The IX: Golf Thursday with Carly Grenfell, June 6, 2019

Women's Golf Day — Interview with USGA's Hailie Sandor — Must-click links in women's golf

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Women’s Golf Day

Hello, everyone! Yesterday was Women’s Golf Day, which is an annual and worldwide celebration of women playing golf. Not only is the day and initiative committed to engaging, empowering and supporting women through golf, but also encouraging women from all over the world to get out on play!

I am ashamed to admit that I wasn’t able to hit the links yesterday, but I’ve definitely played more golf this year than I have in years past. I was pretty plugged into the day as we helped support the movement from our PGA social media channels.

I particularly loved what LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan had to say about the day. Stina Steinberg, VP of Content for GOLFTV also had some great insight surrounding the day. She tweeted that 36% of junior golfers in America are girls, 34% of new golfers in America are women and ended by saying, “All we have to do to keep them in the game is treat them with respect and encouragement. That’s what this day is all about.” Right on, Stina! If you feel so inclined, search the hashtag #WomensGolfDay and check out all the other buzz from yesterday. These were just a few of my favorites.

I encourage you to read on this post as well from Eric Anders Lang on Women’s Golf Day. It’s beautifully written, but I was more intrigued by some of the comments on the post. Here are a couple that really made me think, that frustrated me a little bit and that made me feel like we are doing something right!

  • “As a woman playing golf for about a year now, in my experience it is often not the men not being inviting and friendly but rather the female members…I for my part would not want to be part of my home courses women team unless a generations shift starts to happen sometime soon in that team. So my point is I guess also women should be involved in making golf a kinder game, at least among players.”

  • “Is women in golf really an issue? Am I missing something? I tried so hard to get my daughter into golf but it just wasn’t her thing. Instead she dances. I watch LPGA golf and even then she just is not interested. I guess I’ve never looked at golf like it needs to be more ‘inclusive.’ Like anything else I thought people just liked it or they didn’t. At my club, the women play just like the men. There isn’t some boogie man holding them back.”

  • “Amen! As the father of 2 lovely young ladies who are growing up on a golf course the more role models they have the better. I can tell you that at the junior golf clinics put in by our Pro the girls out number the boys 2 if not 3 to 1. My youngest is getting hooked as hard as he dad and it brings me great joy.”

I really want to dive into the second bullet point. To answer the gentleman’s first question, yes, women in golf really is an issue because there aren’t enough of them in the sport. Absolutely – if golf isn’t your thing – than that’s one thing. But the underlying problem isn’t that girls and women aren’t “into” the sport. The issue is that there haven’t been enough opportunities up to this point to even give them a chance. The issue is that it’s dominated by men, and it’s intimidating for women to step into that environment or even what to take a stab at it. The issue is that when you look at the purse of a PGA TOUR event verse an event on the LPGA, there’s an enormous disparity. The issue is that we haven’t really reached equality in golf.

To each their own, but to turn a blind eye to the sport being dominated by men and it not being boiled down to an “inclusive” issue is mind-blowing to me. It’s a tough enough sport as it is for a variety of reasons. Let’s not make it tougher!

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!

We celebrated Women’s Golf Day yesterday! Here are 10 things to know.

The ShopRite LPGA Classic is the next tournament stop for the LPGA.

Annie Park returns to the site of her first LPGA victory.

Awesome read on some of the obstacles women in golf have faced.

Remember the Hank Haney drama? He’s taking shots at Tiger Woods now.

Hank Haney was suspended for his comments, by the way.

Lee6 won the U.S. Women’s Open among a packed leaderboard!

Haney says his comments were based on facts after a Korean won the U.S. Open.

Jaye Marie Green gave a hilarious response about being in contention in a Major.

LPGA pro Nanna Koerstz Madsen has an unusual approach to dealing with emotions.

Here is an early look at the US and Europe Solheim Cup rosters.

Maria Fassi named top college golfer for the second year.

Tweet of the Week

Five at The IX: Hailie Sandor

Hailie Sandor is a Social Media Manager at the United States Golf Association (USGA) where she is coming off a busy week at the U.S. Women’s Open—one of five majors on the LPGA. I caught up with her to see how the week went and what all goes into preparing for a major of this magnitude. And about that tree that got struck by lightning during play… She has much more insight on that freak accident! Click the tweet above to see it if you haven’t already.

How long have you been with the USGA and what is your role there?

I started at the USGA in May of 2017 as a Long-Term Social Media Coordinator. In September of 2017 I was hired full time as a social media producer and I manage our social media channels on a day to day basis.

Gives us a day-in-the-life of Hailie Sandor on Championship Sunday.

I live for championship Sunday. The vibes around the course just pick up because  everyone knows that when the last putt drops we are about to add another legendary champion to our history. I typically get to the course anywhere from an hour to 2 hours before the first tee-time. This sets me up for success from getting posts and tune-ins scheduled for our Fox Broadcast. I grab breakfast if I have time (no one likes to deal with me once I get hangry). The morning of championship Sunday is actually one of the more calm times during the week as we are monitoring social media and putting out content that gets people excited for the last groups of the day to tee off. Once our leaders get the course, we produce that behind the scenes content that fans are dying for. Players walking in and warming up, their first shots. Then I’m in the media center for the duration of their round clipping highlights to send out across our platforms. Once those final rounds start to come to a close, I head out to the 18th green to capture the real social media magic. Once we have our champion it’s just a flurry. I basically follow them around for the duration of the night capturing content. One of the coolest parts of the night is the trophy engraving that I produce live on our social media channels.  

What sorts of things go into preparing for a women’s golf major from a social media standpoint?

There is so much going into the preparation for a week like that, but really it’s just making sure that we have our ducks in a row. It’s one of our most important weeks of the year and the more planning we can do, the easier things go.

What was the chatter on social media when the tree got struck by lightning?

A lot of the chatter was actually pretty positive. The USGA had the players, fans, staff and volunteers evacuated well before it happened, so everyone was safe. I think people were excited to see the clip because it really was like catching lightning in a bottle.  

A ton of media outlets seemed to pick up that tweet/moment. Why do you think something like that performs well?

 Something like that does so well for a number of reasons. The social media reason as to why it does so well is it creates engagement and conversation. The social media platforms each have  algorithms that serve content that people are engaging with better than other content. The second reason it picked up so well is that it relates to people outside of golf. So not only are our fans interested in it, but someone might tag a non-golf fan in the comments just to show them. For example, my father who is not a golfer, hardly knows where I am half the time when I’m on the road texted me the next morning and said he saw a big lightning strike at a women’s golf event in S.C. and wanted to know if I was okay. Obviously I was fine and about 200 yards away from where it hit, but for it to reach small town USA north of Pittsburgh you know it has insane reach! 

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