Giving thanks and solutions — My conversation with Symetra Tour player Hannah Gregg — Must-click women’s golf links
The IX: Golf Thursday with Addie Parker, November 25, 2021
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I’ll be quick because we all have turkey, mac and cheese, and apple pies that need our attention. (Editor’s note: I offered Addie the week off. She declined. She had things to say this week. This is who she is, and you should be proud that you support her voice.)
Sunday was the final LPGA event of the season and my word, did Jin Young Ko show OUT. Her stat sheet from CME was beyond impressive but what has my mind in shambles was 63 consecutive greens in regulation (GIR). Not total, which would still be impressive, but in a row! She’s had an amazing year and rightfully so received the player of the year award as well as the $1.5 million prize.
This is the season of giving and being grateful for things beyond money and material goods, but I’m going to talk about money. Last week, I had linked this Golf Monthly article featuring Symetra Tour player Hannah Gregg that discusses the financial burden professional golfers face. I had the opportunity to speak to Hannah this week so be sure to scroll down to this week’s Five at The IX.
It’s no secret that women in sports get the short end of the stick when it comes to coverage and compensation. We can sit and point fingers all day long, but let’s discuss some solutions.
The biggest solution to help women get what they are worth is viewership. It’s that simple. We don’t even have the excuse of not having cable TV anymore! There’s literally hundreds (I Googled it) of streaming services to choose from these days, so pick one, grab a snack, and be prepared to be entertained all weekend long.
Another solution is to go out and watch these events live! The LPGA 2022 schedule is now available. With the world opening up again, it can be fun to plan a small trip (or big) with your family or friends to a tournament and watch the best in the world.
Lastly, don’t forget about junior, collegiate, amateur, and Symetra level tournaments! You can show your support for those ladies as well. This can look like donating money, clubs, or your time at your local First Tee or your state’s USGA allied golf association.
As readers of The IX, you do your part to support women in sports, and I want to take the time to thank each and every one of you! Without you, what we do wouldn’t be possible and we are grateful for the continuous support.
I hope everyone has a safe, healthy, and happy holiday. See you next Thursday golf fans.
“She works hard for the money.” – Donna Summer
This week in women’s golf
If you have any links, sources for golf news, or want to talk about anything email me at email@example.com!
In the spirit of paying our female athletes what they are owed, the LPGA is gaining more sponsorships in the new year!
Now here’s something we can get behind, next year the overall purse for the LPGA is almost $90 million! Next year’s CME prize has been raised to $2 million.
A duo we didn’t know we needed, Lexi Thompson is teaming up with Bubba Watson at Greg Norman’s event in a couple weeks!
It may have been a showdown between Jin Young Ko and Nelly Korda, but don’t count out Lydia Ko! She takes home the Vare Trophy for the lowest scoring average this year.
College Golf News:
This junior college team just won their second title in four years! They were in third place, four strokes back after day one but rallied with positivity on day two.
Amateur Golf News:
The golf ball doesn’t know how old the person hitting it is. This 74 year old Florida woman made TWO hole-in-ones in the same round!
A while back Sarah interviewed the founder of Draw + Fade Modern, Taylor Olsen. This week, D+F launched their own line of sweaters just in time for the holiday season (and winter golf)! Check them out here!
Five at The IX: My Conversation with Hannah Gregg
Like I mentioned above, I had the chance to ask Hannah Gregg, a professional on the Symetra Tour, a few questions about what her journey has been with golf and how she (and many other women) have to put in extra work just to stay afloat.
Q: I want you to walk me through your golf journey, how old were you when you started playing? How have you evolved from your junior to amateur, to professional status?
I was with my dad a lot at the golf course when I was little, but didn’t really play until I was 13. I was homeschooled, and my parents let me enroll at a public school because I said I wanted to play sports. I played basketball for the 3 years prior and switched to only golf when I turned 14. My junior year I ad a few offers for college scholarships, and I decided to choose a small DII school called Sonoma State. Then as I got better, I was able to transfer to University of Nevada and play DI golf there for my last 3 years of school. I graduated in 2018, and played my first year of pro golf in 2019. I got conditional status on Symetra for 2020, and got in to 3 events.
Q: Can you highlight your experiences on Symetra? Walk us through your average day. How much is spent practicing, traveling, working out etc…?
