Lady Golfers Help Expand The Game
• Young golfers help expand the game for boys and girls.
Golf has been stereotyped as an old man’s game. But the game is not what it used to be.
Nowadays, just about every type of person plays the game, from old men and women to the youngest of boys and girls.
The LPGA (Ladies’ Professional Golf Association) was founded in 1950, but, back then, there were just 13 members.
Now it is the most competitive female golf tour in the world, with more than 500 competing members across 32 countries, with thousands more competing for a spot on the tour.
The one place where female golf may be lacking is in the youth spectrum. According to the National Golf Foundation, 2.5 million juniors played golf in 2018 in the United States, but just 36 percent of those were girls.
Junior golf is for golfers under the age of 18. The 36 percent is up from 15 percent in 2000, but it is well short of being equal to the number of young boys playing golf.
And of all golfers in the United States in 2018, just 23 percent of them were women.
Many youth organizations, such as US Kids Golf and the Junior PGA, are promoting youth golf to both boys and girls. And numbers show that youth golf in the United States is on the rise for both boys and girls. Many youngsters are introduced to the game by playing with their fathers.
I talked to Keira Wang, a golfer at Palos Verdes High School, about how she got into the sport. She started playing at age nine and started playing competitively almost immediately.
“I first got into golf as something my whole family could do together. From then on, I just fell in love with the game,” Keira said.
She hopes to play at a Division 1 college and play in the LPGA after that.
I also talked to Megan Gormley, whose father, Jim Gormley, is the Director of Golf at Palos Verdes Golf Club.
Megan said, “I started playing competitive golf when I was around 12 years old, but I grew up playing the sport so I was very familiar with it.”
Megan’s father reeled her into the sport, and next year, she will begin playing at Georgetown University and hopes to go professional someday.
Golf seems to be a family game. If the father or mother plays it, there’s a good chance their children will play it also. But the game needs to reach the kids whose family has never played golf.
The game would be better if everybody played.