Perspective is an amazing antidote for anything that ails you. A good dose and everything fits. You see better; you think more clearly; You walk with a different cadence and purpose, and when you are a golfer you often play better.
Last Monday, one day after the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, Emma Talley joined a group of LPGA Tour players in Atlanta for the Renee Powell Clearview Legacy Benefit, a charity event that raises funds for Powell’s Mission at Clearview Golf Club, Ohio were collected. As part of the event, members of LPGA * USGA Girls Golf programs from the Atlanta area hung out and played a few holes with the pros. Talley’s player was a 16-year-old high school junior named Charity Cloud.
“She’s there with her sister and I asked her if she was planning on going to college,” Talley said. “She said, ‘Yes, but I also want to keep growing my business.’ I shook my head and said, ‘What?’ It turned out that this girl and her younger sister (Chasity) realized that there were some disadvantaged children in local hospitals who did not wear pajamas during their hospital stay. So they collected donated pajamas and took them to hospitals. It’s gotten so big that they are now making their own pajamas. The company is called DreamCloud Sleepwear and the girls have their pictures on pajamas. ”Talley pulled out a plastic bag containing some sleepwear. “You gave me a pair. Can you believe that 16 years old. I’m blown away.”
Three days later and full of prospects, Talley had the round of their season, a seven birdie 65 at the Old American Golf Club outside of Dallas, to finish two strokes behind Jin Young Ko after the first round of the Volunteers of America Classic.
“You know, I worked really hard on my game and then I worked on my mental game too,” Talley said. “I knew that day would come and everything finally paid off. Hopefully treat me the same way for the next three days. “
Part perspective, part confidence, and part familiarity, Talley said she’s been working with a sports psychologist named Paul Dewland since November. In December, she also returned to her old swing trainer, Todd Trimble.
“It has been worked on all year,” she said. “Between the two of them and the work we put into it, everything has finally paid off. Every week got a little bit better just because I was confident in the process and knowing what I’ve been working on for six months would eventually prevail.
“So, yes, I learned a lot along the way, that’s for sure.”
Talley has been a pro for six years, two on the Symetra Tour and four on the LPGA Tour. She was an exceptional amateur who won the US Women’s Amateur, NCAA Individual Championship, was a low amateur position at the AIG Women’s Open, and took the US team’s victory point at the 2015 Curtis Cup. Everything seemed on track for a smooth transition to the LPGA tour. But golf, like life, does not develop in a linear fashion. There are ups and downs, ups and downs, setbacks and comebacks, fears, tears, glimmers of hope and mountains of grief. She won once on the Symetra Tour at the Island Resort Championship 2017 and had four top 10 finishes in her rookie year on the LPGA Tour. But things haven’t been going so well since then. Talley had a T5 at the LPGA Classic marathon in 2020, the second week after the COVID-19 break. And in 2021, she has missed seven out of ten cuts so far.
“Yeah, I think it’s grueling out here,” Talley said. “Week after week you are expected to play next Thursday, whether you play well or not. I guess just the wear and tear of it all, I realized that I needed to talk to someone. I also lost one of my good friends last summer.
“So (Paul) was a great addition to my game and my mental game. In fact, I felt so calm out there and it felt amazing. The first time in a long time. “
Talley found Dewland through her putting coach, Gareth Raflewski.
“Gareth put me in touch with Paul, ”she said. “He works with a lot of the players on the PGA TOUR and Korn Ferry and he works with a few girls out here too.”
One of the first things Dewland had Talley do was give her caddy the scorecard. “He’s keeping the scorecard now, so I had no idea what I was shooting, which is pretty cool,” she said.
The 65 was pretty cool too. “The tap birds helped,” Talley said. “I hit the ball how I want. I think I hit all the fairways. So just hit the ball really well. ”And this with the right perspective, which in the end could be the best medicine of all.