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WELCOME TO MY BLOG:  NEWS, VIEWS AND ALWAYS... MY OPINIONS

check out my Facebook -- so much to write about that appears on facebook first




WATCH FOR UPDATES FROM THE CME GROUP CHAMPIONSHIP -- POSTED BY END OF DAY NOV 17 

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Posted November 9, 2018

today -- SUZY WHALEY BECOMES THE FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT OF THE PGA OF AMERICA --  ELECTED BY THE PGA BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Read all about Suzy and her background  on a special tab "Suzy Whaley News" at top of tab on left.  Suzy and I have been working together for almost twenty years in insuring that women are welcomed to the game.   The PGA of America was established in 1916.  Let's hope that strides in women's golf -- with increased exposure of the LPGA Tour -- bring more women to the game and make sure that women are "welcomed" to the game.

Women golfers have a role to play also.  They must lead change.  Read one of my most popular and favorite articles.  "Advice to Women Golfers" on the tab at left "Best Practices".    It is also published with an update on www.womensgolf.com  "Why Women Golfers Must Be Leaders" at https://www.womensgolf.com/women-golfers-leaders

Reading about the career of Suzy Whaley should be an inspiration to all girls and women.

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Posted November 4, 2018.

WHO ARE THE NEW PLAYERS ON THE 2019 -- HOW TO QUALIFY -- WHAT IT TAKES TO WIN. WHAT'S THIS "Q-SERIES" ALL ABOUT?

HOW TO QUALITY TO PLAY ON THE 2019 LPGA TOUR?

There are a few different paths that female golfers can take to become a member (get their "card") to play on the LPGA Tour. This year is the inaugural "Q-Series" ("Q" = "Qualifying) to be able to compete on the LPGA Tour. There is also the Symetra Tour route. 

A golfer may qualify for the LPGA Tour based on (1) her performance on the Symetra Tour (a "developmental" season-long tour). Golfers who finish in the Top 10 on the Symetra Tour's year-end money list earn LPGA membership.  (2) And...any golfer who wins three times in a single season on the Symetra Tour is automatically advanced to the LPGA Tour. (3) The next 12 golfers on the Symetra Tour money list earn exemptions into the final stage of LPGA Q-School (see next paragraph)..  [NOTE -- IN RESULTS BELOW FOR UPCOMING 2019... ONLY 5 PLAYERS EARNED THEIR LPGA CARD THROUGH THE SYMETRA TOUR FOR 2019.  IT TAKES VERY CONSISTENT RESULTS AND PLAYING IN MANY SYMETRA TOURNAMENTS TO COME UP TO THE LPGA VIA THE SYMETRA TOUR... BUT IT'S GREAT TOUR EXPERIENCE (BELIEVE IT OR NOT... NOT EVERY FEMALE GOLFER WANTS TO TRAVEL AROUND THE GLOBE WITH THE LPGA TOUR AND PLAY 34 TOURNAMENTS.)

WHO WILL QUALIFY via the Q-Series for next season? [thanks to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina for their sponsorship.] It depends on how well she plays in the finals. The finals will be on two separate golf courses at Pinehurst Resort, And scores will be cumulative over the eight rounds of competition. GOOD LUCK TO ALL. See  http://www.lpga.com/tournaments/lpga-q-series

AND THE WINNERS ARE -- THOSE WOMEN WHO HAVE EARNED THEIR TOUR CARD FOR 2019

SYMETRA TOUR GRADUATES (5)

Ruixin Liu (China), Elizabeth Szokol (United States), Linnea Strom (Sweden), Charlotte Thomas (England), Isi Gabsa (Germany)

Q-SERIES TOP-45 AND TIES (22)

Jeongeun Lee6 (Republic of Korea), Jennifer Kupcho (United States), Sarah Schmelzel (United States), Klara Spilkova (Czech Republic), Jaclyn Lee (Canada), Lauren Stephenson (United States), Becca Huffer (United States), Youngin Chun(Republic of Korea), Kristen Gillman (United States), Clariss Guce (United States), Anne Van Dam (Netherlands), Jenny Haglund (Sweden), Alana Uriell (United States), Maddie McCrary (United States), Lilia Vu (United States), Cheyenne Knight(United States), Muni He (China), Sarah Burnham (United States), Maria Fassi (Mexico), Louise Ridderstrom (Sweden), Suzuka Yamaguchi (Japan), Pajaree Anannarukarn (Thailand) and Robyn Choi (Australia)




