LPGA Foundation Announces 2018 Marilynn Smith Scholarship Recipients

Scholarships awarded to 30 high-school graduates

 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Aug. 15, 2018 – The LPGA Foundation announced today the 30 high-school graduates selected to receive this year’s Marilynn Smith Scholarship. Each candidate has demonstrated outstanding academic excellence, leadership skills and active involvement and service to her community while also fulfilling specific requirements for each scholarship award.

The Marilynn Smith Scholarship, named in honor of one of the LPGA’s 13 founding members, is awarded to high-school seniors who plan to play golf at an accredited college or university in the United States. Each of the 2018 recipients will receive a $5,000 scholarship.

Abigail Douglas graduated from Lynnwood High School in Bothell, WA, where she was the No. 1 seed and MVP on her varsity golf team for all four years at high school. She was named an All-Conference honorable mention in her 10th-grade year and a 1st team All-Conference selection in 11th grade.

Douglas plans to attend Whitworth University where she is leaning towards majors in accounting, business, marketing or sports management, with the ultimate goal of getting a master’s degree in one of those fields.

Alexis Green graduated summa cum laude from Hoover High School in Canton, OH, where she was captain of the varsity golf team for three years, captain of the varsity basketball team for two years and a member of the Student Council, Leadership Club, Spanish Club and National Honors Society. In her senior year, she was a 1st Team All-League and 1st Team All-County selection.

Green plans to attend Walsh University, where she is leaning towards business, marketing and possibly law.

Ashley Zhu graduated from South Salem High School in Salem, OR, where she was a member of the National French Honor Society and Environmental Club, and also served as vice-president of the National Honor Society. She captained the varsity golf team, played on the 2017 Girls’ Junior Americas Cup Team and was a three-time selection for the All-State First Team.

Zhu will be attending Oregon Institute of Technology, where she plans to pursue a dual major in environmental and renewable energy engineering. Beyond that, she has a career goal of improving methods of energy usage while mitigating issues associated with non-renewable resources.

Avery Pool graduated from Caledonia High School in Caledonia, MS. She was the number one player on her varsity golf team for four years, earning Mississippi State Game player of the year honors in 2016 and 2017. She was president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, vice-president of the Future Business Leaders of America and a member of the Anchor Club and National Honors Society.

Pool will attend University of Montevallo, where she would like to major in nutrition and dietetics before obtaining her masters in sports nutrition.

Bailey Hubbard graduated from Clay County High School in Manchester, KY, where she was captain of the varsity golf team, a member of the Student Advisory Council, a team leader with Tiger Vision and a social ambassador for American Red Cross. A recipient of the Governor’s Scholars Program in 2017, she was an All-Region Golf Team Honoree and an All-State Golf Team Honoree in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Hubbard will be attending Eastern Kentucky University where she plans to major in biology before going on to dental school at either the University of Kentucky or University of Louisville.

Blakely Arp graduated from LaGrange High School in LaGrange, GA, where she played on the varsity golf team for all four years and was captain for three. She was a member of the Student Council, the Service Club, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Foreign Language Club.

Arp will attend Point University, where she plans to earn a degree in management. From there, she would like to work in the fashion industry and eventually establish her own boutique.

Elaena Steffen graduated from Shawnee Heights High School in Tecumseh, KS, where she was on the varsity golf team for all four years, won the MVP award in 2015 and earned the “Coaches Choice” award in 2016. She was a Kansas Honor Scholar, an Academic Letter Winner from 2014-2018 and made the All A’s Honor Roll from 2014-2018.

Steffen will attend Baker University on an engineering program and plans to graduate with a degree in physics. Her goal after that is to obtain a mechanical engineering degree from either Kansas State University or Kansas University, and then design items which can improve people’s lives.

Emma Germann graduated from Watseka Community High School in Watseka, IL. She played on the Lady Warriors varsity golf team for all four years, was a varsity letterman from 2014-2018 and the team’s MVP in 2017. A QuestBridge National College Prep Scholar, she was the first chair alto saxophone and a soloist on her school’s concert band and the lead tenor and soloist on the jazz band.

Germann will attend Elmhurst College in the fall and plans to major in music education. She hopes to have a successful career as a public school music teacher in Illinois, and lead her own concert band. She would also like to serve as the coach on a high school golf team.

