Golf Digest announces ‘Golf Digest Woman’ — Teams to watch for NCAA regionals — Must-click women’s golf links
The IX: Golf Thursday with Addie Parker, April 28, 2022
Happy Golf Thursday everyone! I hope where ever you are, you have been able to soak up some Vitamin-D and bask in the best season of golf. Fairways are starting to green, trees are in full bloom, and birds are definitely chirping in your back swing.
Spring time brings in pollen and bugs, but not just any bugs, a very specific kind of bug always turns up as the weather gets warmer — the golfer’s bug. A new wave of people are about to get bitten and infected and the only cure is getting to a course as fast as possible. (Editor’s note: can confirm.) Side effects include itching (to hit a million balls on the range), avoidance (of the putting green…beginners never want to practice putting), and the worst symptom of all, irritability, because at the end of the day it’s a mental game over physical. Perhaps I’m being a bit melodramatic, but what isn’t an exaggeration is the growth that the game has gone through since the start of the pandemic. And for a second year in a row, the industry has seen some major changes. From tournament purse increases, to more TopGolf location popping up across the country, to record-breaking viewership for major tournaments, our sport is feeling the love and it’s a wonderful thing to see.
For the first time in the last 15 years, the National Golf Foundation has recorded an impressive uptick of women in golf. There are over 6 million women in golf, and since 2020, almost 2.2 million have picked up a club and headed to the first tee (or at least the range).
To accommodate this growth, one of the biggest golf publications announced on Wednesday, their initiative to being more inclusive.
In the last six months or so, Golf Digest has made some strides to expose some of the ugly truths of golf, like with their “Women in golf reveal the ugly truth about social media” piece from October 2021.
This announcement is their latest attempt to disrupt the traditional landscape and create a platform catered to the demographic they labeled “underserved”.
I’m open to what Golf Digest is doing and I’m excited to see what kind of plan they have to make the game more inclusive for women entering the space. From my brief investigation of the platform, most of the ‘Golf Digest: Woman’ content is actually on Golf Digest+ which is where readers pay to subscribe to gain access to specific articles and instructional videos. New readers get to view two article free of charge, but must become subscribes to view the rest. The magazine also stated that there will be coinciding social media pages like a Facebook group and a TikTok account, as well as a weekly newsletter.
All of these sound like really good things but as a long-time fan, I hope GD finds a way to bridge the gap between those of us who have been in the game for a while and those who are just joining. I hope they continue to highlight the women of the LPGA, LET, and Epson Tours. I hope they utilize women PGA and LPGA teaching professionals for their instructional videos. I hope they highlight women-owned golf brands. I hope they find a way to simplify and articulate the rules of golf so women can feel more comfortable on the course. My biggest hope is that this new branch doesn’t isolate women golfers and that the main GD website and social media pages continue to promote women’s golf.
“The women’s golf community is already strong. We’re here to make it stronger by doing what Golf Digest has always done: help golfers learn how to play, what to play and where to play.”— Keely Levins, assistant editor at Golf Digest
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This week in women’s golf
If you have links you wish to share for Golf Thursday, sources for golf news, or want to talk about anything at all, you can email me at email@example.com ! Discussion of any kind is always welcome…I mean it…MESSAGE ME!
Cool as a cucumber…ahead of her LPGA debut, ANWA Champ Anna Davis says that she’s going to treat this week like any other event. Oh, and she got some new bucket hats!
As if I wasn’t already missing Spain enough, this update about Solheim Cup 2023 ticket sales has me ready to book my flight. Who’s down to split an Airbnb in the south of Spain?
Last week was the DIO Implant LA Open, where Nasa Hataoka had a dominant finish that was like a Hollywood fairytale ending! This week, the ladies only have to travel 40-minutes down the highway (it’s LA so more like two hours) for the Palos Verdes Championship presented by Bank of America. Here’s how you can tune in.
Tour CEO Alexandra Armas says that the way to grow the game is being as open to new ideas. Whether if that means traveling to new places, this year’s season calendar is the most lucrative in LET history, with 34 events across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and as far afield as the United States and Australia, where back-to-back events got underway last week in New South Wales or switching up event formatting, is key to more wide-spread growth.
With last Friday’s celebration of Earth Day, let’s dive into the ways in which the European Tour and their events are dedicated to more sustainable golf.
The LPGA isn’t the only tour seeing new sponsorships and purse increases! The Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open is welcoming back spectators and introducing a sponsorship (from Trust Golf) of the Women’s Scottish Open for four further years and increased the prize-fund by 33% to US$2 Million.
Epson Tour News
Last week the Epson Tour was in Utah for the Copper Rock Championship, where Dottie Ardina fired a final round 65 to capture her victory. It was an epic week with some very quotable moments, don’t miss them!
Looking ahead to this weekend…the 144-player field for the eighth annual Garden City Charity classic from April 29-May 1 has been finalized by the Epson Tour, as the “Road to the LPGA” returns to Buffalo Dunes Golf Course.
This week’s Five at The IX is very NCAA-focused so we’ll keep it light on their links this week. Some notable moments from the last seven days are…
Golfweek College Performers of the Week powered by Rapsodo: Hsin-Yu (Cynthia) Lu, Oregon and College Performers of the Week powered by Rapsodo: Michigan women’s golf. Michigan won the Big Ten conference last week, congrats!
Five at The IX: Teams to watch for NCAA regionals
The announcements for which teams and individuals made it to the regional tournaments went live yesterday on the Golf Channel. Today I want to dive into the teams that I have my eyes on for the national championship title. Reminder: this year’s regional formatting has changed. This year there are six different regional events (upgraded from only four), with 12 teams per regional and six individuals not from advancing teams. The top four teams and top two individuals not on advancing teams will move on to the May 20-25 NCAA Championship at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The Ducks are coming off a conference championship win and are ranked no.2 as a team in the national rankings. They have seasoned vet, Tze-Han (Heather) Lin, a senior who has been playing extremely consistent. Her scoring average is sitting around even par, which will be crucial as the season comes down to the wire. Her experience and role as a leader on the team will serve the Ducks well. It’ll be a good mashup to see them play against Texas (who are the Big 12 conference champs) in Albuquerque.
Ranked no.1 for the region mixed with the chip on their shoulder from last year’s NCAA championship defeat to Ole Miss, the OSU Cowgirls are here to stay. One of the greatest advantages to have in golf is experience and knowing what winning feels like. OSU has that and they will use that to guide them into the rest of their season. They will fight their way back to the championship.
Stanford golf has become like the University of Alabama in football…you know they will always be in the mix when it comes to the playoffs. The Cardinal hasn’t been in their usual form in the last few weeks and yet they still have the no. 1 rank as a team AND the top individual player in the nation in Rose Zhang. I have no doubt that the trees will take care of business on their home course and head to another national championship.
San Jose State
San Jose State has been giving Stanford a run for it’s money this spring season and I love it! The Spartans have earned their top-five ranking and I think they what it takes to make it Scottsdale. They have a roster of experienced players who have posted a collective 23 rounds in the 60s this season. SJSU has also won four of their last five tournaments played…momentum is on their side.
This is the only team I chose outside of the top-10 and that’s because I believe LSU has found themselves in the good graces of the Golf Gods. Their conference win was beyond special, and to do it after falling short only a year ago proves that they have the fire to take it all the way. It also helps having the no.2 ranked player in the nation in Ingrid Lindblad. They have some heavy-hitters in their regionals like Stanford of USC (Cali) but they just need to place inside the top four to advance to Scottsdale, and I have no doubt that they will.
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