Mission Hill’s Pride extravaganza — Lilia Vu’s return to competition

The IX: Golf Thursday with Addie Parker, June 13, 2024

Let’s go on a bit of a historical journey this Golf Thursday. It’s 1991—Tim Berners-Lee launched the first ever website, LL Cool J and Nirvana are topping the music charts, and the inaugural Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend in Palm Springs was hosted.

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For most golfers, “The Dinah” was synonymous with the first women’s major of the year (now the Chevron Championship), formerly hosted at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California.

Dinah Shore, a popular actress, singer, and TV personality during the Big Band Era of the 1940s, was also the first person to become an Honorary Member of the LPGA Hall of Fame. Shore had a reputation for not just enjoying golf but also supporting women’s golf. She and David Foster of Colgate-Palmolive combined forces to create Colgate-sponsored events for the LPGA starting in 1972.

Between Shore’s celebrity status and the amount of money Colgate and Foster could provide, the Colgate Dinah Shore Winner’s Circle events were the social events of any season.

Actress Dinah Shore and David Foster of Colgate-Palmolive giving out the trophy for the Colgate Dinah Shore Winner’s Circle winner. Photo courtesy of the LPGA.

Eventually, the tournament morphed into the women’s major we know it to be now, with over 50 years of rich history — however, Mission Hills and the Coachella Valley hold another “must-go” event in the desert—Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend.

Founded by Mariah Hanson, Dinah Shore Weekend has become one of the oldest and largest lesbian and queer-centered events in the country.

Over four days, more than 15,000 queer women and gender-diverse gather for music, celebration, and joy take over the desert with past performers such as Katy Perry, Lady GaGa, and Chaka Khan.

Before the tournament’s name and venue change, the festival would take place over the same weekend, attracting a vastly diverse crowd who would show out and show up for women’s golf.

The two events weren’t mutually exclusive, party-goers would find themselves on the course, and golf patrons would venture off to the same hotels and bars as the festival attendees — everyone lived in harmony according to Hanson.

In an article from the Desert Sun, Hanson explained, “They [The LPGA] were asking us for help to get some of our guests over to their tournament. Before I [The Dinah] was canceled in 2020, we had a really great program together where they were going to send a couple of their players over to a cocktail reception at The Dinah. We were letting people know they could watch the tournament, that it was there and they should consider going to it. I do think The Dinah has established its own foundation that’s very strong and the golf tournament benefitted from that.”

And though things have changed over the last couple of years, mainly dates (June in the desert seems like more of a nightmare than an oasis), Dinah Weekend is still going strong, Hanson and company have forged a new identity without golf as the backdrop.

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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 addieparker25@theixsports.com ! Discussion of any kind is always welcome…I mean it…MESSAGE ME!


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Five at The IX: Lilia Vu’s first rounds back since April

Q. What was it like preparing to come back to this event and get back into that competitive mindset?

LILIA VU: Yeah, I played a lot of nine-hole rounds. Yeah, definitely a little rusty. Tomorrow will be my first 18-hole round.

But I played nine today; didn’t feel anything. Hopefully I’m good to go.

Q. What’s it been like setting that process for yourself? Definitely something I think for the first time in your career you’ve had to manage and maintain in your own way.

LILIA VU: Yeah, I think I definitely look at golf in a different lens. I think I appreciate it more now than ever, just being able to play golf. I feel like — you kind of take it for granted when you’re not injured and you don’t appreciate it.

Then you hit a wall and then you’re not able to swing and play as much as you would want to and you hit pause. Then you have to be disciplined and get your things in order, and that’s what I was trying to do the past couple weeks.

Q. Now that you’re here we’re getting ready for the Meijer Classic, just in general, have you gone out and done a lot of practice for this week or what’s been your routine already?

LILIA VU: I think I’ve been pretty light this week with work. I’ve known — I know this course pretty well. Played it two years ago; I think I did pretty okay.

Yeah, I trust my team around me. I just worry about myself and let him help me out basically on the course.

Q. First off, when you’re warming up on days like today and tomorrow, what are you looking to see out of your game?

LILIA VU: I don’t think so much out of my game that I’m looking for. I have to be very conscious about how my body is feeling.

So I kind of have the same stretch, activation warmup, and once I know that I’m good, it translates over on to my golf. So that’s more important right now than seeing the flight I want or hitting the distance I want.

So that’s what I have been more focused on.

Q. We’ve talked about in the past about the ups and downs of your career heading into 2023, what really made you appreciate golf. In the last couple months, have you leaned on anyone other than your team, other players or people to get advice from to navigate a challenge of the season?

LILIA VU: Not so much. I think I’ve just kind of relied on my support system at home. Yeah, everybody has been so supportive of me. It’s tough not to get emotional because people want me back out here and they really care about me, so it’s been really cool to see the support.

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Written by Addie Parker