Faith Hopkins graduated from Bartlesville High School in Bartlesville, OK, where she was a four-year letterman on the varsity golf team, served on the Bartlesville Leadership Class and was captain of the local Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter. She was a Special Olympics Coach at local and state level in 2017 and a member of the National Honor Society from 2016-2018.

Hopkins will be attending Oklahoma State University and plans to major in business and entrepreneurship. Her long-term goal is to open her own school and academy focused on education and golf.

Jenally Nolan graduated from Farragut High School in Knoxville, TN. A member of the Future Business Leaders of America and the National Honors Society, she was president of the French Club and vice-president of the French Honor Society. She was an AP Scholar with Distinction, competed on the Peggy Kirk Bell Girls Golf Tour for four years and was the Farragut High School Golf Lady Admiral Scholar of the Year in 2017.

Nolan will be attending Centre College, where she plans to major in English and economics with a possible minor in French. Post-graduation, she hopes to intern with the Disney College Program. Long-term, she would like to publish children’s and young adult literature.

Josie Patterson graduated from Chandler High School in Chandler, OK, where she was captain of both the golf and basketball teams. President of the Business Professionals of America, she was a member of the National Honor Society and qualified for the Superintendent’s Honor Roll for all four years.

Patterson will attend Oklahoma Baptist University where she plans to obtain a degree in biology. After that, she would like to attend Oklahoma State University and become a veterinarian with the ultimate goal of going on to establish her own practice.

Kate Owens graduated from Lambert High School in Suwanee, GA, where she played on the varsity golf team from 2014-2018 and was a member of the National Honors Society and National Technical Honors Society. Environmental Science Student of the Year in 2016 and 2017, she was the 2016 women’s golf player of the year and the women’s golf scholar athlete in both 2016 and 2017.

Owens will be attending James Madison University, where she has been accepted in to the Honors College and will pursue a degree in engineering and mathematics. Long-term, she would like to carve out a career in design with a focus on golf equipment.

Kendel Abrams graduated from Susquehannock High School in Glen Rock, PA, where she captained the varsity golf team, was a representative on the Principal Advisory Board and a member of the National Honor Society. She earned the Distinguished Honor Roll from 2014-2018 and the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award in 2017, and she was voted the Girl’s Golf Player of the Year in 2017.

Abrams will attend Converse College, where she plans to play on the women’s golf team and obtain a business degree. Long-term, she would like to compete on the LPGA Tour, start her own business and help junior golfers learn how to play the game.

Leila Dizon graduated from Marlborough School in Los Angeles where she co-captain of the varsity golf team in her senior year, a Cum Laude Society member and a winner of the Princeton Book award. She was also a four-time MVP on the varsity golf team and placed second in the Big I National Championship 2016 where she represented California.

Dizon will attend the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Undergraduate Program with the hope of earning an MBA to become an influential female leader who will be able to inspire positive change in the business world.

Mateya Peters graduated from Griswold High School in Griswold, IA, where she was a talented all-round athlete who captained the varsity golf, volleyball, basketball, softball and track teams. She was also president of the Student Council and the National Honor Society. In varsity golf, she made the All-District team in 2016 and 2017, the All-Conference team in 2017 and was a two-time state qualifier.

Peters will attend Midland University where she plans to major in nursing with the longer-term objective of becoming a nurse practitioner. Beyond that, she has hopes of starting a non-profit organization that will help provide free medical care in various parts of the world for people in need.

Megan Whittaker graduated from Elkhorn South High School in Omaha, NE, where she captained the varsity golf team and also the track and field team. She became Nebraska Junior Girls Match Play Champion in 2016 and was runner-up in the Nebraska Junior Girls Amateur in 2017. A member of the National Honors Society, she was a junior class officer and a senior class officer for Students Against Destructive Decisions.

Whittaker will be attending the University of Nebraska, where she hopes to obtain a bachelor’s degree in business before one day establishing her own business.

Meryl Castle graduated from Wilson Central High School in Lebanon, TN, where she was a member of the Student Council, the BETA Club, the National Honors Society and the Spanish Club. She led her varsity golf team to an undefeated season in 2016, making both the District and All-District teams that year. Competing as the top player on her team, she won nine of 12 matches in 2016 and 2017.

