Brooke (age 16) and Alyssa (age 13) Kelley joined their local LPGA*USGA Girls Golf program in Harrisonburg, VA just five years ago. During their first year as Girls Golf members, the family decided to take a gamble and make the trip to Kiawah Island, South Carolina to attend the inaugural LPGA*USGA Girls Golf Academy. Not knowing what to expect as a novice golf family, the girls quickly became star students, earning praise from coaches and staff members for their attitude, passion and new-found love for golf. That year marked the first in a new Kelley family summer tradition in which they’ve made a trip to participate in the national Girls Golf Academy (wherever it was hosted across the country) every single year!
Big sister Brooke Kellye started as a participant and when she grew out of the participant age requirement transitioned to become one of the program’s very first eLeaders, teen volunteers who served as “camp counselors” mentoring the younger participants and helping the Academy coaches with demonstrations and administering instruction.
Brooke credits the Academy and her participation in her local Girls Golf programs for teaching her to be more fearless and to feel more comfortable as a leader. Traits she knows she’ll carry with her as she encounters more opportunities later in life.
When Brooke joined the Girls Golf program five years ago, she fell in love with the game for its competitiveness. “Girls Golf has allowed me to become a lot more confident in my own game as well as communicating with my competitors and teammates,” said Brooke. As an 8th grader she was recruited to play for her High School’s golf team and was recently moved up to play on the Varsity team. If that wasn’t impressive enough, she plays and competes mostly with boys who are much older than her.
Brooke’s mom Stormi is grateful for the experiences and life lessons Girls Golf has instilled in her daughter. “Being in the Girls Golf program has helped Brooke prepare for being comfortable in leadership positions as she was encouraged to step out of her comfort zone to try new things and she has fully embraced those challenges.”
The youngest of the Kelley family, Alyssa has also participated in all five Girls Golf Academies and is hoping to follow in her sister’s footsteps and become an eLeader in the future. While Brooke enjoys playing competitive golf, Alyssa prefers playing golf for the fun and social aspects of the game. She enjoys going out on weekends with her dad and big sister.
“Alyssa has thrived as a person through the Girls Golf program,” Stormi continued. “She has gained a lot more confidence in her game but most importantly in herself!”
From Brooke’s perspective the social aspects of belonging to a group of girls and even leading them in Brooke’s case has been one of the greatest benefits of being a Girls Golf member. Some of the most cherished memories for both girls have been making new friends at the Girls Golf Academy and keeping in touch with them throughout the years.
Brooke and Alyssa aren’t the only Kelleys to take an active part of the Girls Golf Academy. Both Stormi and her husband Travis have been huge supporters of the event, making a point to lend a hand whenever they can. “We were honored to transition from being just parents of participants to volunteers this year!” said Stormi. Travis supported the Girls Golf headquarters team by serving as their official photographer for the week (check out some of his great work here!).
Stormi served as a member of the welcoming committee working the event registration table, helping to make the new girls feel welcome and answering questions for first-time parents.
The Kelley family has truly embraced and become a part of the Girls Golf family!
Are you looking for new ways to get your daughter involved and playing golf – click here for more information on LPGA*USGA Girls Golf and to find the program nearest you!