Over twenty years ago my daughter was in Cambridge, Massachusetts, attending Harvard Business School. Coincidentally, I was at Harvard Business School attending an executive business program. I suggested we celebrate our unique mother-daughter-student roles by playing a round of golf on a new nearby public course, Shaker Hills Country Club. The day was glorious: Bright sun and a clear, blue sky. Those four hours over 20 years ago remain memorable. We still talk about that day.
Alison learned how to play golf when she was about seven. She took a few lessons from our club’s golf professional. But, golf always took second place to more popular girls’ soccer and especially tennis. (But she can still hit a pretty good drive off the tee.)
Fast forward a couple of decades. Now when I visit Alison’s family and my grandchildren ask me to play golf or go to the driving range, it’s better than the sound of a long putt dropping in the cup.
As our lives get busier, a few hours together on a golf course are a very special place to share experiences and lessons that go beyond the game of golf itself. In a recent interview with LPGA’s Mike Whan, he described several of his own personal family memories that occurred on the golf course.
I will never forget watching the hug that Jordan Spieth’s mother gave him after one of his early PGA Tour victories. It was loaded with memories.
As recently reported by the National Golf Foundation (NGF) in Jupiter, Florida, the growth of junior golf in the U.S. continues. And the NGF statistics now include kids who are playing at practice ranges, lesson facilities, and the new “Top Golf” stadiums. Commissioner Whan wants the LPGA/USGA Girls Golf Program to reach 100,000 girls in the next few years. And after listening to his enthusiasm, I have no doubts that it will.
There are many excellent articles on this website that focus on girls and junior golf. For example, here are some of the most popular from the Girls Golf category.
The Peggy Kirk Bell Girls Golf Tour: Past Meets the Present
Golf’s Next New Sensation – Alexa Pano
Hope and Eve Neild – Players to Watch
Mykayla Grace from San Antonio, Texas
Fiene Nagtegaal – Girls Golf Featured Player
Ava Marano – Girls Golf Rising Player Feature
Teams of Girls Everywhere Giggling and Golfing with GIGL
Is Junior Golf Really Good for Kids?
In my recent conversation with LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan (interview to be published on womensgolf.com this month) now in his eighth year as Commissioner, I asked him about the growth in girl’s golf. His answer was that there used to be a lot of organizations pulling for girl’s golf in the same direction but not on the same rope. And then he added that now the major girl’s golf programs – like the LPGA’s partnership with The First Tee — are pulling on the same rope.
I really like that rope analogy. But, I must add that it helps when moms and dads are pulling on that same rope also. My answer to: “Why teach kids to play golf?” is because playing golf together is a great way to spend that private time that builds lasting memories.
Nancy Berkley is an expert on women’s golf and junior-girls golf in the U.S. A special interest of hers is encouraging business women to enjoy golf with colleagues and clients. Nancy is a member of the World Golf Foundation Women’s Committee and a member of the National Golf Foundation. Nancy is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, Harvard University, Rutgers Law School and has a degree from the Professional Management Program of Harvard Business School.
Nancy is an active golfer at Frenchman’s Creek Beach and Country Club, her home course in Palm Beach Gardens Florida, where she plays both social and competitive golf. Her current Handicap Index on the USGA GHIN system is 17.5. Describing herself as a good bogey golfer with permanent potential, Nancy shares news about women’s golf – along with her opinions on berkleygolfconsulting.com and nancyberkley.com. She is looking forward to on-site reporting from the Solheim Cup in Iowa in August.
Feature image credit: From the wonderful LPGA*USGA Girls Golf website.