Throughout the season, the women on the Epson Tour travel for at least 21 weeks to compete at golf courses all over the United States. For most, their travel takes up almost half the year. However, some international players are away from home for much longer.
Grace Kim is one of the players who cannot easily travel back and forth to her home in Australia. The COVID-19 pandemic made getting home out of the question. However, the Australian players have a base, a home away from home, provided by Golf Australia to ease homesickness and make life easier.
“I think we're very, very fortunate to have even a base like that,” said Kim. “It’s a long plane ride to Australia, so I think just having a place to really reset when you're in Orlando definitely, really helps. I think that's what sort of helped me throughout this year, as well.”
The rookie says that having a base to head to during the off weeks helps settle her mind. Being in Orlando gives the Golf Australia ladies options on how to spend their time off. Last year, during a longer stretch off the road, Kim went to Universal Studios to let loose and have fun. When she only has one week to reset, the Aussie takes advantage of her favorite spot in the house.
“They've got this one couch that always hits the spot,” said Kim. “Waking up to sunrises and seeing sunsets across the lake, it's pretty nice.”
Having this home base allows Kim to practice with fellow Aussies and bond over going through the same thing. Kim found herself less homesick over her seven-month stretch in the United States last year, thanks to the house.
“All of last year, Hannah Green and Su Oh went back and forth to the Golf Australia house, as well,” said Kim. “Getting to practice with them is just precious time. With your mates coming back and forth as well, you don’t get lonely as much.”
With this week’s Epson Tour Championship happening about an hour away from Orlando, Kim has flexibility. The Aussie won’t take advantage of the house this week but is appreciative to even have the option.
“I think knowing that you can leave your stuff there if you needed to, so you're not over-carrying all your suitcases is very helpful,” said Kim. “I'm fortunate and very thankful for Golf Australia.”