Transforming the lives of young girls is at the heart of LPGA Leadership Academies. 

Each year the LPGA Foundation hosts 160 girls, ages 14-18, at several two-day conferences across the country. Linking leadership competencies to the game of golf, these academies create the female leaders of tomorrow. In fact, 98% of participants walk away claiming to view themselves as a leader, and 87% of parents see a difference in their daughters after completing the Leadership Academy. 

You wouldn’t think two nine-hour sessions could change the trajectory of someone’s life, but that’s exactly what the LPGA Leadership Academies do. By the end of day two, even the shyest participant is speaking up in group settings and sharing their dreams with others. These girls emerge from the academy with a newfound sense of self, and a confidence that radiates. 

These lessons are something that every girl can benefit from, which is why Sara Detlefsen, Coordinator of the LPGA Leadership Academies, shared five reasons to sign up:

  1. World-Class Golf Instruction 

Each Leadership Academy features a group of LPGA Professionals from around the world teaching both classroom and outdoor golf sessions. Not only are they experts at the game, but these LPGA Professionals strive to make the experience as fun as possible for the girls. This includes individual walk-up songs to kick off each academy, wearing superhero capes, and impromptu dance sessions. As if their passion wasn’t enough, LPGA Professionals certainly have the credentials to back up what they’re teaching.  

For example, this year’s group of instructors featured: 

  • Golf Digest’s Best Young Teachers in America 
  • GolfPass Contributors 
  • College Coaches 
  • LPGA Top 50 Teachers 
  • LPGA Northeast Teacher of the Year 
  • LPGA Southeast Section Teacher of the Year 
  • LPGA Southeast Section Coach of the Year 
  • LPGA National Coach of the Year 

LPGA Leadership Academy participants hear seminars, practice golf, and even eat meals alongside their coaches – an experience which builds strong bonds and lends LPGA Professionals the opportunity to impart plenty of life lessons on the girls. Many attendees even request to stay in communication with their coaches after the conclusion of the Academy. 

       2. Low Cost – It’s Free! 

Thanks to the generosity of the LPGA Partners who sponsor LPGA Leadership Academies, they are presented at no cost to the families of participants. This means that all classroom education, outdoor golf instruction, meals, and gifts are provided to participants free of cost. The only expenses that families are responsible for are travel accommodations! 

      3. Stunning Facilities 

In 2022, the LPGA boasted four beautiful facilities for their Leadership Academy Locations:  

Saginaw Country Club 

  • The historic Saginaw Country Club in Saginaw, MI, was established in 1898 and features perfectly manicured practice areas and championship golf, with a proud history of hosting major Michigan golf tournaments. 

USGA Campus 

  • The USGA Campus in Liberty Corner, NJ, comprises USGA Headquarters, the Research and Development lab, the USGA Museum, and its own practice area. Academy participants and their families were given free admission to the museum after hours.  

Robert Trent Jones Club 

  • Home to the 2023 Solheim Cup, Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, VA, epitomizes southern charm and hospitality – pairing top of the line golf with a lavish clubhouse resort. 

Newcastle Country Club  

  • Newcastle Country Club in Newcastle, WA, offers stunning views of Puget Sound and is near downtown Seattle.  

At each of these facilities, participants got to utilize their driving range and short game areas during outdoor exercises, while the picturesque clubhouses and headquarters were used for meals and indoor sessions.  

      4. Chance to Form a Network 

Each LPGA Leadership Academy features a Female Executive Panel Lunch, where representatives from the presenting partner come in to share their journey as women in the workplace, and the lessons they’ve learned along the way. When schedules allow, these inspirational women stay and engage in a game inspired by the hit show Shark Tank, where girls come up with business ideas and pitch them to the “sharks” who would put financial backing to their idea.  

Furthermore, graduates of the LPGA Leadership Academy are added to an all-alumnae GroupMe chat with the friends they made, the expert coaches they worked with, and the LPGA staff who oversee the Leadership Academies. 

     5. Opportunity to Build a Strong Leadership Foundation 

Whether it’s fostering a newfound confidence or building upon a poised personality, LPGA Leadership Academies give each girl the tools to become the future leaders of tomorrow. Each classroom lesson is reinforced on the golf course with activities that teach trust, active listening, giving direction, and teamwork.  

A graduation ceremony is held at the end of day two, and the transformation that’s taken place within each participant is simply amazing. As part of the ceremony, each girl is asked to come to the front of the room and share a personal lesson they learned during the academy.  

These are just a few of the takeaways from girls this year: 

  • “You don’t have to be perfect, and life is a journey of learning” 
  • “You should never change, and you should always be true to yourself” 
  • “Always be confident, and don’t let other peoples’ actions bring you down” 
  • “We’re in charge of how we feel, and we’re the biggest impact on our own lives” 
  • “No matter what happens in the future, we have to remember that we can lift ourselves back up and get into a position which helps us stand strong and get out there” 
  • “No matter what type of leader you are, or who you are as a person, you define who you are, so be true to yourself and always stay that way” 
  • “Learn to love yourself for who you are, and who others are” 
  • “Be comfortable with the uncomfortable”   

Interested in applying a teen girl for one of the 2023 LPGA Leadership Academies? Applications will be open in early 2023. Participants are selected based on age, strength of application responses, and involvement with LPGA*USGA Girls Golf.  

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