The IX: Golf Thursday with Sarah Kellam, December 10, 2020
It's U.S. Women's Open week! — Interview with Alicia Yund — Must-click women's golf links
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It’s U.S. Women’s Open week! It’s refreshing to see that the golf world didn’t forget that the Masters wasn’t the final major of 2020. With everything that this week means for women’s golf, I’m also very happy to see PGA Tour players are tweeting their support for the event and that the USGA is having some reach with their #womenworthwatching campaign.
One of the most interesting things that has popped up on my timeline amidst all of the coverage of the event was a tweet put out by the USGA stating that only four percent of all sports coverage involves female athletes and women’s sports.
I recognize that there are disparities in coverage between women’s and men’s athletics, but four percent? Are you kidding me? That has to change.
I commend the USGA for doing what they can to raise awareness about this issue during one of the biggest weeks in women’s golf. They have done an incredible job of curating informative digital content and have a stellar trio of women, namely Hally Leadbetter, Kira K. Dixon, and Bailey Chamblee, hosting across all of their platforms.
It’s been very cool to see the work that has gone into promoting viewership for this event, but I’m fearful that this amount of attention won’t continue. I understand that you can’t do this much every week for every event. However, there are 5 majors every year, plus a Solheim Cup every other year, that we can show up for and promote, whether it be through social media engagement or digital content creation.
I understand that the U.S. Women’s Open normally wouldn’t get as much attention because of its scheduling, but I’m glad that the opportunity of not being opposite a PGA Tour event is being seized. You can definitely feel a tangible difference in the excitement level for women’s golf this week and there’s no reason we can’t be this amped up for the Solheim Cup or KPMG Women’s PGA Championship or the ANA Inspiration.
The amount of coverage this tournament is getting right now is critical to garnering support for the LPGA and getting people to tune in to the television coverage, but it also seems to me that there will be a precedent set for how women’s majors are covered in the future. Thus far, the USGA is doing a great job of trying to connect fans and viewers to the players and their stores with virtual fan experiences and content like “Backstories with Bailey”, giving you insight into the lives of these women on and off the course.
I’ve honestly never seen so many people cheering loud and proud for the women of the LPGA and I’m incredibly grateful that maybe this December U.S. Women’s Open might finally open some eyes to the importance of women’s golf.
As someone who has witnessed it firsthand, women’s golf doesn’t seem to mean as much to people as men’s golf and, given the difference in coverage, that’s not surprising. How do people care about something when they don’t know about it? Who knows if the coverage, and therefore, the excitement surrounding this week will continue into the CME Group Tour Championship or the 2021 season?
But, I am hopeful that this will become the new norm. That the media world will see that women’s golf is something to be excited about. That these are #womenworthwatching.
This week in women’s golf
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The USGA reveals its “Women Worth Watching” campaign just before the start of the 75th U.S. Women’s Open. (via USGA.org)
Beth Ann Nichols with her take on why the coverage of the U.S. Women’s Open this week is so pivotal. (via Golfweek)
Tim Tucker, Bryson DeChambeau’s caddie, is on the bag for Lexi this week. (via Golfweek)
Ron Sirak chronicles Angela’s Stanford’s career during her time on the LPGA Tour and the desire that got her back in the winner’s circle last week. (via LPGA.com)
Golf Digest is celebrating the 75th U.S. Women’s Open by reflecting on 18 of the most memorable moments at the event. (via Golf Digest)
Cristie Kerr and her caddie were injured in a golf cart accident last week but she hasn’t withdrawn from the U.S. Women’s Open. (via Golfweek)
Cristie Kerr will play the USWO following a golf cart accident that left her with dislocated ribs. (via Golfweek)
The three longest hitters on the LPGA Tour are paired together in Houston this week. This group will be fun to watch! (via Golfweek)
Sei Young Kim has been very dominant this season and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her win again in Houston. (via LPGA.com)
Two courses and less commercial breaks will make this U.S. Women’s Open broadcast interesting for the production teams. (via Golf.com)
43-year old Angela Stanford took home the title at last week’s Volunteers of America Classic. (via Golfweek)
U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Rose Zhang tees it up this week in Houston, leading a strong field of amateurs. (via USGA.org)
