ASK EUROPEAN TOUR PRO SOPHIE SANDOLO!
"Hi ISUCKATGOLF fans, I’m Sophie Sandolo and I’m going to be answering your question for ISUCKATGOLF. You can ask me anything about golf, tips, my game, my experiences as a pro, with modeling, my calendar, whatever! I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Hope to hear from you soon! Ciao!"
You can read past questions and answers after this intro. or by clicking here.
ASK SOPHIE ANY QUESTION BY CLICKING HERE!
Sophie started to play golf in the island of Elba(Tuscany) when she was 14 years old. She was a former tennis player but fell in love with golf "at first swing"! By age of sixteen she was good enough to make the Italian National Team. After winning two world championships she left school to play in the United States, securing a full scholarship to UCLA, where she was earned "All American" status. After her first year however she made the difficult decision to return to Europe and try to win a major amateur tournament there, which she did in 1992 winning the European Amateur Championship. In October of that same year she went to Q-school and finished 11th to obtain her full card for the Evian Tour!
AMATEUR CAREER STATS
|1999||1st European Championship|
|1st Italian Stroke Play Championship|
|1st Italian 4-somes Champion|
|1998||1st Swiss International Championship|
|1st Italian Stroke play Championship|
|2nd European Championship|
|2nd World Amateur Team Championship|
|1996||1st Italian Junior Champion|
|2nd Italian Match play Championship|
|2nd World Amateur Team Championship|
|1996-1997||NCAA Division 1 West All-American 1996-97, UCLA|
PROFESSIONAL CAREER STATS
As you can see see Sophie's got game to go along with those "Calendar Girl" good looks! We're thrilled to have Sophie as part of our "ISUCKATGOLF Experts" team! So send in those questions and Sophie will do her best to help you with your golf game or answer whatever non-golf questions you may have for her! Thanks again Sophie!!!
SOPHIE ON "BIG BREAK"
Swing hard all the time with every club? (can't control "easy swing")
You play on the European Tour, have you ever played on the LPGA Tour, and do you plan to in the future?
Yes you are right, I have played on the European Tour for several years now. I have been to UCLA and played college golf for about two years. At that time I could have tried LPGA qualifying but then decided to come back in Europe and qualify for the Ladies European tour. In my mind I always keep the idea of coming on the LPGA.
Just curious what you would consider your greatest "golf moment" so far?
Probably my first win in Morocco. It was a very exiting time in my golf career.
Hi, was there any positive or negative feedback from your fellow pros about the calendars? Do you have one coming out for 2009 and if so where can I get one?
At first it was a bit of a Shock because the players thought I was NUDE in all the pictures!
The fact is that when you say the word “calendar” you think you will see a model with nothing on…
This is the reason why I decided to do something different, all my pictures are semi dressed and with the complicity of the photographer, we created something different each year…. All the pictures are sensual, sexy, a little provocative etc… for more you will need to buy one ;-)
If you want to do so you can go directly on my web site www.sophiesandolo.it or make a payment with paypal to email@example.com the delivery is fast and all my calendars from the previous years are on sale for Christmas!!!
Have you ever gotten a hole in one? Did you save the ball if you did?
I got a few all in ones, I think about 7 since I started playing golf. The most recent was in Portugal this summer.
I have never kept the ball but I have them all in mind ;-)
Who do you think is the best female golfer playing today, and who do you think is the prettiest? (aside from yourself!)
I think the best is probably Lorena Ochoa. She has everything in her game and above all she has a great mental.
The most pretty is a difficult question as there is now a lot of very pretty golfers……I would suggest Anna Rawson but as I said there are many.
Thank s for your questions
Ciao and Happy holidays to you.
I am a PGA Professional and Titleist Certified Golf Fitness Instructor. I work with mostly males right now in training and swing instruction so I would like to get a female pro's take. What kind of workout and stretching routines do you use during the season?
Clayton Garland, PGA, C.G.F.I.
