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Expecting such single-mindedness from a woman who plays the roles of wife, mother, golf pro, teacher, caddie, coach and chauffeur may be too much to ask. But one of Baugh's goals is to improve her concentration. By the time she tees off for an afternoon round, Baugh has usually already practiced for an hour and explained the principles of long division to her third-grader, Chelsea. Baugh doesn't have a college degree, but the Florida Department of Education has a home-school program that allows her to buy the teachers' guides to Chelsea's textbooks and tutor her daughter while the family travels from tournament to tournament.
Baugh says the teachers at Palm Lake Elementary in Orlando, where Chelsea attends school four to five months a year, tell her that Chelsea is keeping up with her classmates in math and is a little bit ahead in the other subjects—all of which lends credence to Chelsea's claim that her mother piles on the homework too thick sometimes.
Baugh doesn't overhear this small criticism, which is given while the family is gathered on the driving range at the Hattiesburg (Miss.) Country Club in mid-April. Haley is in the midst of a crying spell, and Baugh is trying to quiet her. Chelsea runs off to gather pine cones for a future science project. Just before Eric James toddles over, carrying his father's eight-iron and looking for a hitting lesson, Baugh says, "I consider this a perfect week off. I get to be around golf and my family."
While 99% of the golfing world is focused on the Masters, the Cole family is in this southeastern Mississippi city, at the Deposit Guaranty Golf Classic, the PGA Tour stop for players who did not qualify to play at Augusta National. It's also the first week of the LPGA's three-week spring break. Baugh is celebrating her second wedding anniversary by caddying for her husband. The tournament marks Cole's return to playing on the PGA and Hogan tours full-time after being sidelined for most of three years by injuries. While Laura chats, Bobby is on the range, atoning for missing the cut.
Now that Cole is back playing again and the LPGA tour has resumed, Baugh packs up the kids and drives the family van herself to the LPGA tour stops. Her mother, Sally, baby-sits while Baugh is competing, and Cole joins them on his weeks off from the men's tours.
"I'm a big family person," says Baugh, whose parents divorced when she was 12. Baugh moved with her mother to Long Beach, Calif., while her older brothers, Hale III and Beau, and their father remained in Florida. The lingering pain from her parents' divorce and her brief divorce from Cole have made her more appreciative of her own family life. "It has made me treasure everything I have," Baugh says. "I couldn't play well if Bobby and the kids weren't with me."
Just then Cole walks over and laments about his poor play that day. Baugh consoles him with a kiss. "I think he just tried too hard," she says. "Either that or his caddie was no good." Cole chuckles, and Baugh flashes her ultrabright smile. Her love life—and about every other facet of her existence—is just dandy now.