You might notice something new during the broadcast for the Australian Women’s Open as well as last week’s ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open—players and LPGA staff wearing a small green and gold pin featuring a heart over a silhouette of Australia. It’s something small, but the meaning behind it holds a great deal of significance, especially for the designer of the pin, the LPGA’s Senior Graphic Designer Anna McCambridge-Thomas.
As the LPGA joins the Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour, the European Tour, and the PGA Tour of Australia at 13th Beach Golf Links in Australia this week, no one can forget that the days are clouded—almost literally—by the devastation of the Australian Bush fires, which have displaced countless people and animals as well as destroyed many homes and native plant species across the country.
Numerous LPGA players like Jessica and Nelly Korda, who is defending her title as tournament champion, Marina Alex, Sara Kemp, Charlotte Thomas, and many others as well as the LPGA have set up birdie challenges to raise money or donated directly to the relief efforts.
Inspired by the players’ generosity, the LPGA wanted to take it one step further.
The idea was to create something for players to wear that could show their support for all those affected by the tragedy while at the same time spreading awareness. A pin seemed like a natural solution. With the tournament coming up in Australia, and being followed by the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open the following week, the timing was perfect.
Within the same day, the pins were designed and out the door to be made.
“To have the design complete in one day is unusual because of all the back and forth,” Anna explained. “But I knew we needed to sprint on it.”
The design was intentionally wordless, to serve as a conversation starter. She wanted people to ask about the pins and what they mean.
“The button itself doesn’t have every website to go to or every phone number to call in order to learn how to help,” Anna said, “but it is there as a reminder.”
The challenge for Anna, then, was creating something significant using only imagery.
“A lot of people would question the green and gold colors because most people recognize the Australian flag as being red, white, and blue, but the Olympic team color for Australia is green and gold, and since we’re a sports association, we wanted to show our support in that sense. And of course, there was a question of how this is going to show support . . . Well, the universal sign for love and support is the heart, so that went right in the center. Then there was the issue of how we show that it is LPGA Tour-related. The background is a stylized golf ball. Then, the addition of a border provided a nice, tight graphic that works really well.”
To Anna, the pin represents more than just bringing awareness to a growing issue but also embodies the culture of the LPGA and the organization’s genuine desire to give back in any way it can.
“We have players who are from Australia, and it’s crushing for them to have this happen. And I’m sure they all know someone who’s been affected,” Anna said. “It’s very personal to them, and our players are like an extended family to each other. When one woman is hurting somehow, the other women on the Tour come to her aid. It’s not just when there’s a big issue covered on TV and they come in to be the good guys; they do it all the time.”
Australia has always had a piece of my heart….the effects of the bush fires is breaking mine. Therefore, I’m going to donate $25 per birdie and $75 per eagle I make during the @VicOpenGolf and @WomensAusOpen ❤️ 🇦🇺
— Mel Reid (@melreidgolf) January 7, 2020
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Friends, we’ve all been watching the news, seeing the images, and hearing the heartbreaking stories. Australia has always had a special place in my heart ever since I played my first professional golf tournament in Queensland as a teenager. I’ve had the most incredible experiences and met the most amazing people there. Let’s help. I’m taking a page from the @sarah_kempy playbook and putting in 20$ for every birdie/100$ for every eagle I make during the Australian Open and Vic Open to the Australian Red Cross. If you want to get in on this, shoot me a message (so I can let you know how many birdies I make after the events are over). Include how much you want to pledge per birdie if you want me to be Joh accountability buddy. Let’s show our love to our friends Down Under. #AussieAussieAussie #OiOiOi ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ (FYI This amazing image is the artwork of my super talented friend @kreatebykarl, give her account a follow, her 💩 is 🍌🍌.)
It’s been absolutely heartbreaking watching you burn. You’ve been so good to our family, so for the @LPGA FL swing I will be donating $150 for every birdie and $300 for every eagle. #letsgo 🇦🇺
— Jessica Korda (@Thejessicakorda) January 6, 2020
Hey Australia! Since you hold such a special place in my heart I’ve decided to donate $150 for every birdie and $300 for every eagle for the first 3 events of my @LPGA season. Fingers crossed 🤞🏼 for lots of BIRDIES & EAGLES! #AustraliaFires 🇦🇺❤️
— Nells (@NellyKorda) January 6, 2020
— Karrie Webb AO (@Karrie_Webb) January 4, 2020
In the face of tragedy, especially one happening on the other side of the world, it’s easy to feel powerless to make any change. But with this pin, Anna’s hope is that little things can make waves.
“The impact of these fires are big, and what has happened is life-changing and earth-changing,” Anna said. “I really believe that it is human nature to be good and be kind to one another, to help one another. So, it may just seem like a little pin to wear, but to me it’s so much bigger. Now is the time to remember that we all have the ability to do something good.”
Please join the LPGA in supporting the Australian Bush Fire relief efforts by donating to one of the charities linked below:
General Relief Efforts
Red Cross – https://www.redcross.org.au/
Victorian Bushfire Appeal – https://www.vic.gov.au/bushfireappeal#how-to-donate
WIRES (for the animals) – https://www.wires.org.au/
RSPCA NSW – https://www.rspcansw.org.au/
World Wildlife Fund – https://www.wwf.org.au/
Directly to the Volunteer Firefighters
This article has been revised since it’s initial publication to reflect an update to the reference of this week’s tournament, the ISPS Handa Vic Open.
Queensland Fire and Rescue – http://www.givit.org.au/
Southern Australia – https://cfsfoundation.org.au/donate
Western Australia – https://www.dfes.wa.gov.au/contactus/Pages/Donations.aspx