Posted October 21, 2018

THE PRICE OF CHAMPIONSHIP IN WOMEN'S GOLF:

Following is the opening paragraph of Ron Sirak's article about Daniel Kang struggle... and victory in the LPGA Tour's most recent Buick Shanghai tournament. http://www.lpga.com/…/2018-ron-sirak-kang-proves-she-is-a-c…

"The most treacherous part of golf is the five inches between your ears. The brain is where the demons lurk. ... On Sunday October 21 at the Buick LPGA Shanghai, Danielle Kang spent nine holes trying to hide. Then, after a heart-to heart talk with her caddie, she spent nine holes proving she is a champion."

If the mental struggle sounds familiar it should. One of the best young women's golfers, Lexi Thompson, has had a tough year. In an article by Golfweek's Beth Ann Nichols, Lexi laments her life with this poignant thought: "I am not just a robot out here...I need to have a life." Since age 5, Lexi has been molded around golf including home-schooling so she could be coached during the day.

And.. from In an interview for the Golf Channel in December 2016 when Se Ri Pak, the champion of Korean women's golf, announced her retirement, "Reporter Randall Mell wrote: "It was in that hallway that Pak surprised me when I asked her about the ache she was feeling. Yes, she said, she was proud thinking back on all her achievements ...how she inspired South Korean men and women who saw hope in her work ethic and determination. Yet, there in that hallway, she was also thinking about what she saw as her great failure, her great regret. “I’m an incomplete person,” she told me there.

I have no answers. The price of success is high -- the pressure is great., The teen suicide rate in Korea is among the highest in the world. As Ron Sirak accurately points out: "The brain is where our demons lurk."

I think LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan has made a brilliant move by opening the 2019 LPGA season with the Diamond Resorts Tournament January 17-20 in Orlando with celebrities and fun. I always give the Commish credit for his marketing skills but I think I need to add psychologist to his resume.http://www.lpga.com/tournaments/tournament-of-champions.




ALL ABOUT WHAT "DORMIE" MEANS: [from Facebook post]

My guess is that maybe one in 5000 female golfers knows what "Dormie" means. So the title message DORMIE NETWORK discourages many women from even trying to learn to play golf if they don't even understand how it is scored. (The message is an advertisement for upscale golf courses.)

To women reading this Facebook Post: Here is almost everything you need to know about what "dormie" means. I will also put this post on Nancy's Golf Blog at http://nancyberkley.com/nancy-s-golfblog.html

The term dormie is only used in "match play" -- that is competition hole-by-hole (not a total score as in medal or stroke play). To learn more, see my article "MATCH PLAY OR STROKE PLAY - WHAT DO YOU LIKE? on www.womensgolf.com at https://www.womensgolf.com/match-play-or-stroke-play/.

"Dormie" is the term used in match play when one player or a two-some partnership achieves a lead that equals the number of holes remaining.

Here is my favorite definition (from Wikipedia): "A player or team that is leading by x holes with x holes remaining is said to be "dormie-x" or simply "dormie", meaning that the leader needs to tie (or halve) one more hole to win the match -- OR that the other team must win ALL the remaining holes in order to halve the match. [But not all tournament formats allow a tie -- last season my teammate and I had to play 22 holes before a winner was determined. The Solheim Cup and the UL Crown do allow ties and teams receive just each receive a half-point.].

PS -- ONE OF THE BEST WRITERS ABOUT WOMEN'S GOLF, -- Beth Ann Nichols - Golfweek -- WRITES FOR THIS MAGAZINE. It's the only reason I subscribe and read it!