Ron Sirak writes about Danielle Kang’s journey to becoming one of the favorites at the U.S. Women’s Open. (via USGA.org)
Sei Young Kim has racked up quite a few accomplishments during her time on tour. A USWO title would add to her stacked resume. (via USGA.org)
Last week’s winner Angela Stanford will hit first tee shot in the 75th U.S. Women’s Open in her home state of Texas. (via USGA.org)
Denmark has someone to root for with Pedersen in the field in Houston. (via USGA.org)
Ron Sirak discusses the year that was 2020 and its impact on the USWO this week. (via USGA.org)
Tim Tucker would have a player win two U.S. Opens back-to-back if Lexi pulls it off this week. (via USGA.org)
Playing in the U.S. Women’s Open at 14 years old showed Nelly Korda what she wanted to do with her life. (via USGA.org)
How to watch the 75th U.S. Women’s Open. (via Golfweek)
Andrea Lee withdraws from U.S. Women’s Open after a positive COVID-19 test. (via Golfweek)
Nelly Korda injured her back and is making her return to golf this week in Houston. (via Golfweek)
Danielle Kang is getting creative with her wedge warmup with a wall on the range at the U.S. Women’s Open. (via Golfweek)
Here are the tee times for the 75th U.S. Women’s Open. (via Golfweek)
Brittany Lang’s Texas roots doesn’t mean she’s familiar with Champions Golf Club this week. (via Golfweek)
Check out this episode of the Forward Press podcast on the U.S. Women’s Open this week. (via Golfweek)
This USWO first-timer is rocking purple hair this week and is excited to be making her first berth in the event. (via Golfweek)
A list of the notable first-timers playing in Houston this week. (via Golfweek)
Annika, Karrie Webb, and others share what their first USWO was like. (via Golfweek)
The 7 Texans in the USWO field are looking forward to playing in their home state. (via Golfweek)
Cristie Kerr withdrew from the Volunteers of America Classic after a severe cart accident left her and her caddie injured. (via Golfweek)
The International Golf Federation has chosen Annika Sorenstam to be their next president. (via Golfweek)
Lexi says she doesn’t need exact calculations like Bryson does from caddie Tim Tucker. (via Golfweek)
With her named newly changed, Ally Ewing is feeling better than ever on the course. (via LPGA.com)
Two University of Texas teammates are teeing it up together this week at the U.S. Women’s Open. (via Golfweek)
A full breakdown of the featured groups for the U.S. Women’s Open. (via LPGA.com)
Who has inspired Ana Belac through her golf journey. (via LPGA.com)
Looking for her third title, Inbee Park is teeing it up at the U.S. Women’s Open this week. (via LPGA.com)
The impact of the LPGA*USGA Girls Golf program is tangible looking at the field at the USWO this week. (via LPGA.com)
Ryu, Stanford, and Park all had good weeks in The Colony, Texas at the Volunteers of America Classic. (via LPGA.com)
Anna Nordqvist says, in spite of being Swedish, she’s not a fan of the cold. (via LPGA.com)
Annika Sorenstam chosen to lead the International Golf Federation. (via LPGA.com)
NBCUniversal promising 25 hours of live USWO coverage across NBC, Golf Channel, and Peacock this week. (via LPGA.com)
More on Emily Kristine Pedersen, who’s been making history on the Ladies European Tour. (via LadiesEuropeanTour.com)
More on the Lexi and Tim Tucker collaboration in Houston. (via Golf Digest)
Robin Burke, Jackie Burke Jr.’s wife, pushed for the U.S. Women’s Open to be played at Champions Golf Club and got her wish. (via Golf Digest)
Nelly Korda returns to play this week after hurting her back at KPMG. (via Golf Digest)
Here’s who to bet on in Houston this week. (via Golf Digest)
More on Angela Stanford’s improbable win at the Volunteers of America Classic. (via Golf Digest)
How to drive it long according to Maria Fassi. (via Golf.com)
Here are the benefits of having the USWO in December. (via Golf.com)
What’s up with the fence on the range at the U.S. Women’s Open? (via Golf.com)
Who Golf.com is betting on this week in Houston. (via Golf.com)
All about the #womenworthwatching campaign rolled out by the USGA this week. (via GolfChannel.com)
It’s a new caddie and a new putter for Lexi this week at Champions Golf Club. (via GolfChannel.com)
The U.S. Women’s Open will be contested on two courses this year, a first for the event. (via GolfChannel.com)
Sei Young Kim is the betting favorite in Houston this week. (via GolfChannel.com)
The story of Kennedy Carroll, a collegiate golf at UNC Charlotte, and where her strength on course comes from. (via globalgolfpost.com)
Just Women’s Sports previews the U.S. Women’s Open and gives their players to watch this week. (via JustWomensSports.com)
Tweet of the Week
Five at the IX: Interview with Alicia Yund, Executive Director of the First Tee of Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky
Note: Alicia Yund (far right) is pictured here with some of her staff members.
