have a fitness trainer who came up with a good plan for me and I use a training app to help me do workouts at home. My roommate and I built a net in our backyard and have been hitting mid-irons and using a TrackMan. Putting is probably the best thing you can do because you don’t need a lot of space. You can never putt enough. I do some alignment drills using a putting mirror and have a mat that lines up with the floor tiles to help me.
Mariah: The main thing I am working on is my mental game and I've been reading some books to help me in that area. I have also been paying extra attention to my body during this time and doing daily stretching to help stay in shape. I also keep an eye on the LPGA schedule and visualize how it will look and feel to mentally and physically prepare for the changes.
What are your tips and advice for junior golfers on how they can prepare for the return of competitive golf?
Cheyenne: Make the most out of this situation because everyone is going through it. Whether that's hitting balls in your garage into a net, swinging in front of a mirror or putting in your living rooms, just try to get better. I think it's important when courses do open to play competitive rounds. Play games with yourself, or against your friends, so you're ready for those pressure situations when tournaments start back up.
Doug: Take advantage of downtime. Take a break and reflect on where you want to progress as a player. Think about how you can be a better player, not just in the next tournament, but how you can keep improving going into college. This situation gives you time to reflect on a lot of things, especially mentally. This is an unprecedented time. Everyone needs to stay positive. It's really easy to be short-minded and think about things that aren’t accessible anymore.
We should realize how fortunate we are to have a season coming back. Do everything you can do to prepare for the upcoming season and be grateful when it does return.
Mariah: Take time for stretching. I think a 30-minute stretch routine at home can be beneficial. I would also say to play with your friends (at a safe distance) as much as possible. Doing short-game competitions is important in keeping up your competitive drive. I would pace yourself back into drilling. Being at home for a long time can change your body, but pacing yourself back into your routines will help your body adjust.