LOOKING FOR UL CROWN??  see tab on left panel





MY FINAL OBSERVATIONS ON THE UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN: (also appears on UL Crown tab above)

Congratulations Team Korea on winning the UL International Crown.! The truth is that a team of top Korean women golfers may just be unbeatable; more so than any other country -- perhaps in the world, I was in Incheon for the UL Crown and watched excellent golf. But... the TOTAL Rolex Rankings of Pool A Korea's 4 players was the low total at 42. The total of the USA Team"s four players heading up Pool B (the second ranked team ) was 55. Beyond that -- all 6 teams had significantly higher Rolex Ranking totals. That said, golfers have good days and bad days. But Korean children are raised not only to achieve, but to achieve under competitive pressure. And that's what they did at the UL International Crown. 0Korea did not wint the 2014 Crown (Spain won) and Korea did not win the 2016 Crown which went to the USA, but Korea has figured out how to be a "team" which was clearly evident in their post-victory interview in the photo above.)

A new movie recently released at the Busan Korean film festival, "Dear My Genius " explores the pressure on Korean children to succeed.. For one of many reviews see http://www.thejakartapost.com/life/2018/10/07/dear-my-genius-documents-south-koreas-obsession-with-education.html

Although the movie explores academic success, American scholar and friend, Dr. Patricia Donnelly, has studied the pressure on Korean children (those who show skill at young ages) to succeed in sports -- like golf -- as well. That parenting style wins prizes and Congratulations are in order. But there is a price to be paid.which the movie reviews explore.





#inviteHER Campaign Is Here!  

You will see it everywhere and recognize it by the beautiful turquoise and pink colors and the fantastic animated announcements -- and helpful, encouraging and informative content! 

Just a little background.  All the major US golf organizations and tours in the US are members of the World Golf Foundation. That enables golf initiatives to be coordinated and consistent mission statements delivered to current and future golfers.  The LPGA and Commissioner Mike Whan have always been a participant in the World Golf Foundation and the WE ARE GOLF program and its committee (lucky to be among the members). 

And, I have been privileged to personally interview the Commissioner at least annually.  Every interview I ask, "where is the fan message? I want to be closer to the LPGA."  His answer has always been that he didn't have all the pieces in place yet because he wanted this industry-wide campaign to be of the highest quality and broadest outreach -- and the backing from his LPGA Board. 

And now those pieces are in place! With the addition of the LPGA Womens Network (website and newsletter-- www.lpgawomensnetwork.com)  and the recently reorganized LPGA Women's Amateur Association (building on the former EWGA), the pieces are in place and the first campaign was just launched.  #inviteHER.  

I will have much more to say about how to invite a new golfer, a new friend, a never-ever-golfer, and a business colleague and share the most successful invitation program I have seen at the Columbia Edgewater Golf Club in Portland, Oregon.  And I will not hesitate to suggest some programs and tournaments that your club's professionals need to embrace as part of the #inviteHER program.  Have more fun -- #inviteHER.




WHAT IS A LOCAL RULE?" Lexi Thompson was penalized for violating a "local rule" in the Saturday August 18 round of the Indy Women in Tech tournament. A "local rule" is posted or circulated prior to a golf round(s) when there are "abnormal" conditions on the course that make playing strictly by the rules difficult or unfair. You will NOT find a list of "local rules" in the USGA Rules of Golf. Instead, Rule 33-8 gives permission to establish a local rule. 
(it's a good rule to read).

Very often a local rule will be "posted" and/or distributed to the players when the course has become wet or there is maintenance on the course. The local rule in effect at the Indy tournament on Saturday was that a player was allowed to lift, clean and place only when in the fairway of the hole she was currently playing. Lexi's tee shot flew to the right into another fairway; she recalled the lift clean and replace part of the rule.... but did not recall that it did NOT apply because she was not in the fairway she was playing.

The US Rules of Golf are very technical. BUT, new rules are going into effect in 2019. I will be writing about the new rules. One that troubles me is the new "Ready Golf" rule. Stay tuned.




