Throughout my career with the LPGA, I’ve met a lot of golfers. Sometimes, those golfers are women. Usually, when I meet a fellow golfer, her face lights up, like I’ve opened up this other side of her she usually keeps closed. For me, golf is a way to reconnect with the happy memories I created with my dad and my siblings growing up. One part family time, two parts nostalgia. But I’m fascinated by what calls other women to the golf course.
This happened to me just yesterday, so I figured I’d introduce to you a woman named Shannon.
I’ve only known Shannon for a little while, but her story is all too familiar.
She didn’t play golf growing up. She didn’t watch golf. The sport just hung out on the sidelines—as distant from golf in her day-to-day as entering a new career in motorsports would be from mine. Shannon is a spry 50-something and a recent empty-nester who wanted a way for her and her husband to fill the newly quiet evenings and weekends.
And one day, they tried golf.
It clicked immediately. She told me the same thing I’ve heard I don’t know how many times: “I wish I had known how fun golf was a long time ago.”
Let’s be honest for a moment. Golf has gotten a bad rap over the years for being boring. The way my non-golfing friends wrinkle their noses when I tell them about the latest golf telecast pretty much says it all. So I always get a little, satisfying thrill when someone finally gives the game a try for themselves and discovers all of its hidden—and not so hidden—charms.
Shannon and her husband fell head over heels for the game, but like most newbies, had almost no idea where to start. She knew the basics: she needed a golf course and she needed some golf clubs.
The course was the easy part. There was a little municipal course not far from her home where she and her husband could dabble through a few holes after work. Clubs were another story.
On a good day, purchasing equipment for a new sport or hobby is daunting enough, but with no golf friends to confide in and not wanting to look foolish in front of the pro at her local course, she wasn’t sure where to turn.
As fate would have it, she stumbled upon a beat-up old set of clubs at a swap meet for a whopping $2. Not the best, but any start is worlds better than no start at all.
Shannon’s story really stuck with me, and I wanted to share it here to hopefully inspire you to see that there are so many entry points that golf allows, and the ability to persevere through whatever obstacles is what really makes this game great.
I’m reminded of some of our recent articles and videos, the LPGA’s new #DriveOn campaign, and the memory of Marilynn Smith one the LPGA’s original 13 founders who passed away in early April. All of the women we’ve featured on the website and even our subscribers, prove to us every day that golf is not just a game, but an opportunity to pursue anything, whether that be providing opportunities for women in the game, finding peace out on the course, or just starting up a new hobby to do after work.
Whether you want to crush it like Tiger, or try something new like Shannon, there’s no wrong way to start playing the game.
So we want to know . . . what motivated you to pick up the game? Let us know in the comments below and share this story with a friend who inspires you to #DriveOn.