Student blog: Karen Arimoto prepping for Rolex Girls Championship

Hi everyone! I’m Karen Arimoto from Japan.

I’m a student at the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy, and I am here playing the Rolex Girls Championship at Dalhousie Golf Club, Missouri with my GGGA teammate Mai Dechathipat.

We are very excited for this week.

This tournament is one of the big junior invitationals. Many great players will be competing. It is my second time playing at this tournament, and I hope to make it better than last. But for Mai, it is her first time, and I am sure she is more than awakened.

It was quite a journey for us to get here. We traveled two hours to Michigan and then headed back to Missouri. It was somewhat of a boring flight, and we are no longer fans of traveling across the states since we have been in the airport three times this month!

We slept most of the time, but when I could no longer handle it, I taught Mai how to make an origami. We folded a Coca Cola napkin and turned it to a crane. It took Mai a while to follow me, but she was finally able to get it.

We arrived early to play an extra practice round but there were thunderstorms, so we practiced in the rain and studied the yardage book.

Day 2 – Monday, June 10

Today was the practice round. It was great for me because I got to play with my old Japanese friend. The golf course was amazing.

The course is built on an old farm and it’s wide open with many hills. It is very visually intimidating, and today my practice round allowed me to learn the key places to hit.  It is very important for me to hit fairways and greens due to the very thick and long rough.

We were relaxed, yet focused, and created an awesome game plan with our coach Zach Parker from GGGA.

We even had a putting contest on the ninth green. It is the biggest green I have ever seen! It measures 99 yards from the front to the back with three levels.

After the round we had great dinner and player’s meeting. Invitationals are always amazing. We always get lots of great gifts. Footjoy was here and allowed us to design our own golf shoes. I designed pink and white shoes with a Japanese flag and my name on it and also got a cute teddy bear.

It is amazing that there are going to be over 350 volunteers making our experience so special this week. I am excited to play knowing that if I focus on my game plan and believe in myself, I can have an amazing tournament.