The IX: Golf Thursday with Carly Grenfell, February 21, 2019

A personal golf story—Interview with the LPGA Women's Network's director—Must-click links in women's golf

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Going For It

Did you know that 2.5 million women played golf for the first time in 2017?

That statistic blows my mind and got me thinking about the first time I ever swung a golf club. It was actually in my backyard with my younger sister and I drilled her in the nose on accident on my back swing. Still feel bad about that one.

Needless to say, the golf industry found me many years later and I’m still here! If you’ve never played golf before, I would love to know your reason or reasons why not. Not enough time? Not sure what to do once you get to the golf course? You simply have no idea how to golf? If you have played before—what did it take to get you on the golf course?

If you’re reading this and feel like sharing your insight, shoot me an email at I would also love to hear of any topics surrounding women in golf you want to hear or learn more about in the future.

Happy Thursday!

This Week in Women’s Golf

Reminder: First, the underlined words are the links. Second. CLICK these, even if you’ve already read them. Clicks = Attention from editors, producers and webmasters. Third, if you want to push out stuff you’ve written or read, email me!

The LPGA Women’s Network and Anya Alvarez officially launched their podcast.

Nelly Korda wins the Australian Open to complete an impressive family slam.

The yardages at Augusta National for the Women’s National Amateur are made public.

This was a fun segment the Australian did with players during Aussie open rounds.

Whoops! Bronte Law fell into a bunker while lining up one of her putt last week.

The Honda LPGA Thailand tournament is underway this week.

LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan appointed ambassador of Busan Metropolitan City.

The LPGA’s Brittany Lincicome is having a baby!

There’s a lot of discussion happening around the slow play of golf.

PGA President Suzy Whaley talks growing and diversifying golf.

Tweet of the Week

Five at the IX: Ashleigh McLaughlin

The LPGA Women’s Network recently launched a podcast surrounding women in golf. I caught up with Ashleigh McLaughlin, the managing director of the LPGA Women’s Network, who played an important role in launching the podcast and building out its vision.

Carly Grenfell: What is the LPGA Women’s Network and what’s your role with them?

Ashleigh McLaughlin: I serve as the Managing Director of the LPGA Women’s Network, an online platform created and operated by the LPGA. When we launched the LPGA Women’s Network, we did so with the long-term vision of helping to create a more welcoming space for women in golf, so we set out to create an online platform that would offer inspirational stories, relatable advice, and helpful resources that were easily accessible to women.

We serve as the digital arm of the LPGA Amateur Golf Association (formerly the EWGA) and our mission is to inspire women’s lives both on and off the golf course. Our platform is just barely a year old, but already offers a rich library of women’s golf content which covers everything from golf lifestyle and fashion to career advice and instructional tips.

Carly Grenfell: How were you introduced to the game of golf?

Ashleigh McLaughlin: I was introduced to the game of golf by total accident when I was 10-years-old. Our family friends had kids who had picked up the game, and when they invited my younger sister and I to “play” golf with them we assumed meant the kind with windmills and AstroTurf. After that first experience however, I totally fell in love with golf and continued learning and playing in an inner-city junior program.

I continued playing through high school and collegiately for Florida State University where I studied Marketing and Communications. It wasn’t until I participated in the PGA Tour’s summer internship program however that I realized my passion for the business of golf. I’m passionate about youth golf and diversity initiatives and love that I’ve had an opportunity to pursue both during my tenure here at the LPGA.

Carly Grenfell: You recently helped launch a new podcast – Talk Birdie to Me – with Anya Alvarez as your host. What should potential listeners know about the podcast and the direction it’s going?

Ashleigh McLaughlin: The Talk Birdie to Me podcast is an extension of the theme you’ll find woven throughout much of the content on the LPGA Women’s Network site. We’re big believers that golf is a sport that can be an incredible teacher for how to live a better life, so the conversations we’ll have will offer take-aways listeners can use to improve their mindset both on and off the course. Each week Anya will sit down with a new guest who will share their personal story, thoughts on issues permeating throughout golf and society, and offer thoughtful advice for listeners on their own journey with the game. We’ve been really fortunate to have an incredible lineup of guests including LPGA players like Cheyenne Woods and Juli Inkster, industry influencers like Ashley Mayo, and will soon be announcing a few of the surprise celebrity guests who will be on the show as well!

Carly Grenfell: How can people listen to the podcast? When will episodes be available?

Ashleigh McLaughlin: The podcast officially launched on Valentine’s Day and is available on pretty much every platform that offers podcasts (the Apple Podcasts app, Soundcloud, Spotify, etc.). We’ll post a new conversation every other Thursday, and for those who prefer not to listen through an app, every podcast episode is available on and YouTube.

Carly Grenfell: Why do you think it’s important to have conversations about diversifying the golf industry?

Ashleigh McLaughlin: Like most professionals who work in the golf industry, I’m passionate about our game and its future success so I recognize the importance of creating a landscape of consumers that more closely resembles that of our country’s population. Diversity isn’t just the right thing to do, it makes organizations and industries more innovative so continuing conversations and putting action behind them are critical.

Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson AP Women’s Soccer
Tuesdays: Tennis
By Lindsay Gibbs, @Linzsports ThinkProgress
Wednesdays: Basketball
By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal High Post Hoops
Thursdays: Golf
By Carly Grenfell, @Carlygren
Fridays: Hockey
By: Erica Ayala, @ELindsay08 NWHL Broadcaster

Written by The IX Team