Remembering “Rosie”— The 2022 Season Kickoff — Interview: Gavin Parker — Must-click women’s golf links
The IX: Golf Thuesday with Addie Parker, January 13, 2022
Happy Thursday golf fans! I am fresh from vacation, and ready with new topics and things to talk about. Before we get into today’s article I want to take a moment to remember one of the greats, Tim Rosaforte. If you know golf and if you know writing, you know that Rosaforte was at the highest level of golf journalism. He was adored by many and rightfully so. Rosie wrote with empathy and vulnerability and we can all learn a thing or two from his words.
Alzheimer’s is a heartbreaking disease and my thoughts are with his loved ones. For more information on Alzheimer’s and to help fund research, visit the Alzheimer’s Association website.
If there’s anything that death and grief has taught me it’s that life is a celebration and you absolutely must focus on the good in order to move forward. That being said, we have much to look forward to in the golf world this month.
Next week is the first event on the LPGA’s schedule or better known as the LPGA’s “Party on Tour”. The ladies are headed to Orlando for the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions (what a name). Last year’s winner Jessica Korda is back in the field and ready to defend her title against other LPGA tour winners. This tournament will also kick off with outdoor concerts as well as a pretty stacked celebrity field!
It’s an exciting week to kick off the season, and I can’t wait to tune in.
Now, I want to switch gears and check in. Each week I try my best to highlight what’s happening in golf while also adding concepts/themes to use as take-aways points. I mean it when I say to reach out to me! I love getting feedback and I want to continue to foster relationships with all of our readers–no topic is irrelevant. Feel free to shoot me an email or message me on Twitter, even if it’s just to say hi!
Until next time, friends.
“[Golf] is something that I can do throughout the course of my time here on this earth.” — Tim Rosaforte
This week in women’s golf
If you have links you wish to share, 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 welcomed…I mean it…MESSAGE ME!
Well this is fun…Jessica and Nelly Korda, Michelle Wie West lead season opener in Orlando! Someone we will miss in the field is Jin Young Ko.
LPGA Rookie Amanda Doherty shares her Journey to LPGA Tour. Her story is a raw depiction of hard work paying off, check it out.
The women of the LPGA are moms, daughters, sisters, and wives. They all have a story, Rachel Rohanna, writes a heartfelt letter for her daughter–her superhero sidekick.
USGA and ProMedica announce partnership to elevate the US Women’s Open. Read about the partnership and the plans for what’s to come with the future of the Open.
I don’t understand betting but for those of you that do…here’s something: LPGA fans will soon have more options for online gambling! What are your thoughts?
Ever wonder what golfers at the highest level do during their off season? Brynn Walker opens up to LPGA.com on what she does.
Yuka Saso, U.S. Women’s Open champ follows the men, and her awe is one of the best things you’ll see!!!
Ladies European Tour News
Manifesting works. The power of the tongue is crazy and Azahara wants us to know that she wants on the European Solheim Cup team in 2023!!
This college facility is INSANE and I’m a little jealous. Check out where the Youngstown State Penguins practice during the Ohio winter months.
This one isn’t about the ladies, but still very cool…Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka Signed up to Participate in New Netflix/PGA Tour Documentary | Golf Channel.
If you love clothes as much as I do…please read this!!! Byrdie Golf Social Wear: Retro clothing styles and vintage flair.
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Five at The IX: Gavin Parker, “Come flo with me”
This week’s Five at The IX is close to home! I had the pleasure of interviewing my brother, Gavin F. Parker, who is a PGA teaching professional in Midlothian, Virginia. Gavin was ranked as the third best instructor in the state of Virginia by Golf Digest in their December 2021 issue. I got to sit down with him and ask him about his academy, things he’s influenced by, and how he can better advocate for women of all ages in the game. Enjoy!
What is the Salisbury Golf Academy?
The Salisbury Golf Academy is a place for junior golfers, ages 4 to 14, and it provides an open space for them to be themselves. It is also where we educate them on using a stick and a ball to empower as many kids as possible in Midlothian, Virginia.
How did it get started?
I got started in May 2018 with my dad and one of my best friends, Corey Ambers, and we wanted to create a golf academy at Salisbury Country Club geared towards skilled junior golfers who wanted to shoot a specific score for nine-holes.
As time went on, we quickly realized that of all the kids we were seeing, not every kid wanted to be a great golfer! Some kids just like being outside, some kids just like being around other kids, and some kids just love whacking a golf ball. But for some reason we made every kid feel like they should want and have to be a really good golfer. So as time went on, we started to progress and re-develop the way we did our programming and now we center our junior golf program around empowering as many kids as possible but we also now use game design elements, a little behavioral psychology, and most importantly we create something that’s culturally relevant for all types of kids.
