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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
Singing, dancing, running a race, wearing pink hair bows, and making new friends; if I told you all of these activities happened at a golf tournament would you believe me? Well I’m happy to share with you, they were and the event was both memorable and transformative for everyone who participated!
The 1st Annual LPGA*USGA Girls Golf of the Treasure Coast Turkey Trot Tournament at Bent Pine Golf Club showcased the epitome of what the Girls Golf program is all about. The event brought together 60 local girls, paired them with 25 female mentors, put them all on a golf course, and threw in plenty of fun along the way! The results were life changing for everyone involved, including myself.
I was fortunate enough to participate as a mentor in the Turkey Trot tournament. After meeting my two new young friends/playing partners Caitlin and Madeline, who were 6 and 8 years old respectively. Our first order of business was picking a team name.
“Do all the teams get to pick their names?” they asked as we walked to our golf cart.
“I’m not sure, but you both will get to pick ours!” I replied.
After seeing the sweet smiles grow on their faces, I knew right away we were going to have a great day together!
The format for the event was a 6-hole, alternate shot tournament from shortened tees. This was not a traditional golf tournament; there were fun rules to follow throughout the round, which got teams to let loose and even get a little silly. At the end of each hole, we had to dance the turkey trot on our way back to our golf cart. Each team could even deduct a stroke from their score after each hole if the girls showed good sportsmanship and encouraged one another.
Caitlin and Madeline were both fairly new golfers and hadn’t spent much time on a golf course or competed in a golf tournament yet, which gave me a great platform to help teach them some of golf’s basic rules and etiquette. I helped teach them how to mark their golf ball, the importance of waiting your turn to play, how to rake a bunker, the anatomy of a scorecard, how to keep track of our team’s score, and so much more. We danced, we laughed, and we even raced our way through those six holes.
I was blown away by the girls’ positivity; they never got upset about missing a shot (which didn’t happen often, I might add, as they both had wonderful golf swings) and they supported each throughout the day, offering encouraging words and giving each other advice. As our round of golf came to a close, the girls asked if we could keep playing; they couldn’t wait to see each other again and come back for the next Girls Golf event. I found myself wishing the day could have lasted longer too.
While spending that time with Caitlin and Madeline, I couldn’t help but think back to my experience venturing onto a golf course when I was their age. As a young girl, my parents chose to give up our family’s membership at our local golf course because my sister and I often times felt unwelcome. I remember the excitement we I felt when we got the chance to tag along with our dad to the course. He wanted so badly to share his love for the game with us and for us to create fun memories playing golf together as a family. Unfortunately, we were often times met with sour looks and groans from the men at the club who were clearly not as excited as we were that we’d be playing ahead of their group. Little did they know, we were capable of outdriving and outplaying them all. I wonder now if I would have been too discouraged to continue playing if I not been a skilled and confident golfer.
The experience that I thought back to was so very different than that of Caitlin and Madeline’s day during the Turkey Trot tournament which I am truly thankful for. There is no doubt in my mind that they fell in love with the game of golf that day and that they’ll be golfers for life. The treatment they received from the event hosts and staff at Bent Pine Golf Club that day was nothing short of remarkable. Not only did the host golf course, a prestigious private club, close the front nine holes just for the girls and women playing in the event, but the Head Golf Professional personally came out, driving around the golf course and stopping to thank every group and player for participating in the event.
My participation in the Turkey Trot tournament is a day I will never forget. As I have learned many times throughout my time working for the LPGA Foundation golf is much more than a game and sometimes the teacher learns more than the student. I had the chance to see first-hand that the Girls Golf movement is here, it is strong, and it is creating a brighter future for girls to learn and enjoy this life changing sport.
by Jane Huling
Site Director, LPGA-USGA Girls Golf of Naples, FL
Scramble vs. Best Ball vs. Stableford
We hosted three separate events using the Olympic theme to get our girls excited about the 2016 games and to help teach them about golf’s different team formats. The girls chose the countries they wanted to represent and got dressed up in their favorite country’s colors.
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! Continue reading
Kira, Lauren, Maia, Kennedi (left to right) are young superstars who go above and beyond by volunteering their time to serve as eLeaders for their Girls Golf program, mentoring younger students and taking on administrative roles to assist their program director, Gladys Lee.
They’ve each found ways to apply their passions into areas of service and have inspired their program’s younger members by dreaming big and persevering both on the golf course and in the classroom.
Kennedi, who wants to go to college to become a screen writer, author, television producer AND an LPGA Professional sets up her camera to record her group’s training sessions at the PGA Tour Superstore.