Growing Up Golf
Thirty-plus years ago you’d be hard pressed to find a woman golfer who had been introduced to the game by anyone other than her father or husband. It’s just how the proverbial club was passed down. With more women now than ever playing our beloved sport it is our turn to encourage, inspire and educate our daughters to pick up a golf club and start their lifelong journey whether it be for social or competitive play.
As far back as I can remember, my family was into golf. When I say “my family” I truly mean my father and my mother. While other families shuffled off to their Sunday religious gatherings, our day was set aside for either watching the final round of whatever tournament happened to be on or an outing at our golf club. My mother wasn’t sitting at the pool watching us kids, carrying my father’s bag or dining in the club waiting for him to be done … she was out on the course playing, us kids in tow.
For over 30 years I have appreciated my mother as a golf role model. She signed me up for golf camps, after school lessons, took me to junior tournaments and showed me how golf can be a wonderful part of any woman’s life. She has played golf all over the world and currently holds a hefty record of not one, not two, but FIVE holes-in-one (two of which she earned this year alone). Each time she gets an ace, she adds a diamond to her trophy necklace. My kind of woman!
While joining her at a member guest tournament a couple of weeks ago at her club in Palm Desert she made a profound statement to me. She said, “You know … if you look at all these women, it’s so nice to know that someday if our spouses happen to pass before us, we always have golf and we’ll be okay.” It’s the truth. The lifelong journey will not only provide a pathway to a healthy and outdoor lifestyle, it will also provides us a means to meet a community of other women (and men) to share with.
As our niche of women in golf continues to grow, here are some great tips for introducing your daughters to the game:
- EXPOSURE: Whether you pop the latest tournament on the TV or head out to the course, the more you expose them to golf the more likely they’ll start to find some interest. If you do watch on TV it’s okay to watch either the PGA TOUR or LPGA. This is an introduction for them, period. Take her to the range. Take her to the course for lunch. Whatever it is, make it fun.
- FAMILY: Make golf a family activity. Kids love to emulate what their parents do, and golf is no exception. My true golf swing has come more from watching my mother and father than any lesson I’ve ever taken.
- HEALTH: We are lucky to live where the sun is shining mostly year-round and to be able to be outside for a round of golf is an excellent healthy activity. Regardless of preference, both walking and riding on the course can burn some great calories!
- EDUCATION: Growing up in Washington State we would frequently travel to Palm Desert for family vacations. As young as 8, while my parents would be off golfing we kids would be in golf lessons. There are several programs for after school or weekend lessons or camps. Ask the SCGA to help point you in the right direction in your immediate neck of the woods.
- FRIENDSHIP: Many female golfers belong to women’s clubs or have other women friends who play golf. Bring your daughter to an outing so she can see what your community looks like. She will make her own golf friends over the years that can last a lifetime.
- FASHION: Golf fashion has made tremendous leaps over the last handful of decades, especially for women. Take her shopping and let her pick out golf outfits that make her feel good. If she’s not into skorts, let her wear shorts. There are several apparel brands that now cater to younger generations.
- FUN: Make golf fun. Period. Teach your daughters to accept that a missed putt is just a missed putt. Let them find their competitive edge but don’t push them to want to play and compete.
- INSPIRE: Regardless of her age it’s never too soon or too late to go to your first LPGA Tour event. We are fortunate to have several options here in Southern California and to see the top women golfers in the world firsthand can be the spark to light the fire.