Castle will be attending Milligan College where she plans to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in either science and nursing or as a physician assistant. Her career goal is to make a difference in the lives of children and their families.

Mia Kurkechian graduated from Naperville Central High School in Naperville, IL, where she was a member of the National Honor Society and a National Merit Finalist. In her junior year, she was selected as a leader for Link Crew, the school’s freshman mentoring program. She was co-captain of the varsity golf team, was selected as an All-Conference honorable mention and competed in conference, regional and sectional tournaments.

Kurkechian will be attending Calvin College where she will pursue a career as a special education teacher, with the ultimate objective of making a difference in the lives of her future students.

Olivia Cunningham graduated from Father Ryan High School in Nashville, TN, where she was highly involved in academics and extra-curricular activities. She was a varsity golf team member all four years, a member of the National Honor Society and Latin Club, a peer mentor and student ambassador.

Cunningham will be attending Tusculum College, majoring in nursing. Her goal is to become a registered nurse and pursue a master’s degree to become a nurse practitioner or CRNA to help others and improve society.

Olivia Whitten graduated from Flagler Palm Coast High School in Palm Coast, FL, where she was Player of the Year all four years and captain of her golf team, a member of the National Honor Society and a candidate of the International Baccalaureate Diploma program, in addition to being drum major in the Marching Band and first chair in the Symphonic Band.

Whitten will attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University as an aviation business administration major and has set her sights on working for The Boeing Company at some point in the future.

Rachel Oh graduated from La Canada High School in Flintridge, CA, where she was captain of the golf team, player of the year and most valuable player in both her freshman and sophomore years, secretary of the Korean National Honor Society and president of the Technology Help Club.

Oh will attend UC Davis as a member of the golf team and major in biological sciences. She hopes to pursue a career in the medical field and also develop her passion for helping others.

Rachel Rudd graduated from Pine Forest High School in Pensacola, FL, where she was a varsity golfer (four years), a tennis player (three years) and softball player (one year). She was also a Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps academic commander, color guard commander and class leader.

Rudd will be attending Faulkner University in the fall. Her goal is to major in criminal justice with minors in Spanish and psychology while pursuing her LPGA Tour card. She hopes to become a criminal behavior analyst.

Sarah Hinton graduated from Elizabethtown High School in Elizabethtown, KY, where she was on the varsity golf team and a regional champion as Golf House Kentucky Girls Player of the Year, Kentucky Junior Amateur Girls Champion and Kentucky PGA Junior Tour Champion.

Hinton will attend Lipscomb University, playing on the golf team and pursuing her bachelor’s degree to work with children as an elementary school teacher.

Sarah Willis graduated from Eaton High School in Eaton, OH, where she was a varsity letterman and a student leader. She was on the EHS boys golf team and served as captain in both her junior and senior years while setting Ohio High School State Championship 18-hole (2017) and 36-hole (2016) scoring records. She was also a student council class officer throughout her high school career.

Willis will be attending Penn State University in the Smeal College of Business. Her goal is to apply her competitive background in the business field and become a mergers and acquisitions consultant.

Sierra O’Keefe graduated from Notre Dame Catholic High School in Fairfield, CT, where she was vice-president of her senior class, captain of the girls’ golf and ice hockey teams and a member of the All-Academic Team.

O’Keefe will head to Assumption College in Worcester, MA. Her career ambition is to become a doctor and help those in need.

Skylar Thompson graduated from Georgia Connections Academy in Duluth, GA, where she was on the honor roll, served as chapter president of the National Honor Society and was a member of the National England and Science Honor Societies.

Thompson will be attending University of South Carolina as a member of the golf team and majoring in environment science. It is her goal to play golf professionally or attend law school with a focus in environmental law.

Sophia Koester graduated from Grandview Heights High School in Columbus, OH, where she was one of the first students to play on the girls’ golf team and served as captain of the Varsity team in both her junior and senior year. She was a member of the National Honors Society and chapter president of Best Buddies.

Koester will be attending Suffolk University in Boston, MA, where she plans to study film and media a she pursues her passion for film making and photography.

Sydney Regalado graduated from Rosemount High School in Rosemount, MN, where she was a Triple A Award winner (Academics, Athletics and the Arts). She was named an Academic All-Conference athlete and Outstanding Academic Athlete as a member of the cross country team. She also made the All-Conference team for golf.

