Over the past two days, the Greater Vancouver area has seen an influx of Ladies Professional Golfers’ Association (LPGA) Touring Professionals enter its borders, including 48 of the top 50 players in the world for the 2012 CN Canadian Women’s Open.
In an effort to promote the sport of golf with a younger, female demographic, the LPGA and British Columbia Golf teamed up to administer a series of first-of-its-kind international Girls’ Golf Clinics.
Created in 1989 by the LPGA and USGA, the LPGA Girls’ Golf Clinics seek to teach girls 7-17 golf skills as well as life lessons that will help them in their future. The Clinics focus on what they refer to as the ‘Five E’s
- We Empower our girls to feel they can accomplish their goals
- We Enrich their lives by teaching them a game they can play and enjoy with friends for a lifetime
- We Engage the girls to become involved and make a difference in their communities
- We Exercise their minds & bodies and help them realize their potential
- We Energize them with our vitality and enthusiasm by sharing our love for the game
Starting on Monday, August 20th, Director of School Golf with British Columbia Golf and LPGA Class A Teaching Professional Kathy Gook took to the grounds of the South Central Youth Centre in Burnaby to teach roughly twenty (20) 7-12 year old girls the basics of golf using adapted golfing equipment.
Special appearances were made by CN Canadian Women’s Open competitors and LPGA Professionals Beth Bader and Alena Sharp.
Bader, hailing from the United States of America, is an eleven year veteran on the LPGA Tour and an individual who credits her parents with introducing her to the game at age 12. She has gone on to earn over $1 million as a Professional and was very happy with the clinic as it unfolded.
“It was a great program I mean when I was little we obviously didn’t have this type of equipment so we basically just hit at trees. You could see the enthusiasm in the kids’ eyes when we showed up.”
Sharp, a home country favourite from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, is a seven year LPGA Tour veteran who started the game at age 10 and similar to Bader, credits her parents with introducing her to the game she has turned into her profession.
When asked about what she thought of the LPGA/British Columbia Golf clinics, Sharp was enthusiastic about their usefulness.
“Some of [these girls] had never played golf before so to have the opportunity to learn about golf and just have a fun day together as a group was pretty neat. I think it’s a great idea and it makes golf fun.”