The IX: Golf Thursday with Carly Grenfell, May 14, 2020
Golf and motherhood — Interview with my mom — Must-click links in women's golf
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Golf and Motherhood
In the spirit of just celebrating Mother’s Day, what better time to celebrate all the different motherhood journeys in golf than this week? It only makes sense to start with my own mom and giving her some love to kick things off. I went a little rogue and also have her as the interview this week! She’s no big golf name, but she just started playing golf again, so I asked her some more questions about her experiences out on the links. I upgraded my golf clubs a few months ago and gave her my old ones—so I’m pleased that they are getting put to use these days!
My mom was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and moved to Nebraska in college when my dad had a job opportunity. They’ve lived in Nebraska ever since, and all my siblings and I (there’s four of us) were born in a small town called York, Nebraska. If you’re ever heading east or westbound on I-80, and spot a rainbow-colored water tower, that’s York! The best way to describe my mom is being the life of the party. She’s a talker. She loves to dance. She isn’t afraid to tell you like it is. And, most impressively, she just got certified as a jazzercise instructor.
My mom actually has the perfect personality for golf. She is one to just show up and dive right in without really caring what other people think. She’s pretty fearless in that sense. And not to mention, you probably won’t find her on the golf course without a drink in her hand! That’s a mentality I (and probably many others) can get behind. I asked her about the first time she went out to play with her new set of clubs and she said it went great. The next time, not so great.
The thing about golf I’ve learned is that you tend to get worse before you get better! But for whatever reason, even if you hit one good shot, you feel like you can do it so you just have to keep on trying. My mom and I had this conversation the other day. Think it’s safe to say she has the golf bug officially.
Golf moms come in all different shapes and sizes with all kinds of backgrounds and stories. The LPGA moms have definitely taught us this. There are actually 15 moms who currently play on tour and two expecting moms. I find that so incredibly impressive. With changes to maternity policies and world rankings to better accommodate those who want to start families, it makes sense why more and more players are making the leap to balance both. Although I can’t speak personally to what motherhood is like, it is a demanding job. Add a professional sport on top of that—and you undoubtedly have supermoms.
Let’s give it up for these 17 women changing the world in their own unique ways.
Sarah Jane Smith
Michelle Wie (soon-to-be)
Katherine Perry (soon-to-be)
I believe I’ve touched on this before, but one really awesome perk the LPGA offers moms on the LPGA Tour is daycare. Mike Whan recently joined a panel sponsored by the Women’s Sports Foundation and he talked about how important this is.
“I don’t want Stacy Lewis on the LPGA Tour to win a bunch of majors and then make the decision that it’s time to be a mom and leave. I’m invested in Stacy. She’s a face of my Tour. Brittany Lincicome, Brittany Lang: I’ve got a lot of major winners on Tour who are now moms. If they had to make a decision to leave, it’s not only financially painful for them, I can tell you as a commissioner, it’s painful for me because I’m invested in them. They’re the face of the Tour. People know them, not me. Creating an opportunity for them and making that part of the natural career track does two things: One, it allows me to keep investing in athletes and never worry because I know they can do both. And the second thing, I can promise you, when you create real opportunity for women to compete by giving them daycare and other resources, your 21-year-olds, your 19-year-olds, your 17-year-olds, they’ll watch.” (via LPGA.com)
How great is that? LPGA athletes really can do both now, and that wasn’t always the case back in the day. To have this kind of support is unmatched. Especially when you look at the experiences of Brittany Lincicome, who gave birth 10 weeks early so it resulted in an extended hospital stay. That had to of been a scary experience as a first-time mom, yet she knew she had resources through the LPGA to fall back on. Or Michelle Wie, who is going through pregnancy in the middle of a pandemic and now weighing her options of when and if she’ll return to professional golf.