Regalado will be attending Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN. Her goal is to major in biochemistry and molecular biology and begin her medical career path.

Thomaphorn Supakit graduated from Valley Academy of Arts and Sciences in Granada Hills, CA, where she was captain of her school’s golf team. She was involved in Key Club and volunteered in several community service programs in her local community.

Supakit will be attending California State University Maritime Academy. She plans to major in business administration or international business and then serve in the United States Navy for several years.

Vreni Todd graduated from Snohomish High School in WA, where she was a founding member of the Science Club, a National Honor Society member, a four-year varsity golfer and team captain, the 2017 district golf champion, player of the year and received the Joan Teats Inspirational Award. She also volunteered for the Social Science Club Outreach Program and Math Club.

Todd will attend Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA, where she plans to study computer science or environmental studies. Her goal is to continue her education with a master’s degree in her field of study.

 

About The LPGA Foundation
Established in 1991, The LPGA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to empowering and supporting girls and women through developmental and humanitarian golf initiatives.

Key priorities include: LPGA-USGA Girls Golf, The LPGA Leadership Academy, scholarships and the Dolores Hope LPGA Financial Assistance Initiative for those in the golf industry who are experiencing severe hardship. The LPGA Foundation is supported by corporate and private donations, foundation grants and contributions from LPGA members. For more information on how to contribute to The LPGA Foundation, please contact LPGA Headquarters, 100 International Golf Drive, Daytona Beach, FL 32124, or by phone, +1 386-274-6200 and on the web: https://lpgafoundation.org/donate.

We All Need Rangefinders by Kayla Guru (eLeader)

We all need rangefinders. We all need a compass of sorts that we can rely on, that will help us when we’re indecisive, overwhelmed, and delirious from a day in the sun. To not only lead us towards our goals, but to help us make the right decisions on how to get there. From loft, to backswing, to club choice, there are a multitude of decisions to make and we invariably desire help from the very beginning. From the time when all that matters is learning the basics to the time when making the next cut is all that matters, every comment carries so much worth and inspires unique ideas in the golfer. It’s almost like a personalized gift delivered to you when you need it most!

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2017 LPGA Bank of Hope Founders Cup – Jr Course Reporters – THURSDAY

Thursday Recap
by Mary Beth Doss:

Today, I arrived at the course early and decided to start off by watching my favorite LPGA Pro Golfer Morgan Pressel play. The moment she saw us on Hole 3 watching, she came over to say hello and give us a hug! I was able to watch her play all the way through to Hole 13; it was wonderful because she’s one of my biggest inspirations! After this, I walked back to The Girl’s Golf tent to check in with Cori and all the other girls.

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2017 LPGA Bank of Hope Founders Cup – Junior Course Reporters – WEDNESDAY

Wednesday Recap
by Mary Beth Doss:

Day Two for Meg and I at the LPGA Bank of Hope Founders Cup! In the morning, I checked in for Course reporting and once that was done, I had some free time to watch my favorite player, Morgan Pressel, play in the Bank of Hope Pro-Am. The Pro-Am is typically played the day before the first round of the real tournament, and is when the people who sponsor the events get to play with two different pros (One pro plays the front 9 with the sponsors, the other plays the back 9).

After I watched Morgan, two golf members accompanied us to film a PR Promo for The Golf Channel. The clips were little teasers and it was super fun to film! One hour later, Meg and I had the opportunity to go to The Golf Channel trailer area. We had the opportunity to sit and listen to The Golf Channel recording, and this was very cool to experience since we had never seen behind-the-scenes access like this before. When the reporters were finished, they gave us a shout-out and we were able to introduce ourselves and answer some simple questions.

One of my favorite parts of the interview was when Meg and I had the chance to turn the tables around and interview Tom Abbott. We both asked a few simple questions and a few challenging questions and he answered them very well and seemed to enjoy it. During this time, there were many photos being taken and we sometimes had to pose during the interview, which brought about some very comical pictures. After the cameras stopped rolling, we talked to a few of other Golf Channel workers who also happened to be ex-tour players, which allowed us to ask even more questions that we had come up with throughout the day.