Thanks for your question.
Normally when I travel from one event to another the hotels do not have a fitness room or anything like it so I take a few rubber bands with me and I do my own workout with what I have around.
It is not easy but I try to keep fit as much as possible. Regarding the stretching I use to do Pilate's which I repeat when I travel.
Let me know if you'd like to know something else.
I think it’s great that you and your fellow pros will take questions like this, so thanks for taking mine.
Do you spend more time “practicing” or playing? I get to play once a week, and get to the range usually after work Friday night and sometime during the day on Sat. Sunday we play. Just wondered if you play everyday during the season or are there days when you just hit balls or putt only? Any suggestions on how to allocate my time on the driving range?
Thanks for your message and sorry for the delay!
I usually spend 3 hours practicing on different par of my game then I usually go on the course and just play. This is during winter because when the season starts, I usually spend most of my time on the course…I think it is where you learn the most because every situation is different…..on the range if you have time try to always change aim with a specific routine…..you will see that when you go back on the course it is going to be much easier to get into the game right away!
Oh and by the way always try to chip and putt a little as those will make your hcp go low faster
Hope this helps!
What do you do when you go to the golf course one day, like today, and you can't make a shot or get the ball in the air. The harder I tried, the worse I got. I went from a 32 handycap a year and half ago to a 19. Now I am playing like a 32 again!
Thank you for your question. This situation could happen often in golf or in any other sport I guess...In my case when this happen I try not focus on the mistake or what I am doing wrong. I just try to relax and empty my mind ...I know it might not be easy especially when you see your ball doing everything except what you asked!
In the worse scenario, I just give the balls to somebody else, go the putting green or chipping and just concentrate on something else.....
hope this helps.
ISAG Bonus Tip: See Scoring and Impact. These address changing from practice mode to scoring mode when on the course and the most crucial part of the golf swing ...impact. You may also want to look at The Best Tip Ever. Golf is a maddening game at times. A lot of times playing poorly leads to a more mechanical swing and thought process which can aggravate the problem. It's very hard to do but try to relax out there even when you're duffing them down the fairway. You may also check out Topping. Practice the drills at the range and do your best to just concentrate on one swing thought on the course. The goal is to groove your swing at the range so you don't have to think about swing thoughts at all when over the ball. This requires muscle memory. It sounds like you've grooved something you don't want into your swing. Practice the above, whichever seems most relevant. I would also suggest a lesson with video. If nothing else you'll "know" what you're doing wrong which will help you focus on the problem. Knowing what you're doing wrong is a huge aid in relaxing and focusing on the shot and hand and not a million things at once. Good luck!
I’m 13 years old (girl) and just started hitting golf balls for the first time. I really like it and can hit pretty well with my dad’s clubs, but we’ve only hit in the back yard with whiffle balls and have been to the range once. I’d like to get my own set of clubs, as the ones I’ve seen at the pro shop are so much lighter than my dads. My dad wants to see if I stick with it first. My questions are do you think I can learn if I like the game using a men’s set? And if/when I do get my own any suggestions on what brand or style to get? My dad says I’m too new at the game to get fitted. I’m average size pretty much, but maybe a little tall for my age and pretty strong.
Well, I think you are a bit too young to use men’s club. What I would suggest is to take a lesson and when the pro will see you play, he or she will tell you what is the most appropriate according to your swing.
I don’t think there is a "better brand" when you start playing golf. You should need something easy with a “ big face”(ie: Mizuno MX200). The most important is the shaft. Even if you are strong you need something light and probably graphite. This to start….after a few years when your handicap is say less than ten, you will go for something harder.
I wish you all the best
You will love the game every day a bit more!
