The IX: Golf Thursday with Carly Grenfell, October 31, 2019

Making golf less cary — Interview with Dianne Dailey — Must-click links in women's golf

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Making Golf Less Scary

In the spirit of halloween, I have some thoughts for you to chew on on this fine Thursday afternoon: how we can make golf less scary! But first, I ask that you scroll down to the Tweet of the Week and ask yourself what’s wrong with that image. I’m going to be honest, I laughed out loud at it. And it got me thinking that how golf is portrayed, and how women in golf are portrayed, is what can make it scary.

There are many things wrong with this picture. The first is that she’s taking a full swing…on a putting green. The second is that her grip is wrong. The third is that her full swing (on the putting green) can hardly be considered a swing and follow through if you look at her feet. The fourth, and my most favorite, is that I’m pretty positive she’s wearing a batting glove. Not a golf glove. A batting glove…that you use in baseball or softball.

I am not here to critique or judge golf form, because trust me, mine is below average FOR SURE. I’m just here to say that golf is a misunderstood sport and these depictions certainly don’t help represent the game in the best light. I don’t think women in golf are taken seriously and this is a perfect example of that. Why not throw a dude into a stock photo shoot and make him pose like that? How about that? Anyways, as you can tell, super hung up on that picture and I needed to let it all out.

Another example that women in golf aren’t always taken seriously is this article here about Blaire O’Neil. Let me treat you with the opening paragraph.

“While Blair O’Neal is ostensibly known as being a female golfer, she is better known for being, a model in runway fashion shows, and a television host. It’s hard to make the LPGA tour, and you have to be a pretty darn good golfer to do so, but it’s even harder to have a body like Blair’s. One of the things that makes her so cool is she smashes the stereotype that a woman can’t be into athletics and still be smoking hot.”

That ain’t it, people. That ain’t it.

So, back to making golf less scary. I think the biggest thing is making it real and making it fun and making it judgement free. In my podcast when I interview women in the industry, I always ask them what’s one thing they wish more people understood about golf, and what is something you would tell to women specifically who maybe are on the fence about playing. I make it gender-specific because I think the reasons women don’t play golf and the reasons men don’t play golf are a lot different.

One of my favorite answers was that you don’t have to be good to golf. And to always bring friends! You can literally go to a golf course, and the first time around, just drive the cart and drink beer (white claw?) to take things in. Then maybe eventually you’ll warm up to taking a few swings. I realize a lot of people are hesitant to take lessons because that means time and money. So find some friends who are up for an adventure or find a friend or two who knows their way around a golf course—and they can teach you the basics!

I have the most fun when I’m with a group of people. All of my colleagues who are legit at golf are a blast to play with and literally do not care if you hit in the water eight times in a row (speaking from personal experience). I’m also extremely competitive and so I always ask them why I’m doing certain things and they’ll help with my swing. But you can also just pick up your ball and play the next hole if you aren’t stubborn enough to get it right. Nobody is telling you how to play a round of golf. Just do you.

Day-to-day, I don’t think we see the human and fun side of golf enough. We just see professional golfers or the best in the college game on Twitter or on TV being ridiculously good. It’s an unforgiving sport, but I promise it isn’t scary if you find people to play with and simply give it a chance!

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!

Check out my podcast with the PGA, Fairway Tales.

How the game of golf prepared this coach for cancer.

Here’s a quick rundown of who is making moves at Q-school!

2019 Women’s British Open Champion may not join the LPGA next season.

Things to know ahead of the Taiwan Swinging Skirts Championship this weekend.

Kang treasures memories of her late father while in Korea.

Haley Moore’s drive toward LPGA includes inspiring day at all-female pro-am.

Annika Sorenstam will be the first female to compete in the PNC father/son challenge.

Brooke Henderson won Canada Sports Hall of Fame People’s Choice Award.

Yealimi Noh showing she belongs and more from Q-series.

Wake Forest women finish as East Lake Cup Champions.

Nelly Korda in position to defend her title in Taiwan.

Top 80 and ties will earn their LPGA cards for 2020. As it stands at Q-series.

Why an LPGA buyout of the LET makes sense.

Definitely read this Players Tribune letter from the late Payne Stewart’s daughter.

Tweet of the Week

Five at The IX: Dianne Dailey

Dianne Dailey was the women’s golf coach at Wake Forest, who just won the East Lake Cup, for 30 years. Both the men’s and women’s teams wore pick to honor Dailey, who is in the middle of a battle with breast cancer. A great interview that brings to life this week’s theme – golf isn’t that scary in the grand scheme of things!

Q: What’s the good prognosis you recently received?

A: Well it’s a good prognosis and it hasn’t spread. The prognosis is excellent. I’m going to get through this thing and fight through it; go through all the protocols with chemo and radiation and surgery. It’s okay. It’s fine. You got to do it and let’s move on. It’s going to be fine.

Q: You told me you learned how to fight this because of your coaching career. Explain why that is?

A: I think in coaching, just as an athlete, you face adversity. You have to face it and say how am I going to get through this? That’s how I’m approaching this. I’m facing it and whatever I have to do to get well, I’m going to do it. I’m just going to enjoy all of my good days and just keep fighting. If I can come through and help somebody get through something like this disease, a terrible disease, I’m going to do it.

Q: You’ve been involved with the women’s program. Vanessa [Knecht] is someone you recruited and she shot a 69 on this golf course. What impresses you about her game?

A: Vanessa has worked so hard and we were so excited to have her come to Wake Forest. To see her progress over the last year, especially since last spring, she’s out there everyday working hard. Ryan has helped her so much with her chipping and I just think she has a good, positive attitude; she’s so happy. I’m glad she’s coming into her own because she put in the work to get there.

Q: Good luck with this battle, we’ll be seeing you in the future.

A: Thank you so much. It’s all going to work out with Wake Forest and with me, so thank you so much for having me.

Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson AP Women’s Soccer
Tuesdays: TBA!
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