The IX: Golf Thursday with Carly Grenfell, September 24, 2020
20x20 Campaign — Interview with Joanna Coe, PGA — Must-click links in women's golf
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Am I correct in thinking other countries are ahead of the United States when it comes to equality and especially supporting women’s sports? I don’t think it’s a coincidence that all the PGA Tour players who have spoken up in support of women’s golf, with the exception of Tony Finau, aren’t American. Perhaps there is more that goes on that we don’t see or catch wind of overseas, but on the outside looking in, they are further ahead of the curve than we are.
The 20×20 campaign, an initiative in Ireland, is another reason I feel this way. This campaign aims to create a “cultural shift in the perception of girls and women in sport.” The website says, “If we all play, we all win. 20×20 is about creating a more inclusive, healthier Ireland – it’s not a ‘women for women’ initiative; it’s an ‘all of society for all of society’ movement.” By the end of 2020, Ireland hopes to see returns in the following ways.
20% more media coverage of women in sport
20% more female participation at player, coach, referee & administrative level
20% more attendance at women’s games and events
This is fantastic on so many levels. And even more fantastic that Shane Lowry, the 2019 British Open Champion, is voicing his support for the campaign itself. He is the only reason I even heard about it and continued to read up on what it was all about. Lowry has done some social media activations surrounding the movement and will wear the 20×2020 logo on his shirt at the tournament at Galgorm Castle, in lieu of his sponsor Immedis.
“Sport has always been something special for me. Not only has it given me a livelihood, but it has also given me tremendous pleasure both when playing it and watching it. No matter what my daughter, Iris, does in the future, I hope that she gets the same enjoyment from sport that I have. I want her to have role models, and I want more than anything for her to have the same opportunities that boys would have.” (via Irish News)
A simple activation. But one that will reap tremendous benefits — even in visibility alone. One other aspect of this initiative that jumps out at me is that the brand/partner is the one who got Shane involved with supporting it. Guess what the first thing I did was after reading the article about Shane? I looked u the company Immedis. It’s a global payroll platform, by the way.
I’m aware that just me, by myself, is a very small sample size. But you’re telling me that brands don’t benefit from supporting women’s sports, too? Wrong. Athletes benefit. Brands benefit. Fans benefit. There literally is nothing to lose. I have high praise for Lowry because we honestly do not see much of what he did to show support in golf. It’s only within the last few months that I’ve ever seen a PGA Tour player mention the LPGA in any capacity.
Golf is a man’s world, we all know that, but it’s certainly improving.
These steps matter, which is why I always choose to point them out and dissect them further where I can. I particularly like the 20×20 campaign because of the participation bullet. One thing I have learned through the podcast I host, and the many women I have had the privilege of interviewing, is that more than 90% of them—are introduced to golf by their dads or a male mentor. Majority of them are taught the game by a man. Just imagine the possibilities when moms are introducing their sons and daughters to the game and teaching them how to play.
Imagine! Participation is so crucial when it comes to growing golf and women’s sport. Like the 20×20 movement says—if you can see it, you can be it. If my mom played golf when I was growing u, I can guarantee I would have, at the very least, given it a try at a younger age. I probably would have been less timid to try it if there were more people who looked like me at golf courses, or had friends to play with. I could have probably fixed my slice by now, too.
Hats off to the 20×20 movement and all the people behind it.
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This Week in Women’s Golf
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Symetra Tour player speaking up for those who cannot hear. (via LGPA.com)
Here are three reasons you should copy LPGA Tour equipment setups. (via Golf.com)
The LPGA has a new COVID testing partner. (via LPGPA.com)
Recent major champion Sophia Popov has a story of perseverance with Massachusetts roots. (via Boston Globe)
With a different Solheim season on the horizon, captain’s picks have been revised. (via LPGA.com)
2019 Portland Classic Champion Hannah Green was close to defending her title last week. (via ESPN.com)
Meg MacLaren gives a beautiful ode to tournament golf. (via LPGA.com)
Georgie Hall gets her second LPGA win, but first on American soil. (via LPGA.com)
The LPGA added a second Drive On Championship to the schedule—this time at Reynolds Lake Oconee. (via FTN News)
This player went six years in between wins and is having a great 2020 so far. (via The State)
Meet the LPGA’s newest power player, a former Arizona Wildcat. (via AZ Central)
It’s no lengthy weight for LPGA glory for rookie Bianca Pagdanganan. (via philstar global)
Hall takes down Buhai in playoff in Portland. (via BBC Sport)
World No. 1 Jin Young Ko will end her hiatus next month at a domestic tour event. (via Yonhap News)
Winning in the United States was #1 for Georgia Hall. (via Sky Sports)
Mike Davis is stepping down as CEO of the USGA. (via Golfweek)
Tweet of the Week
Five at The IX: Joanna Coe
With the next women’s major on tap, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, let’s check in with one of the PGA Professionals who gets to tee it up at Aronimink the second week in October. A huge part of what makes the PGA of America unique are our 29,000 PGA Professionals who are the boots in the ground growing the game of golf. This is one massive perk of being a PGA Professional: being able to compete on the same stage as the best in the world. We recognize a ‘Team of 20’ for the PGA Championship and a handful of women members at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
I. Give us a quick introduction of who you are? I’m Joanna Coe and I’m the assistant director of instruction at Baltimore Country Club. At my club, I’m responsible for teaching member and guests, putting on clinics, I’m involved with our junior golf program. It’s also my job to play with members often and represent the club in section events and national events.
II. You were a multi-sport athlete. Why did you end up picking golf over soccer? It was tough, but mid high-school, I started excelling in golf and realized there were college opportunities and opportunities after that. It kind of killed me a little bit giving up soccer but it ended up being a blessing in disguise because I tore my ACL in my last soccer game ever. I had to call my coach from Rollins, I had already verbally committed, and tell her I tore my ACL. I promised I would rehab and it would be fine. For my body and my health, I am grateful that I play golf.
III. How was the road to trying to play on the LPGA? I went to Q school and made it to the final stage and final round on my first try. The grind is just crazy. Symetra Tour, it was a great experience. I don’t see myself going back to that. But it certainly happened for a reason. It got me to this point. I have so many wonderful friends from out there and met so many families who I stayed with; that’s probably what i’ll miss the most. I gave that dream a shot. I was fortunate to get a full college scholarship so I didn’t have any debt. I thought okay let’s try it, let’s do it responsibly. I needed some stability in my life after a few years.
IV. What lead you to pursue your PGA Membership? It was my last Q-school. Made the cut. Didn’t do great in the final around, and I just needed a change. I thought about college coaching. But then Baltimore Country Club came about and I knew how to teach. I’ve been teaching since I was young. I went through that interview process and got it. My head pro at the time did some research with me about it. There was an accelerated route because of my tour status so I was able to skip a bunch of steps and got it done in less than a year. A huge benefit was to keep competing.
V. What’s it like competing on a stage like the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship? It’s just a major—no big deal. The first couple months of COVID we were so busy I was hardly able to practice. Now I’m able to dedicate more time to it; and it’s not like I really practice that much anymore, I just play. I feel very good now. I needed the time to work on my game. But competing at this event is a thrill. It can be brutal. I mean, there are highs, lows, it’s all over the map. My first LPGA start I couldn’t handle it. I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t mature enough in my game and in my mind. Now it’s just one of the coolest things you can do in your sport, tee it up with the best in the world, hit balls next to Brooke Henderson and Inbee Park. It’s just so cool. I wish it was right now. It will be interesting with no spectators but think that benefits us who aren’t used to playing in front of thousands of people. I’m looking forward to it.