Athletes achieve great moments on stage. We expect to see monumental feats from our favorite stars on the football field, basketball court, baseball diamond and golf course. That is where players shine. But it is even more exciting when an athlete goes above and beyond off the field.
Such was the case this past Thursday when LPGA Tour player Lindy Duncan dedicated her evening to speaking with 20 participants of the LPGA*USGA Girls Golf at First Tee of Central Ohio.
In light of the pandemic, the Girls Golf participants meet virtually, which poses a test for LPGA*USGA Girls Golf at First Tee of Central Ohio Site Director Denise Vermillion and LPGA*USGA Girls Golf at First Tee of Central Ohio Site Leader Erica Miller in terms of hosting fun, interactive activities for the young girls.
“We were overjoyed with Lindy on our call,” said Vermillion who led the meeting with Duncan’s background followed by tough questions from the eager students, some of which got Duncan to open up about her recent “grip-change.” She also answered questions about putting and the latest technology, such as the Trackman she uses to maintain up-to-date information on her statistics.
“Pretty much all of the questions [the girls asked] were spot on. I could really tell that they were putting a lot of thought into how to get better and that was really interesting because they’re young players coming up and asking such great questions. It just shows you that people are really getting into golf at a younger age and I think that’s really cool. They were asking questions about technology and how to practice and specific putting drills and they were just all about it. I love talking golf so it was a great experience for me, too,” said Duncan in a follow-up phone call interview.
Speaking with the aspiring athletes, moreover, was a no brainer for the Floridian who grew up in Plantation and now resides in West Palm Beach. A Girls Golf alumna, herself, Duncan found the entire forty-three minutes with the younger golfers deeply humbling.
“I was really excited. I didn’t really know what to expect,” said Duncan of her feelings before hopping on the Zoom call. “But they were asking such great questions. You could tell that they were really interested in golf and trying to take their game of golf to the next level. I love the game, so it was really exciting to talk to them. And they were just so nice. It was just a good talk.
“I think back on this whole crazy journey, starting as a junior and never really expecting to be able to play on the LPGA. It was such a crazy ride and then I thought back to high school and college golf, Symetra Tour, and the whole journey. Just every step along the way has been a lot of new things to learn. I can share my perspective on things and if it helps the young girls and all of the kids, then that’s really exciting for me,” said Duncan.
2021 marks Duncan’s eighth year on Tour. Having just celebrated her 30th birthday, two days after speaking with the girls, there’s plenty that the Duke University alumna looks forward to, both for her and for future generations.
“It is really exciting to be able to talk to the next generation that is interested in golf. And to be able to help in any way. I think being a professional for this many years, I have a pretty good perspective and the amount of work that you’ve got to put in. For kids who really like golf, I think that if they really enjoy it and have fun with it, I think it’s a great game for anyone. I just really like talking to the kids about it and any time I see juniors that are really trying hard in golf, I just want to be as helpful as possible because this game’s hard and there’s so much to learn and it takes a long time to develop certain things. The whole community is a great community and I’m excited to see the next generation of golf, for sure,” said Duncan.