With stops in places such as Victoria, Australia; Lancashire, United Kingdom; and Mobile, Alabama, on the 2014 LPGA Tour calendar, a good travel agent is almost as important as a reliable 9-iron. Cristie Kerr, one of the most successful female golfers in history, knows all about the sport’s rigorous itinerary. Kerr has not only earned more money than any other American female golfer in history, but she’s probably tallied more frequent flier miles, too. So, when the time came for Forbes Travel Guide to enlist a new golf expert into the esteemed Tastemakers club, the Miami native who also calls Scottsdale, Arizona, and New York City home was a no-brainer selection.
The only issue was figuring out how to work an interview into an already-stuffed schedule that includes prepping for the new season, being a breast cancer activist and getting a wine label, Curvature Wine, off the ground. And then there’s the fact that Kerr and her husband, Erik Stevens, welcomed their first baby, a boy named Mason, to the world back in December. Somehow, though, Kerr not only found time to become a Tastemaker but she also agreed to pen a monthly column for Forbes Travel Guide centering around three of her favorite things: travel, golf and wine. That piece will start in a few weeks. Until then, here are Kerr’s thoughts on having a new baby and sharing a new outlook on the game.
Congratulations on the new baby. How have things been over the last month?
It’s pretty cool. It’s something you can’t really describe until you actually go through it and have a baby. And, you know, he’s a pretty awesome little dude. He’s got a lot of personality. Sometimes he sleeps a lot. Sometimes he just wakes up and absolutely wants to attack you for the bottle. He’s got a lot of personality, so we’re very, very blessed.
That’s wonderful. Now, how are you juggling crying babies, interviews, columns, wine and golf?
Well, we just had the baby, so I’ll let you know in a few months. But, honestly, he’s a great baby and my husband helps me a lot. And when I get off the course from doing my job, working out or whatever else I have to do, I take care of the baby. It’s been great. It has been a nice change from just being about golf all the time. I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for him and when he can start crawling around and focus on us more. He is very young. He is barely a month.
I’m trying some new equipment. I am practicing a little differently. I’ve got a different mentality. I think having a baby kind of does that to you. I’ve been very, very focused on the time period that I’ve had to be out there on the course. So, a lot of times in the past, maybe I wasn’t as focused. I think it’s actually going to be very good for me to be super focused in the time period I have to be doing my profession. And then when I get off the golf course, it will be more away from golf than in the past because we have a baby and we have a lot going on.
So, you’re saying that after a round on Sunday, you’re really going to step away from the course both physically and mentally?
Oh, yeah. Maybe every day, actually. Until I have to go out the next day. I mean, the more you can get away from golf — you know, when you’re actually in a tournament — it refreshes your mind and you can go out and you can be more mentally sharp the next time.
What are some of the biggest challenges facing the LPGA today?
Certainly, it’s raising the purse in the tournaments. I think we have enough tournaments now. I think we have plenty of tournaments in Asia — we have almost 10. [We need to] start getting more tournaments in America and start raising the purses because we are so talented. I play with PGA Tour players a couple times a year in different events like the Wendy’s 3Tour Challenge. They don’t get to play with us a lot, so they don’t get to see how good we are. We are really, really good. And we deserve to be having higher purses in the tournaments and a bigger stage. So, we’re working on that, and the marketing of the tour. I think that is the biggest challenge that our tour has.
Photos Courtesy of Cristie Kerr