“Before I was even pregnant, I thought my career would come to an end when I had kids, and I was fine with that. Then I found out I was having a girl, and my perspective changed. … Now, I definitely want to play for her. I want to create a future for her while she sees me being a strong woman and an athlete and being someone that is pursuing her dreams.” (via ESPN.com)
You have to think the support of the LPGA when it comes to motherhood is a factor in Wie’s perspective, too. Offering child care on the road, as Whan suggests, is telling every player—yes, you can do both; you can have it all. You don’t have to sacrifice a family to play golf, we’ll make it possible for you to play golf and to still be a great mom. I think most female professional sports organizations are adopting this same mindset and approach. No woman should have to make a choice between her career and whether or having kids. They are proving everyday they really can do it all.
This Week in Women’s Golf
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The annual Women’s Golf Day is having a virtual celebration on June 2nd. Events around the globe were postponed until September 1. (via womensgolfday.com)
LPGA Tour launches eTour Live with WGT by Topgolf. (via PGA.com)
Hit it longer off the tee with PGA Professional Joanna Coe. (via PGA.com)
Catch up with PGA WORKS Collegiate golfer Abigail Willcoxon. (via PGA.com)
Korean LPGA Women’s Golf Rankings are paused indefinitely. (via Golf Channel)
Mike Whan speaks to the power of the LPGA’s child development center on a global stage. (via LPGA.com)
LPGA supermom, now 64, played on tour with seven kids in tow. (via Golfweek).
LPGA player Tiff Joh dropped another “quarantune” and you won’t want to miss it. (via LPGA.com)
Lizette Salas discusses new confidence and bold approach with Michael Breed. (via LPGA.com)
A look at a remarkable 10 years for Lexi Thompson, who is only 25. (via LPGA.com)
Korean tournament offers window into future of what golf might look like. (via Golf.com)
Born ten weeks early, Brittany Lincicome shares her birth story of daughter Emery. (via LPGA.com)
South Korean women’s golf tour resumes today without fans. (via ESPN.com)
Here’s why one industry expert is urging caution among golf clubs re-opening (via Golf.com)
Ten things Canadian journalist Malcolm Gladwell got wrong about golf. (via Golf.com)
Golf is back in the UK after the government provided clarification on outdoor activity. (via the R&A)
This Mississippi college is adding women’s golf for fall of 2020. (via Golfweek)
Tweet of the Week
Five at The IX: Lorraine Grenfell (My Mom)
I. When did you try golf for the first time? I golfed a par 3 with my Mom and Aunt when I was about 16. She gave me hope by saying because I was “athletic” I’d probably be good if I stuck with it, yet to be determined.
II. What made you want to start playing golf again? I think it’s a sport you can play until you’re old, so I would like to continue to be able to play as we get older. It’s outdoors and most golf courses are beautiful. I enjoy being outside and active. Plus it’s a sport you can enjoy with both men and women so that’s a bonus for us as a couple.
III. What are the dynamics like when golfing with your husband? It’s interesting because he is very competitive and wants to be relatively serious about his game. I’m more of a social golfer and want to have fun and enjoy the game even if I stink. Or something is funny and I need to laugh really loud!! He reminds me of the golf etiquette a lot! But honestly, moving forward I’m optimistic that we will be able to enjoy the game together and play more as we have more time to play.
IV. What advice would you give to other mom’s who are timid to start playing or give golf a try? I would say to go for it! It really is great to be outdoors and work on your game. I struggled when the kids were younger because it does take time to play a round. But if you are considering starting golf or getting back out there like us, definitely do it! It’s okay to pick up a bad shot or hit a second if you shank one. Just go hit some balls and give it a try! It only takes one good shot to give you the hope to get out there again. Also, try a best ball round if you are worried about slowing others up. It’s a great way to start and have fun without the pressure or frustration of hitting an occasional bad shot.
V. Most importantly, and all golf aside, what’s your favorite thing about motherhood? Oh man, so many things! It seriously has been such a fulfilling part of adult life. I was blessed to choose to work part-time and really be there to raise my kids. So watching them grow and be quality contributing members of society has been so rewarding! Plus grandkids. That’s been awesome so far.