The IX: Golf Thursday with Carly Grenfell, January 31, 2019
Learning moments in golf—Interview with Laura Frick—must-click links in women's golf
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Five learning moments I’ve had working in golf
There is a difference between the PGA of America and the PGA TOUR that many don’t understand. While there are probably thousands of different ways to explain the difference, the main difference is that the PGA TOUR is entertainment and mostly everything you see on your television over the weekend. The PGA of America is many people’s entry into the game and business of golf. In addition to our four spectator championships (PGA Championship, Ryder Cup, Women’s PGA Championship and the Senior PGA Championship), we have 29,000+ PGA Members across the country who work everyday to grow, foster and teach the sport.
Consumers are really passionate about golf. Being on the digital and social media side of things, I see it firsthand during our championships. You could post a caption-less picture of Tiger Woods and people would freak out or a slow motion swing of Rory McIlroy and it could very well be the top performing content of the week.
Golf is really, really hard. It’s one of those sports where, as I mentioned last week, you simply cannot perfect. Even the best players in the world somehow find the bunkers and water on occasion. It can be intimidating because it is so hard, but as someone who works in the industry and advocates for the game on a day-to-day basis, I feel I should probably be learning how to play. Although it hasn’t come without frustration, it’s been a blast to take up.
Golf deserves more attention than it gets. If you take the time to learn about golf and start paying attention to all its little intricacies, you quickly realize why fans and regular golfers love it so much. There is so much to learn and understand, from a technical standpoint alone, that makes it a fun sport to consume.
Golf is an easy sport to make assumptions about. It’s boring, it takes too much time, it’s for rich people, it’s for men and the list goes on. But don’t let those stereotypes scare you away, because it really is a game we can make it whatever we want it to be. What other sport in America can you drink and socialize at the same time? There is none. Golf is unique in that sense and something you can do to network and meet people. Play nine or six our four. Go to the driving range and hit 100 balls. Go with your friend but just drive the cart! Golf often confines people to a certain behavior or expectation, when it’s actually far from that.
This Week in Women’s Golf
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Five at the IX: Laura Frick
Laura Frick is currently a League Golf Competitions Specialist at the PGA of America and was recently named the Tournament Director of the PGA Jr. League Championship. She has a huge heart for golf—so I asked her some questions about her career, how she grew to love golf so much and some challenges she faces being a female player and employee in a male-dominated industry.
Carly Grenfell: What is your current role at the PGA of America?
Laura Frick: My current role at the PGA of America is League Golf Competitions Specialist. I handle all competitive aspects, such as rules, course set-up and operations, of community golf programs within the PGA. I am also the Tournament Director for the PGA Jr. League Championship, where 120 of the best Jr. League participants compete for the National Championship.
Carly Grenfell: How were you introduced to the game of golf?
Laura Frick: I’ve been playing the game of golf since I was eight years old and I was first introduced by my grandparents. Both my grandpa and my grandma played every day and took me to the course every summer. My sister played in high school, which inspired me to follow in her footsteps. My uncle is also a PGA Professional, so he was my inspiration in turning the game into a career.
Carly Grenfell: Can you tell us about your experience as a PGA Management student?
Laura Frick: I absolutely loved the PGA Golf Management program. As someone who LOVES the sport, it was the perfect opportunity to learn the business and engage in classes and programs that I truly enjoyed. I felt as if I had a rare college experience because I never second-guessed my career choice. The PGA Golf Management program gave me the opportunity to travel all over the country for internships and really find my niche in the business.
Carly Grenfell: What are some obstacles you face being a female in a male dominated industry and how do you overcome them?
Laura Frick: As the only female in my PGA Golf Management graduating class of 60 students, I definitely was able to get a head start on knocking down the stereotypes of the golf industry. The biggest obstacle I came across early on was proving to my peers that I was the appropriate person for a specific job, and not that I was hired to check a gender box. As I continue to gain credibility and experience in the industry, I see this being much less of a challenge. My current job requires a lot of manual labor and “dirty work” and I love being able to confidently handle the “heavy lifting” without anyone second-guessing it. The industry is doing more and more to invite females into the golf world and I hope that I get to continue to be an advocate for them and this game.
Carly Grenfell: What would you tell people about pursuing a career in golf?
Laura Frick: The game of golf has given so much to me, both professionally and personally. The best part of this career is that there are so many different avenues. There’s teaching and coaching, tournament operations, marketing, merchandising…and the list goes on. Since starting my career in golf, I have had the opportunity to create new relationships, travel all over the world, and help bring the game to those have never experienced it before. To me, working in golf is more than just a career and I would encourage everyone to give it a chance and experience the impact that I have.