Andrews Staying Busy
What's new with Donna Andrews, LPGA pro and resident of Southern Pines? The answers are many, the twists and turns are good, and the future looks bright.
The most recent news is that Andrews has been named the captain of the U. S. Junior Solheim Cup team for 2007.
Andrews will be leading 12 junior girls from the United States against a team from Europe. The competition is scheduled for Sept. 10-12 in Sweden.
In her early years on the tour Andrews was on the Solheim staff and enjoys a close relationship with the family.
"I was very honored when I received the call," she says, "Working with junior golfers is something I enjoy very much."
Andrews' LPGA career started in 1990 and includes one major win, the Nabisco Dinah Shore in 1994. Other highlights include five LPGA tournament wins, a tie for second place in both the U.S. Women's Open and the LPGA Championship, plus 77 top-10 finishes. She was also a member of the victorious U.S. Solheim Cup teams in 1994 and 1998. In 2003 and 2004 she served as president of the LPGA tour division.
And during all that activity, Andrews has considered the Sandhills home.
"While I was a student and a member of the golf team at UNC-Chapel Hill, the team often came to the Sandhills to practice and play," she says. "Just about 17 years ago, at the encouragement of Don Padgett of Pinehurst Resorts, I accepted an invitation to represent the Pinehurst Resort as a playing professional. At that time I decided to settle here in the Sandhills, a place where I could raise and breed horses as well as play golf year-round."
In 2006, a number of major changes in Andrews' life took place. The most important was when she and her husband, Jamie Tepatti, welcomed the birth of their son, Connor. He is only 6 months old but already a true charmer. Andrews also obtained her Real Estate license and the firm of Andrews & Tepatti Real Estate opened for business.
The Real Estate firm will focus on matching interested buyers with golf course property or equestrian home sites. The Meadows in the Sandhills and Forest Ridge in Carthage are the jewels in the crown of their new company. Andrews is a 1989 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a degree in business administration. Tepatti is a master plan community developer, who will work with buyers to ensure all goes well on their property. Joining the office staff is Holly Cramerus of Whispering Pines, a Realtor and an accomplished horsewoman.
Still Loves Golf
Although Andrews is branching out into other areas, golf remains near and dear to her heart.
Last year, ESPN gave her an opportunity to do commentary for several LPGA tournaments, which allowed her baby, Connor, to travel with his mother and grandmother. The invitation from ESPN was a welcome challenge for Andrews.
"Working the LPGA tournaments for ESPN proved to be very comfortable in every way," she says, "It allowed me to report and to analyze the sport I love."
Currently, Andrews is in the process of offering golf lessons to players on an individual basis or in small groups. Andrews has suffered shoulder and back injuries, beginning in 1999, and she feels that because she has gone through the rehabilitation process she has a lot to offer the many golfers recovering from similar physical problems.
She would also like to give clinics to groups of three to five people on the overall swing, or on specific problems, like iron shots and chipping and putting. Plans to develop women's and junior golf schools and clinics look promising down the road.
Through her association with Pinehurst and a stint with Pine Needles, she feels that she has developed a strong approach to teaching.
"The Pine Needles Golfaris, where in 2004 and 2005 I had an opportunity to work with Peggy Kirk Bell and her talented staff," she says. "That enabled me to further develop my teaching skills."
Andrews says she can be reached at (910) 528-1990 for those interested in golf lessons.
Because of her love of animals, with horses and dogs tying for first place, she has been a firm supporter of the Companion Animal Clinic, where spaying and neutering are done for a minimal charge of $35 to $45.
"Animals are near and dear to my heart," she says. "At the present time on our farm on Youngs Road we have five horses, three miniature donkeys (known as the Meadows Mascots) and one dog."
Three of the horses are Tepatti's polo ponies, and he continues to care for them even though he no longer competes, on a regular schedule, in polo matches. In a few years, Connor will choose his own puppy to add to this menagerie.
Cricket Gentry is a close friend here in the Sandhills. They met because of a mutual love of horses. In a free moment you may find them enjoying a horseback ride together -- or enjoying a friendly round of golf at Southern Pines Country Club.
Gentry says that Andrews is a wonderful friend.
"She made up one of the foursomes that celebrated my 50th birthday," Gentry says. "My Southern Pines friends enjoyed it very much."
Gentry's father, John Derr the legendary golf commentator, is someone Andrews calls her second father.
"He is a mentor and good friend," Andrews says. "I especially enjoy being thought of as a part of his family."
Andrews lends her time and energy to many causes. During her 13-year association with Pinehurst Resorts, Andrews and the Silver Foils, a Pinehurst women's golf group, enjoyed a special relationship: a shared interest in junior golf. Because of this friendship, the Silver Foils have adopted the LPGA Junior Golf Program as one of their charities.
The First Tee Program that currently makes its home at the Bluff Golf Links on U.S. 1 in Pinebluff, offers golf instruction to junior golfers, and Andrews serves on the board of directors.
"Volunteers are always needed for this program," she says. "Whenever I can, I encourage fellow golfers to participate in this worthwhile endeavor."
Working with junior golfers, and helping raise awareness about breast cancer research, came together recently for Andrews.
"Tournaments that are held to support Breast Cancer research, like the one Mia Hamm sponsored in Raleigh, are something I do whenever my schedule allows," she says. "Upon completion of this tournament, I joined with my fellow LPGA member Beth Daniels to offer a small clinic for junior girl golfers. The young ladies were all from the Sandhills area, having a half-day at school enabled them to head for Raleigh, and to meet three outstanding woman athletes."
Playing in the Open?
In looking ahead to 2007, Andrews is still undecided about playing in the U.S. Women's Open at Pine Needles.
"It will require a lot of effort on my part to prepare mentally and physically to make the cut," she says. "Right now I am concentrating on my family; on the progress of the Andrews and Tepatti Real Estate firm; on developing a limited teaching schedule; on doing a few corporate outings during the year; and working, in any way I can, with women's golf, especially junior golf."
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