CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) — Girls are playing golf more now than ever. With interest in the sport starting to reach girls in elementary school, opportunities to learn the sport continue to grow.
“We may be the fastest growing population in golf today: girls,” said Kathy Chambers, LPGA teaching professional. “That’s never happened before.”
With this in mind, Girls Golf was created to engage young golfers 6-17 years old. The programs put on by the LPGA and USGA have extended into over 500 communities around the world.
“There are a lot of opportunities in golf, including friendship, happiness and that gives you meaning to life,” said 10-year-old Saylor Griffie.
The LPGA is working to empower girls with the skills they need on the course and off it.
“It brings more self control,” said 12-year-old Emerson Wagner. “You become more polite and patient. Everyone around is all good vibes.”
While the goal is to learn how to play the game, golf has a way of teaching some important life lessons.
“In so many ways, I feel like I have grown as a person,” said 12-year-old Sunderlyn Griffie.
The Griffie sisters saying they learned about their personalities and how to be the most polite version of themselves. Sunderlyn says she was already observant, but golf has honed those skills.
“I didn’t come on here being respectful,” Saylor said. “I would talk in lessons and I realized that it’s very disrespectful to do that. I think I’ve learned a lot about respecting people on the golf course.”
Girls Golf Carlisle Site Manager Chambers teaches the important of honesty, etiquette and exercise through golf.
“They can dream their dreams,” Chambers said. “They’re starting out very basically in golf, but from year to year they’re seeing growth and improvement.”
The program in Carlisle has 28 kids participating; both boys and girls welcome to take lessons through Girls Golf.
“It might seem boring in the beginning, [but] it’s not, it is not at all,” Saylor said.
The program these girls complete is the beginning of a lifelong love of golf.
“I feel like it’s definitely something I’m not going to quit anytime soon,” Wagner said.
Program’s 5 E’s
The program operates using five key words driving its mission. These are according to the Girls Golf website.
Each Girls Golf site provides girls with quality golf instruction overseen by LPGA or PGA teaching professionals who are experts in creating competent and confident golfers. We pride ourselves in connecting our members with teachers who can take them from beginner to advanced players and who are passionate about sharing the game they love. By helping girls develop their skills on the golf course, we empower them with confidence off the course too!
We strive to teach and retain young girls in the game by looking for THEIR points of entry into learning and enjoying the sport, which sometimes means putting down the 7 iron and creating time for fun games and activities that catch their attention. Often we’ll cut the drills short to throw a golf fashion show, pizza party, water balloon toss . . . the list goes on and on. We’re not afraid to have some fun and take a few detours along the way!
For parents looking for role models for their young girls, they can feel confident in those provided by the LPGA. Girls Golf is the only national youth organization with a direct connection to the players on the LPGA and Symetra Tours. By connecting girls with women they can aspire to be like, girls inherently begin expanding their own horizons. Girls Golf sites also partner with the members of the LPGA Professionals, who are passionate about inspiring girls to achieve and serve as instructors and mentors for girls across the country.
Girls Golf programs teach more than just stance and swing. Through our connection with the USGA (the governing body of the game of golf) Girls Golf members also gain a deeper understanding rules, history, and science behind the game of golf. Girls Golf members who aspire to compete in college or on Tour are also connected with resources and education to help them reach their goals.
Did you know that playing a round of golf is equivalent to a 5 mile walk or a 3.5 mile run? Not only is golf one of the few sports you can play and enjoy for a lifetime, but it offers a number of health benefits. Girls Golf sites not only exercise girls’ bodies but also incorporate fitness and nutrition education into their programming and inspire girls to lead active and healthy lifestyles.
The program runs the first and third Saturday of each month at the Carlisle Barracks Golf Course. The course donates its facility to the program. Girls Golf is open to any child who wants to register, more information here. There are sites across Pennsylvania.