by Gary McCormick
Mention professional golf and many, maybe even most golf fans will automatically think of the PGA Tour. As in just about every other sport for which there are professional leagues for both men and women – with the possible exception of tennis – the male professionals overshadow the women who play the game at the highest level.
If you are a golf fan, even a casual one, there are plenty of reasons to watch the men play – but if you have never seen the ladies of the LPGA play their unique brand of golf you are missing out on a huge part of the game. Here are some reasons for coming out to see an LPGA tournament:
If You Are A Guy
- You will learn more about your own game
Sure, it’s fun to watch the professionals on the PGA Tour hit 300-yard-plus drives and pull wedge for approach shots that would have you pulling 5-iron or hybrid, but while that’s entertaining, what are you getting out of it besides an inferiority complex? Believe it or not, if you are a mid-handicap or better male golfer, the women of the LPGA play a type of golf that is closer to your game than you might realize.
Average driving distance on the LPGA Tour is around 256 yards, ranging from 6-foot-tall Lexi Thompson’s 284-yard average to the 232 yards averaged by 5′ 3″ Christine Song. The women play at total lengths of around 6,500 yards. Spend a day, or a weekend at an LPGA tournament watching the women strategize their way around a course hitting shots from the distances you are probably playing from, and you will learn a thing or two about how to knock some strokes off your game.
- You will score points with your girlfriend, wife, or daughter
Some of the biggest fans of men’s professional sports that I know are women, but you can count on the women and/or girls in your life appreciating an opportunity to see the best women in the game competing head-to-head on a golf course. If they don’t already play, this might get them interested – and if the women in your life play golf, you’ll get to play more.
If You Are A Woman
- You will get to see the top women in the world doing their best – from up close
Watching the best in the world play golf is fun even if you don’t t play, but if you do, you will appreciate the skill the women exhibit that much more – plus you can get really close to the action. Gallery ropes line the fairways and surround the greens, but you’re never that far away.
Want to see how Paula Creamer lines up a putt? Get next to the ropes around the green and you’ll get a free putting lesson.
- You Will Be Supporting Good Works
Professional golf contributes more money to national and local charities than any other professional sport. Sure, the PGA Tour is the big dog in this area of the game, too – but the LPGA uses the same formula to give back to the community in the cities where they play. Funds raised through pro-am tournaments, corporate sales, etc., contribute to funds that support local causes. In addition, it is the expressed mission of the LPGA Foundation “To empower and support girls and women through developmental and humanitarian golf initiatives”.
- It’s Different Out Here
Everyone has seen the coverage of some of the more-media savvy PGA tour pros signing autographs, especially for kids, long after a round, but honestly, those guys are the exception rather than the rule. The LPGA uses the slogan “It’s Different Out Here” to point up the fan-friendly atmosphere they cultivate.
The ladies on the LPGA know that they are playing second-fiddle to the men, and they work harder at making their fans feel like they are really welcome. Their caddies’ bibs will have the player’s name as well as their Twitter handle on the back. They are very receptive to fan interaction, and especially love to see younger girls coming out to the tournaments and getting interested in the game.
Golf is a game that can be played for a lifetime, and the ladies of the LPGA know that it is good for them, and good for the game, to spread goodwill and make golf attractive to a wider audience, not only of spectators, but players, too.
Image by David W. Leindecker/Shutterstock.com