Next, we went to The Girls Golf press conference held in the Media Center, where we sat with reporters and listened to Nancy Lopez, Sandra Gal, and one of our own members, Kyla Wilde, answer questions. This press conference, which was moderated by Nancy Henderson, the LPGA Foundation President, focused on the past, the present, and the future for women in the game of golf. Each lady up there did such an amazing job answering questions, but I especially enjoyed watching one of my friends, Kyla, responding back with great answers. Nancy Lopez and Sandra Gal both talked about their careers and specifically what golf meant to them as women.

Aside from these major events on Day Two, Meg and I had a good amount of time to walk around and get to know the course, as well as the players. It was an incredible day, and I can’t wait for what the rest of the tournament will bring!


Wednesday Recap
by Meg Marty:

 Mary Beth and I kicked off Day Two of the Founder’s Cup by heading down to The Golf Channel’s “Player Room”, where the tournament players were flowing in and out for interviews. This gave us the opportunity to see what goes on behind the camera, and how both the reporters and the players prepare for interviews.

We also had the privilege of being filmed for an intro for The Founder’s Cup. We were placed in front of the camera and had to say a few lines from a script; I felt like an actress! Our lines were based off the 5 E’s and the girls who represent them. My line was, “When I grow up I want to be on the LPGA Tour!”

After this, we had a mini-photo shoot with Cori; we took pictures high-fiving the players of the tournament, as well as the girls participating in the Pro-Am!! This was so much fun.

One of my favorite parts of the day was having the honor of speaking with Marilynn Smith, who is one of the thirteen founders of the LPGA! It was incredibly exciting to be able to speak with someone who helped start it all! On our way back to the Media Center, Beth and I saw Sadena Parks and her caddie. We were able to take pictures with her and she gave us each one of her own head covers!

Finally, Beth and I made our way over to The Golf Channel’s trailer with Scott Wood, the LPGA BofH Founders Cup Tournament Director. Here, we sat in on a meeting with the crew of The Golf Channel and learned what events are happening this week. We were able to interview the people who worked there, including Tom Abbott, the co-host of Big Break Florida!

Directly after this we went to the Girls Golf press conference in the Media Center! We listened to Sandra Gal and Nancy Lopez answer questions about the past, present, and future of women in golf. It was a very great learning experience!

Once we checked off these events off our to-do list for the day, we walked around the course and got to see the players finishing their practice rounds. We can’t wait for the tournament to start!

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2017 Bank of Hope Founders Cup – Girls Golf – Junior Course Reporters

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 – Media Check In, Player Meeting & Pairings Party
Tuesday Recap by MaryBeth Doss:

Today, the other Junior Reporter, Meg, and I checked in for our first day at the LPGA Bank of Hope Founders Cup! First stop, we got to see the official Media Center to grab credentials and meet the official PR team! We also met some of the people who worked there and told us about what they do and their roles. Some people were interns but most were writers or involved with media.

That evening, we had a special invite to go to the Players Meeting for all the LPGA professionals. It was a long chat and lots of info was shared. The meeting pretty much explained the fundamentals and whatnot of all the week’s expectations. LPGA Commissioner, Mike Whan, lead the meeting where they talked about the player constitution, rules for the week and more. They also took time to chat with the players about security and how to be safe in person with people and on social media. It was long and all business. It was good to see that side of being a player.

The last stop of the night was Bank of Hope Pro-Am Pairings Party. The Pairings Party is when the players (not the pros) who are playing in the Pro-Am get to see what professional is playing with them for the next day’s round of golf. Throughout the night, we saw many pros all dressed up and even got the chance with talk and visit with a few of them. To close out the night, we had nice chat with Natalie Gulbis – she has a sponsor exemption spot to play!

Day 1 complete! Today was really fun…The first day of being a course reporter in the books…


Tuesday Recap
by Meg Marty:

Today was Day One of the LPGA Bank of Hope Founders Cup!!!

Upon arrival, we got our first look at the tournament Media Center! We meet Al, who works for LPGA, he is a liaison with the media at many tour events. After that, we had the opportunity to attend the LPGA Players Meeting, which is where the LPGA players check in and learn about rules and expectations for the week. The gathering was kind of like a board meeting where they go over the LPGA Constitution and approve rules. It was a side of the players jobs I had never seen.

After the Players Meeting, we went to the Pro-Am Pairings Party! At this special party, we meet the Tour Players and we learned the parings for the Pro-Am taking place on Wednesday! We socialized at the party, mingled at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge to meet as many supporters as possible and had some super yummy food!!!

