Growing up, before we approached the first tee at any golf course, my mentor and coach would remind his students of our responsibility to leave the golf course better than we found it. It was a simple ask that we not only take special care in replacing our divots in the fairways and raking our footsteps in the bunker, but that we find opportunities to improve the condition of each hole for the golfers playing behind us.
Throughout my 12-year career at the LPGA, that same mantra, almost word for word was asked of us by our Commissioner Mike Whan. But rather than fixing other golfers’ wayward pitch marks on the green, he asked us to do work that would help create a better landscape in golf for the next generation of players.
Two years ago, when I took on the assignment of leading work to create a platform to connect more women to golf, I wasn’t yet sure how those efforts might take shape. But with teamwork, creativity and a few sleepless nights, the LPGA Women’s Network was born, and I’ve been blown away by the support of this endeavor since its inception.
So, in that spirit, it is bittersweet that I am stepping away from my role as Director for the LPGA Women’s Network to pursue my next adventure as the VP of Marketing and Communications for the non-profit Youth on Course.
As I embark on this new opportunity to create access to golf for another underserved group, my hope for you and this growing community is that you’ll join me in using the game of golf as a vehicle in your personal life to:
- Be brave, take risks and continue to challenge yourself
- Serve as a reminder that life is a journey of progress and not perfection
- Deepen your connections and to create new ones
- And that you’ll find your own unique way to leave the world better than you found it
Golf’s landscape for women, girls and minorities has come a long way since I first picked up the game, and there’s no doubt in my mind the atmosphere and access to golf will continue to evolve for the better. Even though I will miss connecting with this community, the LPGA Women’s Network will continue business as usual thanks to the talented writers, teachers, players and trailblazers who will continue to lend their voice and expertise to this space.
Rest assured, the best is still yet to come for you and this burgeoning community. I can’t wait to follow along with the launch of our new web series, our nationwide event calendar and to hear from guest editors who will share their own stories and advice which will help to bring our community closer together. We will continue to promote and grow women’s golf each and every day—so we too can leave the game better than we found it.
While I’ll be shifting my focus, I won’t be too far – you’ll continue to see articles penned from yours truly with advice to help support your and your junior golfer’s love of the game. If you’d like to stay in touch, which I hope you will, you can find me on Twitter @AshleighNicole or in the comments section of just about any future article shared here on the Women’s Network site. 😊
Thanks for everything, happy golfing!