Sometimes we get to talk to important people in the golf world. When we do, we try to ask them questions they don't always get. Welcome to our new occasional feature The Back 9, where we do just that. This week, we have the wonderful Natalie Gulbis on the other side of the mic.
Q: You went to the University of Arizona, which has produced some incredible talent on the LPGA. If Arizona played a Solheim Cup-style event against other university alumni, would another college stand a chance?
Gulbis: Duke and ASU, but we'd still take them. We have Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa so we could definitely take them but those teams also produced quite a few good, healthy groups of players.
Q: Explain to people that don't play tournament golf, even for someone as talented as Tiger Woods, how hard it is to take this much time off and come back and be expected to win an event like Augusta. People think when he plays he's just going to win, but how hard is it to do that?
Gulbis: It is hard to come back, and being an athlete that has taken some time off before, I think that I can come back and win a tournament the first time out, and sometimes it doesn't happen like that, but then there are other times when taking breaks and it worked out OK. It just depends on how you're hitting the ball ... it's the short game that is the last thing to come back though, the touch and feel.
Q: What are the thoughts on the new LPGA commissioner?
Gulbis: We're really excited. Mike Whan has brought a new bundle of energy to the tour and [he has] just been fantastic.
Q: You've been involved in television shows before. Do you have any projects upcoming and would you ever consider "Dancing With the Stars?"
Gulbis: I'd love to do "Dancing With the Stars," it takes a long time to shoot, I actually did some of "The Apprentice" which only took two weeks, but right now I'm a correspondent with "Extra," and we're pitching some other shows, but the best television is watching the LPGA players compete, and that's my favorite type.
Q: What TV shows are you into watching right now?
Gulbis: Right now, I'm watching "American Idol," I watch "House," "Desperate Housewives," and all the sports shows. My favorite TV show isn't on right now but it's "Entourage."
Q: Well, Phil Mickelson has been an extra on that show, they never approached you? What's their deal?
Gulbis: No, no they haven't, but Phil was great on the show.
Q: Since you're so involved with television, what do you browse on the Internet?
Gulbis: USAToday.com, LPGA.com ... just really what comes up. I check the Weather Channel a lot, usually the first thing I do is email and watch "Sportscenter" in the morning and when I travel I like to read the paper.
Q: Do you think you're going to buy an iPad?
Gulbis: Yes, definitely, I'm an Apple girl.
Q: Do you have anything cool coming out that we should know about?
Gulbis: Yes, I have my own line of shoes this year with adidas. They're called the Signature Natalie, and being an athlete, it's cool to be part of the design process and come out with your own signature shoe.