My favorite part of the Pairings party was the photo booth and chatting with the LPGA players about their experiences. Tonight, we were welcomed with the sponsors and LPGA players as equals, tonight we were not just fans asking for autographs — we were included, welcomed and feel really grateful for a special evening.

Signing out for Day 1 at the LPGA Bank of Hope Founders Cup. What a blast!

2017 LPGA Bank of Hope Founders Cup LPGA*USGA Girls Golf Course Reporters

Bbeth-doss-2017-jr-course-reporter-girls-golf-of-phoenixeth Doss is a 13 years old, 8th grader at L. Thomas Heck Middle School in Litchfield Park, Arizona. Her favorite sport is golf and she has truly found her passion as an active and engaged player. She is an active member of the LPGA Girls Golf of Phoenix, The First Tee of Phoenix, JGAA and US kids. Her favorite part of golf is sharing it with close friends. Beth loves hanging with her friends from golf and school. Beth favorite LPGA player is Morgan Pressel and through the LPGA Founder Cup she has had many experiences with her. Beth has been a “Fan” of The Founders Cup and has been able to attend since she was 7. She also has athletic roots in cross country running, basketball and softball. Before golf became her passion, she also found success as a competitive figure skater. Beth is a straight A student and school has offered her many achievements and success.


meg-marty-2017-jr-course-reporter-girls-golf-of-phoenixMeg Marty is 14 years old and attends Desert Mountain High School and involved in the IB Program. Meg loves to volunteer, meet new people, bake, hike, tell corny jokes, go on adventures and PLAY GOLF (especially Girls Golf)! What she loves most about golf is what is learned on course that can apply off course… She knows the importance of the game on and off and has learned integrity, honesty and sportsmanship. As a freshman just starting golf, Meg earned the privilege to play on top 5 on her High School varsity golf team and some of her successes include qualifying for the state championship, chipping-in during competitive rounds, and winning MVP for her team (as a freshman)! When Meg is not playing golf, she can be found volunteering in the community, worshiping at her church, playing with her 13 chickens or having fun with family and friends.

What We Tell Ourselves Matters

from Kira Montuori, Girls on the Run International

Last spring, we painted my daughter’s room. Initially, she requested very bold and bright colors. Being more reserved, I said “Why don’t you do something more subtle and bring those colors into the room through accenting?” (Inner voice pleading: Please don’t want to do crazy-colored walls!)

Thankfully, this spurred an idea in my daughter. With the help of my sister-in-law, they executed Milana’s wall of words. I thought it was great, really great, but its greatness didn’t quite hit me until the other night when my daughter and I were lying on her bed reading together. As I closed my book, I looked at all the words on her wall encircling “Milana is…”

Different. Leader. Fearless. Proud. Lucky. Fast. Joyful. Dreamer.

Bright. Fashionable. Resourceful. Active. Brave. Fierce.

I thought, holy snap crackle pop, she wakes up to these words. Every morning. When the world hasn’t hit her yet, she gets to remind herself of who she is, in her own words.

Words have the ability to breathe life into us. Unfortunately, words can also tear the life right out of us.

I wish this wall was my idea but I’m grateful that my daughter has enough insight to surround herself with words that lift her up. I hope that as she rises from her bed each morning and lays her head to rest each night, that these reminders stitch tightly to the fabric of her core.

Because what we tell ourselves matters. In fact, the internal dialogue is probably the most important voice we hear. Our inner words define our inner relationship and our relationship with ourselves defines every other relationship in our lives.

My daughter’s wall is a reminder for me too. A reminder to choose my words so that they help me RISE and SHINE!

5 Ways to Improve your Game AND Your Life this Year

by Abbey Algiers

Happy New Year! With each new year, we have the opportunity to start fresh with new resolutions. Here’s a question for this year…why not choose resolutions that will help your golf game and your life?

Try a new twist on traditional resolution setting!

1. Keep your eye on the ball

My dad has been my unofficial golf coach my entire life, always giving lots of advice. After maybe 1,000 rounds, “keep your eye on the ball” wins the prize for the most repeated direction. It’s sage advice; we all know that if our head comes up too soon, the shot won’t be ideal.It’s the same way in life – as we go through each day, how about focusing on each moment? This is tough to do in our multi – tasking world full of distracting technology.