CHECK OUT MY RECENT FACEBOOK POSTS -- always something to think about!

https://www.facebook.com/nancy.berkley.98



UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN TEAMS: (as of August 19, 2018)

(1)South Korea – Pool A:  Park Sung-hyun, Ryu So-yeon, In-Kyung Kim, Chun In-gee 

(1)United States: -- Pool B:  Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda, Criste Kerr, Michelle Wie

(2)Japan – Pool B:  Nasa Hataoka, Ai Suzuki, Misuzu Waranabe, Mamiko Higa

(2)England – Pool A:  Charle Hull, Ceorgia Hall, Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Bronte Law

(3)Australia – Pool A:   Minjee Lee, Katherine Kirk, Sara Jane Smith, Su Hyun Ho

(3)Thailand – Pool B:  Ariya Jutanugarn, Moriya Jutanugarn, Pornalong Phatlum,

(4) Sweden – Pool B:  Anna Nordquist, Pernilla Lindberg, Madelene Sagstrm, Caroline Hedwall

(4) Chinese Taipei – Pool A:  Theresa Lu, Wei-Ling Hsu, Phoebe Yao, Candie Kung




UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN 2018 TEAMS: The eight teams of the country's top 4 golfers (based on Rolex Rankings) have been divided into two "pools" Pool A and Pool B. (the way competitive brackets are done for club championships and other sports). Three days (Oct 4,5,6 will be match-play "foursomes" (two players from each country each play out their own ball on every hole --counting he "best ball" on each hole. The two-some with the best total score after 18 holes wins one point for her country. Final round on Sunday October 7) will be individual matches with a "wild-card" competitor and points for winners. The country with the most points wins the 2018 UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN. (the Crown is really beautiful.. Tiffany design)..

THE REAL QUESTION... Who will decide the partnership teams? Who will decide who plays in what order in the singles matches. THERE IS NO DESIGNATED CAPTAIN. HOW DO YOU THINK DECISIONS "SHOULD" OR "WILL" BE MADE AMONG THE FOUR WOMEN REPRESENTING EACH COUNTRY?





HAVE I TOLD YOU LATELY THAT I LOVE THE UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN TOURNAMENT?  October 4-7 in Incheon, Korea --about an hour west from Seoul.  The UL Crown is played in alternate years of the Solheim Cup.  The tournament was innaugurated (invented is a better term) in Maryland US in 2014 -- played again in the US in 2016 -- but now will be held about an hour west of Seoul in the Songdo development -- a unique hi-tech-environmental development -- think "city of the future".  Jack Nicklaus was honored to build the golf course in the Songdo development, which is geographically within the city of Incheon. 

But not only the location draws me to the tournament -- it's the format.  Eight contries with 4 members each compete in 3 days of Fourball format (sometimes referred to as "Betterball")and then singles match play the last day. (Fourball format: two players from a team each play their own ball with the lowest score of the twosome counting for their team score on that hole.  The team with the lowest cummulative score for 18 holes wins those matches.  The final day is match play singles. The eight countries participating are: Korea, USA, England, Japan, Australia, Thailand, Chinese Taipei, Sweden.

To read more see http://www.ulcrown.com/tournament-information/format

What is so interesting about the format is how each of the four-person teams organizes itself to make the pairings and then the singles matches.  There is intentionally no designated captain.  So think about how this will work?  Let's take another situationa:  3 friends and I decide to go out for lunch; where to go; two like a light lunch -- one is a vegan -- and one wants a hamburger?  How do we decide? 

Taking decision-making back to the UL Crown.... perhaps a decision-making captain will be selected among the 4 players; perhaps one player is the best "communicator" in the group.. maybe the oldest?  maybe the best player? . I can imagine many different approaches.  What is most important about the UL Crown teams is that in the absence of a captain "each member is mutually accountable" for the team's results... should not be able to lay blame on any team member.   I am working with a psycholgist, Dr. Patricia Donnelly, to explore the options and styles of team decisions in the UL Crown.  DID I TELL YOU LATELY THAT I LOVE THIS TOURNAMENT?

