Missouri Golf Post

Today’s Daily Golfer profile is Karen Johnson from Columbia, Missouri. Karen reflects on her best memory, some notable encounters, and her dream of meeting Mr. Couples.

TMGP: Can you describe your best moment or day on the golf course?

Karen: I spent some time serving as a nurse anesthetist in the Gulf War back in 1990-91, and after I came home, the first day that I could, I got in my car and drove to the nearest golf course. The grass was so green and it was peaceful. I played the entire 18 holes with my senses on fire…. Playing golf that day was the best therapy a girl could ask for and I’ll never forget it.

TMGP: Do you take lessons and have a regular teacher? Describe what you do to fix things when needed. Go to a teacher? Work things out yourself?

Karen: In high school, my golf coach was Mrs. Peggy Kirk Bell at Pine Needles Golf Resort and she taught me to keep everything simple. I’ve had lessons with David Pelz and Stan Utley to try to find a short game. Learning from them and studying how the great players think, I’ve worked hard to learn the mechanics and tempo of the swing so that when I’m on the course, I can make adjustments when things aren’t going well. But I still have John Utley on speed dial…

TMGP: What/who got you started into the game of golf?

Karen: My family moved around a lot, so I had to find a game I could enjoy playing by myself. We lived on a public golf course once, and the neighborhood kids would run out and hit balls around every summer night after the groundskeeper left… I was hooked pretty early!

TMGP: Do you have a regular “game” with friends?

Karen: I have a great group of women that I play with at Old Hawthorne on Saturday and Sunday. They’re competitive and I like that because it keeps me motivated to play well. We play for milkshakes after the round… (they’re awesome at Old Hawthorne).

TMGP: What’s your best score? Number and what was it to par?

Karen: My best score ever was a 69 at Tidewater Plantation in Myrtle Beach which was three under par…. I played the par threes well that day and had an eagle pitch in on a par five. That saved my round.

TMGP: What’s the most beautiful/scenic course you have ever played?

Karen: I’ve played in Europe, but I prefer the U.S. We have so many great courses. I’d have to say Bandon Dunes is probably the best place on earth. It’s almost impossible to stay focused when the Pacific Ocean is your view.

TMGP: Have you ever met or played with a current or former PGA Tour player?

Karen: I was fortunate to play many rounds with Mrs. Peggy Kirk Bell, a founding member of the LPGA. I caddied for Laura Baugh during a tournament once…. (I’ve never seen so many men in the gallery that day!) I’ve had my camera taken from me by Lee Trevino (he gave it back). I’ve met Nancy Lopez, Patty Berg, Julius Boros, Payne Stewart, Sam Snead, Tom Watson, Lee Jansen, Judy Rankin, Peter Jacobson, Jay and Jerry Haas. I have yet to meet Fred Couples…. A girl can dream!

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The Missouri Golf Post is a monthly digital magazine that “celebrates the people who play the game.” Each monthly issue contains several “feature” stories on golfers, golf courses, and/or major tournaments of interest statewide. Each issue contains a number of regular departments on topics such as Tournament Summaries, Fitness, “The Superintendent’s Corner,” Instruction, and Rules.

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