A lot of women in golf use social media to grow their platforms…and here at The IX we have discussed this topic before but I am curious as to how you have used social networks to grow your brand and the academy?
For the social media piece, creating content was a way to gain more attention for myself and more exposure. What I originally started using social media for posting my daily habits. A mentor of mine challenged me to post everyday on social media for one year and that turned into me posting specific content that was just about golf and then that involved into having a bit more intention with my posting.
But from the beginning, I’ve always used my social media to document what I was doing in the golf space and over time I’ve transitioned into creating a brand to showcase to the world that I want to evolve the way that you would experience and consume golf in the 21st century.
For some reason, the same ancient motifs that were created in the 1600s when golf was founded, are still used today and that’s something that needs to be changed and disrupted. I love to use my platform and my content to just show that golf has evolved and the way that you can experience golf can be done a little differently. This is a more 21st century approach to getting more people of all walks of life the opportunity to experience the best part of golf in my opinion, which is that stick-and-ball concept.
Who was this mentor, how’d the challenge go?
His name is Jeff Labrecque. He is a member at Salisbury Country Club, where I am the Director of Instruction, just so everyone knows how I got to the academy part of my journey. But I also teach adults!
One day I was giving him a lesson and he says “Gavin you don’t post enough to social media”, and at the time I’m like well this guy is like in his 40s I’m like in my 20s and this dude telling me that I don’t post enough. So I looked at my profile and it had been 4 months since I posted something on Instagram.
Since then, I’ve posted relatively consistently–not daily but almost.
What social media platforms do you use primarily?
Mainly Instagram, which links to Facebook and since 2020–TikTok.
In honor of Tim Rosaforte, is there any kind of golf literature that has shaped your teaching philosophy?
Michael Hebron’s Golf Swing Secrets and Lies.
Why is it your favorite?
It taught me the importance of understanding the components of a golf club, especially with understanding what that tool is designed to do and the basic functionality and the components of that tool. This game has been played for a long time, but the tool hasn’t changed!
As coaches, we need to better understand that, yes, the game has evolved and we have all these gadgets and computer stuff but we’ve lost sight of that it’s about the tool at the end of the day. I think teachers suffer the most because they just think that one size fits all instead of learning all the patterns of how people can and do swing the club.
Who are women in your golf circle that you consider role models?
Kate Tempesta of Birdie Basics. She is a trailblazer and a pioneer, without her I would not be where I am today. All of her work and research with the puppet of Mama Birdie is amazing and she really does know so much about play and creative movement. I met Kate through Operation 36, another amazing junior golf development program and their training. I had a hard time with capturing the attention of three to six year olds and she helped me a ton on how to communicate effectively with the younger ones through storytelling.
I’d also say Erika Larkin. She’s the most inspiring with what she does. She’s fun to watch and a lot can be taken from how she coaches and how she puts her expertise into the world. I met Erika through social media and we just clicked and became internet buddies! We both have AimPoint certifications and would run into each other at the PGA Show, she’s great, I love her.
Lastly, I’ll say my little sister, you may know her actually, she’s kinda cool!
As a male coach, how do you approach capturing the attention of female golfers and keeping them in the sport?
Authenticity. Don’t try to be something you’re not. Don’t try to over play it. I truly try to be myself and recognize that I will never know what it’s like to be a woman or a young girl in this game, but I want to do everything I can, everything in my power to facilitate and support that growth and let them know that like I’m here for you and also that it’s okay to be yourself and that it’s safe for you to do that, and no matter what you will have respect from me.
Moving forward, how can your advocacy change for the better?
I’ll say first and foremost, my goal is to just to give more support, more awareness, and do everything in my power to show that there’s a lot of women out here that are doing some amazing work for other women. I want to support, showcase, and share as much as possible and to talk about it. Most importantly, I want to try to just understand through having a dialogue with them and help them figure out what I can do better or what I need to do less of as a man lol. It’s something [doing less and listening] I lose sight of, but I am always cognizant of how difficult it is for women in golf.
What can our readers do for you?
Honestly if you just follow me and what I’m doing on Instagram and social media. I think we’re starting to gain some momentum in creating a huge paradigm shift in not only just junior golf instruction but golf instruction, period. The future of golf is different because right now, culturally, we are in this moment coming off of COVID, people are on screens so much, people are indoors but really people just need to be outside! Golf provides an amazing avenue and pathway for that, so hopefully we can keep that momentum rolling by creating more things that people want to do and just kind of change some of the traditional motifs that golf is centered around. So watch me because I’m disrupting the status quo baby! Come flo with me!
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