I found you on the website ISUCKATGOLF and wanted to ask you a question about why pros tee up short irons on par 3’s? I almost never tee the ball up if the grass is good on the tee on short par three’s. My friends say I should. But it seems to me that since all my other shots with wedges and short irons are off the turf that I’m better off using the swing I use much more often off the turf than teeing it up. I always feel like I can get better contact with a good lie on the grass. Can you tell me what you do and am I really making things harder on myself by not teeing these short irons up. I’ve tried teeing it very low but I still feel like I’m going to swing right under it. Can you give me any tips. Is it the same iron swing whether or not the ball is teed up on these shots?
Your question is a good one.
Personally I like to play from the grass but sometimes when the green is hard and the ball does not spin then I like to use a small tee(most of the times a broken one). This way I will putt more backspin to the ball and once it touches the green it stops. Hope this helps
Thanks for taking my question. With golf season winding down around here I’d like to ask you if you have any suggestions for what kind of training I can do over the winter months to come back stronger next season. I played very well this year and made huge strides, now I want to get stronger and gain some extra distance. I’m pretty strong now, I run and do some general exercises to keep in shape, but nothing to add any yardage to my tee shots! Any suggestions?
The physical strength is probably one of the most important aspect in the entire game of golf. It can influence your mental as well as your shots ...I would suggest you work with a physical trainer at least three times a week. You need to be strong in your back, your abdominal's, your arms and your legs ...I know it is a lot but you need to get a program down and you have to respect it.
Good luck :-)
Glad to see you're playing and having success already!
I have a question. I need a good routine for an hour at the driving range before playing. I really want to have a routine of sorts rather than just beating ball after
ball until they're all gone. I shoot around 85 if that matters. Can you give
me any guidelines of what percentage of irons vs. woods etc. etc. I should
be hitting and in what order? How do you practice at the range? Any little
games you ever use to keep it interesting and prevent rushing through the
balls? (I like to aim for the guy in the tractor collecting the balls! ;0)
Thank you very much and good luck this season!
The driving range should be used as a warm up first and second as a sort of pre-round simulation. When I get to the golf course I first do my stretching then go directly to the range. I start off with a few SW's to warm up slowly and then a PW, 7, 5 and a few drives(on each shot I do my pre shot routines) this must take no more than 15 minutes, about 25 balls. Then I hit another 20 balls with a precise target that I change on each shot. it can be a drive, 5 iron or a Sw ...after that I go on the putting green, get an idea of the pace of the greens, then make a few chips and I'm ready to go!
Big Fan! Love that I can ask a question of someone like yourself.
I have a very long swing. Past parallel and I lift my heel way off the ground. (not very flexible) I swing hard, as that’s how I was taught when I was younger. My problem is not when I swing hard, but when I try to reign in my swing. I seem to make much better contact when I’m swinging harder. Which hurts my short iron swing. I would much rather jump on an 8 iron for instance than hit an easy 7. Any tips you can give me on how to learn to make solid contact when swinging easy? I don’t want to lose my driver swing, as I can crush it, but I’ve got to dial it back with the irons.
Thanks for sending me your questions.
When I play I love hitting one iron less and hit it hard, as I know this way I will not decelerate. It is not a problem to hit one club less, as long as you keep your lower body grounded. That's why the only tip I would suggest is to focus on your balance and on grounding your feet with the irons and then swing exactly the same as you would normally. As soon as you decelerate or try to "ease up" a bad shot will be the result. You will probably gain in consistency and length this way. Hope this helps!
All the best,
On full shots do you prefer to take a little less club and swing harder, or a little more club and swing easy? What % of you full swing do you use with the Driver? I’ve got one pro that tells me to swing “within myself”, and another that believes in swinging “hard” with the driver in particular. (95%) What do you think? It’s very confusing to have two opposing philosophies like this!
I like to take maybe a little less club and swing it hard instead of taking a little more and decelerating through the ball...with the driver it is different, i normally swing at 90-95% so that i can maintain a good balance/equilibrium and a good rhythm...With the driver if you loose your coordination because you want to hit the ball too hard it will result in loosing meters so....you have the choice.... good luck!
Best wishes Sophie
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