March 6, 2009–Natalie Gulbis lives and plays at Lake Las Vegas Resort, home of two Jack Nicklaus-designed Las Vegas golf courses, the resort Reflection Bay Golf Club, and the private SouthShore Golf Club. She is a prized Las Vegas golf resident and 2009 could be a huge year in many ways, a welcome change following a 2008 season that was filled with challenges. Her pro, Las Vegas' Butch Harmon, has been quoted as saying she is stronger and longer than ever, and Gulbis is currently a star on the hit NBC series, Celebrity Apprentice, plus after two events she was 17th on the LPGA Tour money list.
“Natalie had a tough year in 2008 because of her back injury, and she couldn’t practice as much because of that,” Harmon told this writer for a story in VegasGolfer Magazine. Harmon also works with Phil Mickelson, Fred Couples, Adam Scott, and other big names at his school which is located at Las Vegas golf course Rio Secco Golf Club. “We’ve gone back to the fundamentals, and one positive from the injury is that her rehab has made a difference. Her core is now stronger and that is helping to create more torque in her swing. She is hitting her irons a club farther and also driving the ball longer. She is really looking forward to the season because she is so much stronger than she has ever been.”
Gulbis (pictured with Apprentice castmate Claudia Jordan from Deal or No Deal) also said that she is healthy and ready for a big year on the course in 2009. “The injury didn’t help my swing, obviously, and I lost the consistency that was a strong part of my game,” said Gulbis for the VegasGolfer story that was written during her off season. “But I am 100% healthy and that hasn’t been the case for awhile. I am very excited to be spending a lot of time with Butch and cleaning up a lot of the moving parts in the swing. We’re trying to quiet my lower body and we’re also working on better posture. Plus we’re spending a lot of time on the short game.”
The featured Las Vegas golf course for this article is Nicklaus' Reflection Bay Golf Club, where five holes play along the shoreline of Lake Las Vegas. Gulbis lives on the fairways of this Las Vegas resort golf course that has hosted the Wendy's 3-Tour Challenge. Reflection Bay Golf Club is an award-winning golf course. Click now for official Las Vegas golf tee times and special deals at Reflection Bay Golf Club or official Las Vegas golf packages.
Gulbis is a true golf superstar who has crossover appeal, a fact proven by her selection as a cast member for Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice. The show was taped last year, but made its network debut recently. The show airs Sundays at 9 PM on NBC. Gulbis is sworn to secrecy about intricate details and results from the show, but is excited about how everything plays out.
"I hope everyone enjoyed the first episode of Celebrity Apprentice," Gulbis wrote on her blog at NatalieGulbis.com. "It was wild! If you were able to watch, you know that the girls’ team, ‘Team Athena’, won! Phew! The men's team ended up having to go to the boardroom. It was definitely a treat to be able to watch the boardroom scene from the comfort of our team room, while celebrating the victory. If you missed the show, make sure to check out NBC.com."
Gulbis and the ladies team cooked and sold cupcakes on the first episode. Celebrity Apprentice is a Survivor-style reality series where Trump, an avid golfer and LPGA Tour supporter, fires one cast member during each episode. Gulbis' cupcakes didn't look great but still tasted good, helping her team to the victory and a stay of execution for all of the ladies. Other cast members include Clint Black, Dennis Rodman, Herschel Walker, Khloe Kardashian, and Joan Rivers. Andrew Dice Clay was fired in week one. — Brian Hurlburt, Founding Editor.