Here are the UL teams:

Korea (Inbee Park, Sung Hyun Park, So Yeon Rhu, I.K. Kim);

United States (Lexi .Thompson, Jessica Korda, Christe Kerr,Michelle Wie);

Japan (Nasa Hataoka, Ai Suzuki, Misuzu Narita, Mamiko Higa);   

England (Charley Hull, Georgia Hall, Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Bronte Law); 

Australia (Minjee Lee, Katherine Kirk, Sarah Jane Smith, Su Oh); Thailand (Ariya Jutanugarn, Moriya Jutanugarn, Pornanong

Phatlum, Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong); 

Sweden (Anna Nordqvist, Pernilla Lindberg, Madelene Sagstrom, Caroline Hedwall); and 

Chinese Taipei (Teresa Lu, Wei-Ling Hsu, Hsuan-Yu Yao, Candie Kung).





HOW IS LEXI?

In case you didn't notice, Lexi Thompson did not compete at the July Ladies Scottish Open or the August RICOH British Open (a LPGA "Major").  Imagine playing competitive golf for almost 20 years since she was still in grade school.  The competitive stress of tournamenets plus her mom's illness (thankfully recovering well) finally got to her.  She took a break but now she's back and will be competing in the Indy Women in Tech Tournament August 16-19 in Indianapolis.  It's a homecoming of sorts since she won that tournament last year.  The tournament is held at the famous Indianapolis race track -- on a golf course!!  The Pete Dye course has some holes inside the race track and some outside.  It's a fun tournament to watch.  And the tradition of the racetrack spills over to the golf tournament: Just like the driver of the winning racecar, the winner of this golf event kisses the "bricks" of the racetrack.  Lexi did it last year and my guess is that she will have an enthusiastic gallery rooting for her.  





BUNKERS BUNKERS EVERYWHERE AT THE RICOH!

I am in awe of the bunker-shot-skill of the players at the RICOH BRITISH OPEN. I watch the swings very carefully!! 
As a recreational golfer, bunkers are my nightmare. But one instructor was able to correct a critical bunker swing flaw by telling me what to-do -- instead of what-not-to-do. I always have that advice on a little piece of paper with me.

NEW USGA RULES FOR 2019 WILL ALLOW REMOVAL OF A BALL FROM A BUNKER WITH 2-STROKE PENALTY. See http://www.usga.org/…/majo…/unplayable-ball-in-a-bunker.html




WHERE TO FOLLOW THE RICOH WOMEN'S BRITISH OPEN AUGUST 2-5 in ENGLAND?

LEADERBOARDS:  YOU HAVE CHOICES:

Ladies European Tour (LET) and LPGA Tour. Take your pick!

https://ladieseuropeantour.com/reports-page/…

http://www.lpga.com/leaderboard




UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN (Oct 4-7 in Incheon Korea) is two months away, but as watch the RICOH Women's British Open, keep these players and teams in mind. (learn more about format at http://www.ulcrown.com/tournament-information/format)

Confirmed team lineups for the UL International Crown are:

Republic of Korea (Sung Hyun Park, So Yeon Ryu, In-Kyung Kim, In Gee Chun); 
USA (Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda, Cristie Kerr, Michelle Wie); 
Japan (Nasa Hataoka, Ai Suzuki, Misuzu Narita, Mamiko Higa); 
England (Charley Hull, Georgia Hall, Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Bronte Law); 
Australia (Minjee Lee, Katherine Kirk, Sarah Jane Smith, Su Oh); 
Thailand (Ariya Jutanugarn, Moriya Jutanugarn, Pornanong Phatlum, Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong); 
Sweden (Anna Nordqvist, Pernilla Lindberg, Madelene Sagstrom, Caroline Hedwall); 
Chinese Taipei (Teresa Lu, Wei-Ling Hsu, Hsuan-Yu Yao, Candie Kung).

MICHELE WIE WITHDRAWS FROM RICOH WOMENS BRITISH OPEN FIRST DAY OF PLAY DUE TO HAND INJURY. See more at https://golfweek.com/2018/08/02/michelle-wie-withdraws-from-womens-british-open-with-hand-injury/


ABOUT LEXI THOMPSON ANNOUNCEMENT : At the women's forum held just before the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open, Beth Allen of the LET (also on the LPGA) spoke about role models http://www.globalgolfpost.com/…/quick-take-equality-topic-s…

"Asked about what matters most to girls in golf, Allen suggested that nothing was as important as keeping the game “cool.” She said that dress codes needed to be relaxed and that there needs to be more Lexi Thompson-type role models. “When I’m on the LPGA Tour, Lexi stands out as a fan favourite. You always see tons of girls in the galleries dressed like her.”

