Sandra Gal took a notepad last offseason and decided to write down her goals for the 2015 season. The biggest point that kept coming back up on her list was she wanted to give back even more than she had the previous years. But she didn’t know how. People are always coming up to her with different ways she could help them with charitable initiatives, but she wanted her own cause that was close to her heart but also unique. It didn’t take too long to find it. It simply took one restless night of sleep with her written goal weighing on her mind when it dawned on her.
She would help bring a unique experience to other young girls like her in hopes that they too one day could walk between the ropes on the LPGA Tour. Only she decided to give them a glimpse in advance by letting them “Walk with Sandra” during the first and second round at tournaments throughout the 2015 season, partnering with the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program on her new mission to bring girls inside the ropes at an LPGA event.
“I was just so happy to have an idea and then when I asked someone what they thought about it and the LPGA really liked it,” Gal said. “Sometimes people come up with ideas and you’re happy to help them so it kind of feels good when you come up with something.”
It’s bold for sure. She’s the only one on Tour that voluntarily on a week-to-week basis brings young girls inside the ropes to walk alongside her on her journey. Sure, it’s just golf, but it’s also her job and anything this unique isn’t in the typical routine of a professional golfer. None of that mattered, she still wanted to do it.
“When it came to life I really enjoyed it as well because these little girls, it was just beyond what I expected,” Gal said. “They were just so excited to be inside the ropes and then I met their dads at some other tournaments and they kept coming to me, saying ‘Oh my gosh, she’s still talking about it.’ I just couldn’t believe that it would make such a big difference to them. It’s such a little thing, maybe a little out of the comfort zone to have someone walk with you, but they are so enthusiastic and so into it that it gives me a lot of joy as well.”
That’s why Gal’s decided to expand the program for 2016. Instead of five tournaments, she’ll have the program at every domestic event next season, and the process will remain the same with directors of LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program nationwide nominating outstanding members for the opportunity.
In addition to the walk, Gal’s already begun raising money for the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program in hopes of expanding its offerings. She recently got a Callaway staff bag with four new Callaway drivers inside autographed by a multitude of fellow LPGA players and auctioned it off using social media with the final bid floating to $10,000.
“Yeah, I think it really opened my eyes to things that we can do with social media and also what I’m going to do in the future,” Gal said. “I always said when I stopped playing golf, I said I want to do charity work so this is really cool that we can start doing these things already and come up with some new ideas like that.”