Mayne sets sights on regaining NEWGA title

Pat Mayne is ready for another banner season on the links.
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Pat Mayne is ready for another banner season on the links.

In 2006, the Guilderland resident elevated her game to such a degree that she dominated the area women’s golf scene. She captured the prestigious Northeastern Women’s Golf Association Championship, teamed with Karen Feldman of Olde Kinderhook Golf Club to sweep most of the area best-ball tournaments, and earned a spot in match play for the New York State Women’s Amateur.

But last year, Mayne slipped a bit. A finger injury and a major change in her putting stroke were the culprits.

“Last year was a little different for me,” said Mayne, who works as a supervisor for the New York State Parole department’s applications and development team.

“Two years ago, I had a great season, but I knew I had some flaws in my game. In order to get better, I knew I had to change my putting dramatically. It took a while.”

In fact, it took Mayne most of the season to get the flat stick going. While that process was going on, she suffered a finger cut on her right hand in June.

“It was in a bad spot, and it led to some really bad habits. I was overswinging with my left hand, because it hurt to hold on to the club with my right hand,” Mayne said.

“But the real key was getting my putter in

order. My putting has always been streaky at times. I wasn’t happy with my longer putts. My lag putting wasn’t very good. So I talked to my coach, Herb Moreland, and we checked out my short game. He wanted me to try something so I could be more consistent.”

Mayne found out that she was standing too far from the ball and that she wasn’t lined up correctly when she putted. Moreland also changed her putting stroke.

“I made improvements with my lag putts immediately, but my shorter putts took a while. In fact, it took me a couple of months to get the feel on my shorter putts,” she said.

Mayne did team with Feldman to win the Capital District Women’s Open for the second year in a row and also combined with Feldman to win the Gazette Women’s Best Ball Championship at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course, but she finished a frustrating second by two strokes to Sue Kahler in the NEWGA Championship.

“I played so poorly the first day that I didn’t have a chance to catch her,” Mayne said.

“I felt certain parts of my game were better last year, but everything never came together at the same time. Hopefully, it will be this year.”

Mayne believes the improvements she has made to her physical and mental game over the last couple of seasons will pay dividends this season, but don’t expect to see her with any new equipment.

“I always try new things, but I never seem to change my equipment,” she said. “I know it can help your game, but I feel it’s more important to work on your mechanics than to change your equipment all the time. I still use Cobra irons and woods, Titleist wedges and a 2-ball putter. I don’t change equipment much. I feel most of my problems are with the swing, and I won’t make a change unless I discover significant benefits.”

Mayne plans on playing a tougher schedule this year.

“Karen and I are going to play in the Orchards Invitational, and we’re both looking for some harder tournaments to play in. Karen is very competitive, but she is also a lot of fun. She absolutely wants to win. I’m competitive, as well, but I know that golf is just a game. It’s not my full-time job. The harder it is, the more fun I have. That’s what

I like, the challenge. I like it when I make a mistake and then get myself out of trouble.

“I’m expecting to do a lot better this season. The changes I’ve made are starting to kick in,” she said.

Mayne not only wins many NEWGA tournaments, but she also helps keep the organization’s Web site, newgagolf.com, up to date.

SCHEDULE

May 19 — Two Best Balls of Four at Wolferts Roost; June 10 — Ringer Tournament at Van Schaick Island Country Club; June 16 — 6/6/6 Tournament at Pine Brook GC; June 30 — Four-Person Scramble at Oneonta CC; July 14 — Mixed Tournament at McGregor Links CC; July 28-29 — NEWGA Championship at The Edison Club; Aug. 5 — Two-Person Scramble at Winding Brook CC; Aug. 13 — Gail Sykes Two-Ball at Wiltwyck GC; Aug. 25 — Susan B. Komen Team Shamble at Cobleskill G&CC; Sept. 8-9 — Senior Championship at Columbia CC.

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