Sometimes big things are accomplished when there’s a need, an idea, a connection and a dash of Southern hospitality.
At least that may be said of LPGA Professional Hall of Fame member Donna H. White, who seized an opportunity to help her LPGA Professionals organization accomplish an important objective.
Five years ago, the LPGA Professionals mapped out a strategic plan to move at least 50 percent of its teacher certification program online. The organization updated its curriculum and educational programs, but sorely needed a robust Learning Management System to host its online learning and certification program.
Enter, Donna White – the affable native North Carolinian who’s never met a stranger – and just so happens to have played 15 years on the LPGA Tour, served as Southeast Section President, and who has garnered a host of honors, including LPGA National Professional of the Year and the LPGA’s Ellen Griffin Rolex Award. It was White who delivered the final critical piece to a tricky puzzle for her association.
As an instructor at Keiser University’s College of Golf (KUCOG) which is located at its Flagship residential campus in West Palm Beach, Fla., White was already using the school’s “Keiser Live” learning program on its Blackboard platform. And as a member of the LPGA Professionals’ Executive Committee, she was well aware of the challenges and need to take the LPGA’s educational program online.
That’s where White’s connections went to work.
“I had sat in so many meetings and knew it was time to take some action,” she said. “Once our education materials were updated, I reached out to Keiser. The Keiser family has been very supportive in trying to get more women involved in the golf industry, so I just asked if they would consider allowing the LPGA Professionals to use its Blackboard platform?”
That request was welcomed and swung the doors wide open for the association, which entered into a partnership with Keiser University in 2019. The university’s I.T. department worked with the LPGA Professionals’ education office to build the online program that was launched in January 2020.
“It was serendipitous and we didn’t miss a beat,” said Gwen Checho, senior manager of education for the LPGA Professionals. “Because of the pandemic, we got about 70 percent of our classes online with plans to launch our Level 1 program in Korea this May.”
But thanks to White’s inside connection with both the LPGA and Keiser University, the agreement has accomplished far more than simply linking information with an online learning system. She helped create opportunities for young women enrolled in the school’s professional golf management program.