In summary, I am 44, married, have 10-year-old (boy/girl) twins, played high school and college golf, and do whatever I can as a volunteer to help grow the game. Most recently we attended the U.S. Women's Open at Sebonack, and also the ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer at Seaview. As usual, all of the LPGA players we observed went “above and beyond” to provide a player experience for the boys and girls in attendance. Over the past five years, we typically follow Paula Creamer, Brittany Lang, Brittany Lincicome, Lexi Thompson, Azahara Munoz, Stacy Lewis, Morgan Pressel, and Suzann Pettersen. On a few different dates when Paula, Morgan and the Brittany did not have good rounds, they always stuck around after their rounds and made time for the fans - giving smiles, signing autographs, and initiating conversations with the kids. At PGA events, the men typically walk in a line and sign autographs and usually do not make eye contact or chat with fans. At LPGA events, the players stop and talk with the fans, and after the fans say, “Thank You”, the ladies always stop and look at the fans and return the smile. That extra effort certainly goes a long way.
My daughter Katie has several memorable experiences from the past couple of years, where Paula, Lexi and/or Stacy gave her a signed ball or glove, or just walked over to the ropes and talked with her. At the U.S. Women's Open on Saturday, we caught up to Lexi at the 10th green. Lexi looked over and saw Katie and apparently remembered her from the ShopRite event a few weeks prior, teed off on #11 then took off her glove, signed it, and walked over to the ropes and handed it to Katie. Yes that was a special day for us, and something my daughter will always remember.
So whatever training and/or education program that you are doing with the LPGA members, it is certainly paying off and helping to grow the game. As you stated on Golf Channel last week, once a patron attends an event and is fortunate enough to have a player interaction, the patron then becomes a fan of the player, and both the LPGA tour and the game of golf benefit.
I have several friends with similar experiences with LPGA events. We all appreciate what you are doing for the LPGA and for the game of golf. Best wishes for continued success !!
Topics: For the Love of the Fans, US Women's Open, Thompson, Lexi