However, let’s bring it back to the tee shot. At the tee, your only job is to hit the ball. Head down, focus, and swing. That logic transfers nicely to life – address one task, focus on it, and move on to the next. The same goes with people – be with the people you are with, physically and mentally. The result? Better productivity, better relationships, and better shots all around.

2. Swing slowly and steadily

Or, as my dad has repeatedly told me, “Don’t try to kill the ball.” As you swing – it’s about your intention and approach. Of course each shot requires a different technique, but a good general rule is to remember that haste definitely makes waste in golf. We need to breathe, address the ball, and handle each shot with thought and concentration.

Similarly, it’s good to approach each life task with a calm intention. Realize that you don’t always have to put it into overdrive. Take a breath. When we’re deliberate in our pursuits instead of hasty and frenzied, we’ll probably end up a lot closer to the pin.

3. Aim at your target

Your ball is not going to make it to the green if you’re aiming for the sand trap to the right of it. I always love it when my ball unintentionally goes right or left, and my dad tells me, “You were aiming that way.” Very helpful advice. But really, it does help to look at the target and visualize the ball reaching it. It also helps to line things up so your shot has a chance.

Off the course, take stock of your short and long term goals. Do you want better grades this year? Then start thinking about how you can adjust your studying habits to make it happen. Do you want to purchase something big in the new year? Then, find out how much you’ll have to save/earn to make that happen. If you’re not pointing in the right direction – chances are you’re not going to get there.

4. Learn from your bad shots

Let’s face it; we are going to have bad shots. However, instead of beating ourselves up after a bad hole and sinking into a mini-depression, try re-grouping. Take a breath. Watch your what you tell yourself mentally. Shake off the bad juju and focus on making the next one better. True, the next shot or next 10 shots might be equally as bad. That’s why there are 9 or 18 holes of golf – we always have a chance to start fresh. That’s also why driving ranges and practice greens exist – if things aren’t going well, we can practice until we get it right.

Similarly, in life, when we have bad days…we can grow from bad experiences. Work on starting each day fresh and see where that takes you. We don’t have to take mishaps and bad days as affronts to our very being. Bad days, like bad shots, are actually learning experiences disguised as life’s annoyances. Let’s not let them get us down.

5. Cherish the great shots

This one’s not that hard to do, who doesn’t appreciate a great shot? However, how often do we really think about what we did to make that good shot good? Next time you have an awesome drive, think about how you made it happen. Then, stop and appreciate it, and take a second to pat yourself on the back and enjoy the moment. Similarly, if you’re having a great round with your favorite golfing buddies on the most beautiful day of summer – pause for just one second to soak it in.

“Perfect moments” don’t come along that often. It’s like this in life, too. Life is sprinkled with good times and bad. When we’re having good moments- with family, friends, or by ourselves- it’s important to make sure we really appreciate them because we know all too well that great moments or shots aren’t always a given. Yet, by keeping a positive mental attitude in good times and bad, we do have the power to make each day of the new year, and beyond, great.

Here’s to a year of fantastic rounds!

2016 LPGA*USGA Girls Golf Holiday Gift Guide!

With the holidays around the corner, we’re bringing back our annual Girls Golf gift guide.

We’ve scoured the internet to find goodies for the golf lover in your family!





Girls Golf Programs Get in on the Mannequin Challenge

by Ashleigh McLaughlin

You no doubt by now have heard of, or even participated in the viral video trend that’s been sweeping the nation. The #MannequinChallenge is a social media sensation that has inspired groups of friends to get together to come up with creative scenes while remaining frozen in action like mannequins – all while a video is being recorded.

TV Hosts, NBA Teams, and some of the world’s biggest celebrities have all taken part – and now Girls Golf members across the country are joining in too!

Here are a few of the fun videos from Girls Golfers who have gotten together to take on this fun challenge:

Girls Golf of Phoenix takes the term “good form” to another level with their putting drill video:

 

Girls Golf of Miami certainly gets style points for this one!

 

Girls Golf of Hampton Roads, Virginia Site Director gets her entire junior golf program in on the fun!

 

Not to be outdone, the staff at LPGA Headquarters created a fun holiday-themed Mannequin Challenge of our own!

Have you created a #MannequinChallenge video of your own? Tag us in yours and you may just see it up on our blog!