I’ve always been an advocate of growing the game of golf. I’ve been quite vocal about what areas need to be targeted to see the game to continually grow. The path to a healthier and more sustainable golf industry lies through more focus on junior and women’s golf.
Having gotten back to work in the Pro Shop at Scenic Woods Golf Course we recently had our Georgian Bay Spirits Ladies League “Meet ‘n’ Greet”. The league itself looks like it’s pretty healthy with a fantastic turnout of ladies. About 98% of the ladies from last year have returned with several new faces being added to the fold. Last year, Monday nights were actually my favourite shift to work. I always look forward to welcoming the ladies into the pro shop for their night of golf. It’s their night!
When I think about growing the game I really think I need to adjust my focus a little closer to home. As many of you know, my wife Crystal joined me at the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show to have a look at some of the offerings for women’s golf. Golf clubs, apparels, accessories and so on. The only issue with that is that Crystal… is a non-golfer. For that reason, it’s been difficult for her to write more because she hasn’t experienced golf first-hand. I admit, that I sort of give her a hard time about her lack of contributions.
At the end of the day, I need to look no further than myself because I haven’t given her the tools needed to take up the game. Crystal’s been deeply immersed in the game while I’ve undertaken the game. She’s been on-hand during lessons that I’ve received, she’s caddied for me, and quite frankly she understands the game a ton. I’ve hinted on Twitter in some friendly jousting with Keltic Lodge and their parent company (GolfNorth Properties) that WE need to get out there. Of course, Crystal being a part of that conversation was happy to mention that she doesn’t golf. To which the other parties more or less heckled me. So… I know what needs to be done. Grow the game starting with my love.
The other day we were out killing some time on her day off. After visiting an arts and crafts store (she’s really taken warming to sketch) we wandered over to the local Golf Town where the plan was to look at drivers for me. As you enter the store there’s a practice green to test out and if all goes well buy a new putter. I started to roll a few putts (Cleveland Golf Classic 5.5) and then something nearly magical happened. Crystal asked for the putter. I can’t tell you how excited that it made me so I happily handed her the putter.
She started to roll putts with it and she was doing very well with a little bit of instruction. I explained that you only need to take the putter back 3-4 inches to make the ball travel 8 feet. It wasn’t very long but she rolled in her first putt. She may not realize it but she had “the look” in her eye. You know?! The look of when something clicked. There was a “liveliness” in her already beautiful eyes. A spark. But she didn’t stop there. She decided that she wanted to roll a few more putts and she did. Putting very well explaining that she liked the putter.
You know?! It’s amazing how a raw, baby-fresh golfer can perceive things when it comes to golf and liking or disliking something. As it turns out Crystal would roll countless putts during a quasi-lesson. In total, she would roll putts using putters from Cleveland Golf, Odyssey, PING, SeeMore (3 different models), Wilson Golf (Luxe), TaylorMade Golf (Spider Tour and Kalea) and Nancy Lopez. As she rolled putts with all of these models she explained to me what she liked and what she didn’t like. I found that she was very astute in saying that her eye didn’t like something or how something felt. For example, one of the Wilson Staff putters she didn’t like because “it was too busy” with all of the alignment aids. While she liked the feel of one SeeMore she didn’t like the other. In the case of the women’s TaylorMade Kalea she liked the feel (graphite shaft) but ultimately her eye didn’t like all three green alignment lines. She clearly said that if it wasn’t for the three lines it would have been her favorite. She determined fairly early on that she preferred a cleaner look.
Watching a brand new golfer like Crystal was even more fun. There she was rolling putts and you could see a noticeable difference in confidence between putters. She was pretty darn good with the Seemore thanks to their RST (RifleScope Technology) but the length was an issue. The PING putter that she tried was awful for her while the Odyssey (ladies), if shortened a touch, would have been pretty good. But three putters out of the bunch really emerged as frontrunners for her. Strokes were confident with the Wilson Luxe but when it came to the TaylorMade Kalea or the Nancy Lopez Golf Torri 217 they really stood out. No putts were left short and her strokes were not tentative which told me a lot about these two putters. Her set-up was perfect with her arms hanging loosely and naturally. Her stroke looked pretty natural and confident.
Our night wasn’t quite done there as I would look at a few of their pre-owned drivers. But then she made her way over to the Women’s Apparel. She was like a child in a candy store. She was excited by brands that she either missed out on or never saw in Orlando during the show. Brands like Tail, Maggie Lane, Nine and Nine, Greg Norman, and Callaway Golf Apparel. There was another that got her attention in a huge way. Jamie Saddock with her edgy and fun design.
Grow Golf. Start at home.
Until The Next Tee!!