Tell us who you are and about your connection with golf. Where are you currently working and how are you making a difference through the game?
My name is Alicia Lawrence and I am currently the Executive Director of First Tee – Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky. Golf has been part of the majority of my life and I owe so much to the game. At First Tee – GCNKY, we are building game changers every day. We use the intentional curriculum of First Tee to empower kids to become strong individuals that are prepared to face life’s challenges.
What led you to the First Tee? What drives you every day to do what you do?
I had the opportunity to play golf in college at Northern Kentucky University. I’m also a first generation college student- both golf and academics made that possible for me. At NKU I had the chance to intern in the Athletic department and learn about what went on behind the scenes to make the collegiate athletics experience possible. That compelled me to head to grad school at Ohio University in the Sports Administration program and spend about seven years in college athletics at both NKU and Xavier. In college athletics, I could help create opportunities for other student-athletes and it was my way of paying it forward the opportunities and doors that had been opened for me by my coaches, mentors and administrators.
Joining our First Tee chapter allowed me to take those experiences, combine with them with my passion for golf, and work every day to create more opportunities for children in our community. The mission of First Tee resonates deeply with me because golf wasn’t the exclusive reason I was able to go to college- there were other influences such as my work ethic and academics that made it a reality.
What drives me every day are the kids we serve. I love seeing them grow up, seeing them discover who they are and learn a lot about life through the game. Our chapter is only 15 years old and it’s also incredibly fun to connect people in the community to our mission and our work and find impactful ways for them to push us forward.
Why is an organization like the First Tee so important for both local communities and the health of the game?
We have a unique opportunity at First Tee through our school and community programs to meet kids where they are. At First Tee – GCNKY, we strive to be inclusive in our programming- any child who wants to try golf has a place here. At the early ages/experience levels, we are intentional about creating fun and meaningful experiences that create curiosity for the sport. As their interest grows and their participation continues, we introduce deeper concepts that are cognitively appropriate for their age.
How does the First Tee empower and encourage junior golfers, specifically young girls?
We empower kids through our approach and it’s one of the things I value most about First Tee. I love that we are trained to ask kids questions that help lead them to the answer- “How did that shot feel to you?” or “If you wanted the ball to go farther, can you show me the swing you would make?”
At our chapter, we are very focused on participation of young girls in our programs. In the next couple years, we have some high hopes to continue building and expanding our LPGA Girls Golf site activities which complements well with our curriculum.
We also launched a girls golf breakfast in 2020 where we have a keynote speaker and invite all the girls of our chapter to attend and bring someone who is on their Go-To team and is a positive influence in their life. It was a great success and it was awesome to see our younger girls interacting with some of our older girls. The way our classes are structured, that’s not always possible. We look forward to seeing what that event will grow into over the years.
What needs to happen to get more girls interested in golf? How much room for growth is there?
There’s significant opportunity to grow the game and a positive side of the pandemic is that it’s driven a lot of people to play golf. Once we were able to resume programming, we had our highest summer and fall registration in chapter history. It’s important to create opportunities for girls to have fun, be themselves and see the possibilities of what can happen if they stick with it!
To find your local First Tee chapter and get involved, click here! Also, here’s a cool story from the First Tee of Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky!