Donning the t-shirt changes everything. The girls at the LPGA*USGA Girls Golf clinic just a few paces from the first tee at Tiburon Golf Club during the CME Group Tour Championship behaved as you might expect. Some were bashful and awkward. Others bounced on their toes with excitement. Still others huddled around the LPGA Professionals on site who ran the event. They were, to generalize, girls being girls. But the minute a few of the older ones put on their eLeader tees, the dynamic transformed. They became, as the screened words on thin white cotton said, leaders.
Despite what you might think, the goal of LPGA*USGA Girls Golf is not to create golfers. It’s a leadership academy, an outdoor group seminar that uses the sport to build confidence and character; to hone a young girl’s focus and teach her about decision making and action-reaction consequences. Some of the Girls Golf participants become good players. But the scorecard is a byproduct. The program is about developing strong women.
One of those kids, Lexi Carr, couldn’t wait to shake hands with all the new people on the Tiburon range that last week of the LPGA Tour season. No matter the age of the stranger, Lexi looked them in the eyes and introduced herself with an engaging smile – impressive for a 12-year-old.
Then you hear her story. And how well she plays golf tumbles even further down the priority list.