Often there are stereotypes that surround many professional athletes, unapproachable to name one. Ten young girls would argue it's different on the LPGA Tour after their experiences during the Manulife LPGA Classic Walk with the Pros event. LPGA player were not only approachable and engaging but also successful in motivating and inspiring these girls to want to play more golf.
Read the fan e-mail written to commissioner Mike Whan:
Hello, my name is Bill Stewart and I am PGA of Canada Teaching Professional for Kitchener Golf (City of Kitchener Golf Courses: Doon Valley and Rockway). I would like to comment on our expereince at the Manulife LPGA Classic at Grey Silo last year and Whistle Bear this year.
It started when I met Lorie Kane in Vancouver at the induction of our mutual friend Jack McLaughlin into Canada's Golf Hall of Fame. That fall she sent 20 autographed hats up from Orlando to my house to distribute to our Girl's Club.
Last year we arranged to all come out and follow her during the Pro-Am event and then became aware of the Walk with the Pro promotion and fortunately seven of the girls were able to walk the 17th - each having the undivided attention of the LPGA star for 10 - 15 minutes.
This year we took 10 selected girls to Walk with the Pro.
This is all great stuff and alone would be outstanding. Beyond that - every pro that they met - whether they walked with them or not - was sincerely engaged with the girls - chatting with them, signing whatever they had, getting pictures taken and in fact some of them using their own camera for themselves. This year the pros were Cheyenne Woods, Morgan Pressel, Stacy Lewis, Ryann O'Toole, Hee Young Park, Christina Kim, Sandra Gal, Sei Young Kim, Alison Lee, Ariya Jutanugarn, Cariota Ciganda, Inbee Park, Lydia Ko, Laura Diaz, Beatriz Recari, Lizette Salas, Cristie Kerr and Mirim Lee (sorry Lorie - you were in the morning this year). Last year - same number of pros, same unbelievable great response and engagement.
After last years experience - all who attended were highly motivated to play more golf and I expect the same response this year. I want all the players to know - how much this affects and motivates the younger girls to play golf and those who want to - to achieve at it.
Keep it up everyone and sincerely thank you!