Mo Martin and Jane Rah each earned 2012 LPGA Tour membership by finishing in the top five on the 2011 LPGA Futures Tour’s season money list.
So this week, the two 2012 LPGA rookies flew from their respective homes in California to the CME Group Titleholders in Orlando, Fla., to learn more about the LPGA Tour through a program called the “J Golf LPGA Experience.” Through the program, the two earned required “rookie hours” by spending time getting familiar with normal LPGA Tour procedures.
“My ‘LPGA big sister’ next year is Christina Kim, so I followed her in the pro-am,” said Martin, of Altadena, Calif., who won three Futures Tour titles. “She’s very entertaining.”
Rah earned her LPGA Tour card after two seasons and followed her “LPGA Big Sister” Brittany Lincicome during Wednesday’s pro-am.
“I thought it would be good to come here and learn, and to have a chance to ask questions,” said Rah, of Torrance, Calif. “The idea was to come here and get familiar with everything that’s going on and to know what to expect for next year.”
The two players started out the week attending the LPGA’s pro-am party and a player meeting. They also watched the pro-am on Wednesday and participated in a news conference in the tournament media center when the developmental tour announced Symetra as its new title sponsor. On Thursday, they will ride with rules officials during the first round of the CME Group Titleholders.
“The overall objective of the J Golf LPGA Experience rookie program is to make them more comfortable playing out here and to expose them to as much as possible during a tournament week,” said Donna Wilkins, manager of professional development and member services.
The two 2012 LPGA rookies have also met a number of LPGA veterans and have familiarized themselves with the practice areas and the on-site equipment repair setup during a tournament week.
“We already know the experience of being a professional, but next year, we will be playing on a new tour,” added Martin. “It’s a new environment, so it helps this week to be introduced to the experience of the LPGA.”
- Lisa D. Mickey