I have always dedicated a minimum of 45 hours a week to professional golf, and treated it like a full time job. Tournament weeks, that goes up to about 60-70 hours a week. An average tournament week is 1 day of travel, 1 day for a practice round, 4 rounds of golf, and travel time home or to the next event. There’s not a lot of free time involved once you account for meals, workouts, sleep, planning your next event, and whatever type of work you do on the side to pay for tour life.
Q: In your Golf Monthly article, you mention your brand deals and how essential they are to what you do, can you elaborate on that?
There are 2 different types of brand deals for me, although they do have some overlap. The first is a sponsorship for my professional golf- I am on staff with Mizuno, who sponsor my equipment. In exchange for their sponsorship, I am a representative of the brand, I make specific appearances for them, and I wear their hat and use their equipment in all of my tournaments and practice for a season. The second type of partnership I have is an exchange with brands where they compensate me for either reviews, exposure, or ad space on my various social media pages. For example, brands will send me a product to try out, and if I like it and want to share it with my followers (on Instagram, I get compensated for that. Sometimes they ask for multiple posts across a year, etc. I also started a business with my boyfriend called Short Game Gains, and we design and sell various golf practice aids that focus on short game and putting. That has become a big focus for us as we start to expand our product line and grow that to be a full time business, and we’ve already won several awards including Golf Digest Editors Choice!
I also have a business with my sister called Cozy Co. Social, where we consult and manage business social media pages. That has been my main source of income for my 2 first years being pro, and we‘ve gotten to work with globally recognized brands which was great work experience for me outside of golf.
Q: I love this particular quote from the article, “I always hear ‘well the women aren’t fun to watch’ but I’ve never understood that. The men weren’t popular to watch compared to the scale they are now. It takes years of marketing and people engaging with women’s sports for them to have a chance to succeed and grow”. In your perfect world, what would more engagement in women’s golf or women’s sports in general look like?
Women’s golf is quickly growing, and I can see that because I’m a part of it, but women’s pro golf isn’t yet mainstream enough that the average golfer is paying attention to it. Purses on the LPGA are growing, the audience for LPGA Tour golf is expanding, and with that will come more sponsors and more opportunities for the women at the highest level. What people don’t know much about is the process to GET to that highest level, and that’s basically the reason that I started documenting my journey. Because a lot of people assume that if you’re really good, you’ll graduate college, sponsors will be lined up to sign you, you’ll cruise through q school on the first try, and then you’ll have enough cash to play an entire year on the LPGA. Most people don’t realize that on the men’s side and the women’s side, there’s about 20 steps to go through before you reach the PGA or the LPGA. And working through those steps costs a lot of money. I would love to see more light shed on the women coming up, who are on the bubble of getting/keeping their tour card, and with social media it’s becoming easier to find and connect with those people. So, I guess the first step for someone who wants to help grow women’s golf is to just spread the word, make it known that you enjoy it, and use social media to make your voice heard. If enough people ask to see the LPGA on TV more often, it will eventually be taken seriously and those changes will start to happen. And those benefits trickle down to those of us who are in the early stages of chasing our dream.
Q: In the spirit of Thanksgiving, what has golf brought to your life that you are thankful for?
I am unbelievably grateful for the people I have met through professional golf, both in person and through social media. None of what I do would be possible without the help of my coaches, my trainer, the people who have donated to my cause or just followed what I’m doing to cheer me on and watch me grow. I’ve had to raise money for Q school both of my years playing in it, and people have been so generous and kind to me. I’m thankful for Mizuno and my other partners who believe in my ability to succeed and are helping me reach my goals. I’m extremely thankful to have a professional golfer boyfriend who is here to navigate these same struggles with me, and I’m thankful to have a sister who has dropped everything she’s doing to pack up and drive across the entire country with me (twice!) so that I didn’t have to travel alone. I could go on!
Q: Moving forward and looking ahead to 2022, what are your goals and how can The IX and our readers help you?
My goal for 2022 is to play well in the Symetra events I get into, and hopefully get reshuffled higher in the fields, and to advance to final stage in Q series. My 5 year goal has been to have status on the LPGA by the time I’m 30, so everything I do is basically in hopes of giving myself a shot at that. I’ll be playing in Monday qualifiers for the LPGA as well, and playing in an LPGA event or a US open is a yearly goal I work towards every season. Readers can help me by engaging with women’s golf on social media, engaging with me on social media, liking, sharing, and commenting! I also have a Go Fund Me account for anyone who would like to donate towards my tournament fees and expenses. Donations of any size are so appreciated.
All of Hannah’s profiles are listed below, she her some love!
Go Fund Me: https://gofund.me/daff7fc6
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