Ironically, we learned today in an Instagram posted by Lexi, that it's not easy to be Lexi and "cool". Today as reported by Golfweek (and on other media, Lexi announced that she will not play in the Ricoh Women's British Open August 2-5 in England. She posted: "It is extremely difficult for me not to play in this prestigious Major, but I realized recently that I need to take some time to work on myself. The events of the past year and a half (on and off the golf course) have taken a tremendous toll on me both mentally and emotionally. I have not truly felt like myself for quite some time,”

There will be lots more discussion about the stress that competition and expectation imposes on our athletes. I will be writing more about this topic. I have been writing about Lexi since she was about twelve.




ALL ABOUT THE:  (all my Facebook posts and news about the Scottish and England Opens are consolidated in this section)

ABERDEEN STANDARD INVESTMENTS LADIES SCOTTISH OPEN (JULY 26-29 and the

RICOH BRITISH WOMEN'S OPEN (AUGUST 2-5)

ALERT! DON'T BE CONFUSED BY THE WOMEN'S "OPENS".. Ladies Scottish Open is next July 26-29. The Ricoh Women's British Open in England is August 2-5. Both tournaments sometimes are referred to simply as "the Open" -- read carefully


As we watch classic "pot-bunkers" in the next women's LPGA golf tournaments in Scotland and England,, thought you might like to see a Naples, Florida pot bunker -- Greg Norman style -- from the November 2017 CME Championship. Lizette Sallas about to walk into bunker on the 18th hole of final round... and she successfully hit on to the green! Enlarge photo if you can. (Her ball was about 2 feet from the edge near high bunker wall (between her caddy and the flagstick.). Great shot, Lizette! (How does she do that??? Experts please reply.)


Are you ready for Scotland -- "home" of golf. [for an update on what came after Mary Queen of Scots introduced golf (and was criticized for playing too much golf!) see my HIstory of Women's Golf Timeline at http://nancyberkley.com/774892.html


FROM LPGA MEDIA:  http://www.lpga.com/news/2018-ladies-scottish-open-field-breakdown


GREAT NEWS LADIES SCOTTISH OPEN: Brava Brava Brava! for the voice and knowledge of Mel Reid on the course!. In my opinion, nothing is more important (other than the number and placement of cameras and TV booth director) than the commentators. Watching a well televised golf event can convert a TV-golfer to a on-course-golfer. Mel Reid is worth reading about . She has played mostly on the Ladies European Tour but has qualified for and played in several LPGA events.

And while on the subject of commentators, the very best in my opinion was Annika at the 2016 Olympics. To understand why... Enjoy a reread of my article: "Listening to Annika was a Great Golf Lesson" at https://www.womensgolf.com/annika/


LPGA AND LET TEAM UP FOR SECOND EDITION OF LADIES SCOTTISH OPEN (portions from LPGA Media release)

The world’s best female golfers from the LPGA and the Ladies European Tour (LET) return to the Home of Golf this week at Gullane Golf Club in East Lothian, Scotland for the second playing of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open. {See my cover photo of the course)

Two-time LPGA winner Mi Hyang Lee will attempt to defend her 2017 title, where she came from nine shots behind on the weekend and earned a one-stroke victory over Mi Jung Hur and Karrie Webb. Ten of the 11 players who finished inside the top 10 at last year’s Ladies Scottish are back this year in a field that also boasts top-five world talents.

There will also be a strong presence from the LET with 27 of the top 30 from the 2017 Order of Merit.

[Nancy's notes: The LET Order of Merit is awarded to the LET player who has won the most money in LET events. The LPGA Tour comparable award is based on performance as measured on Rolex Rankings. Many top women golfers in the world, play on both the LET and LPGA Tours. For several years, there have been suggestions that the two big tours merge in some way... not so easy!!]

This Scottish Open is the first of three LPGA tournaments in Europe alongside the Tour’s final two major championships in next week’s Ricoh Women’s British Open and The Evian Championship.





[7/19/18]  ALL ABOUT BRITTANY LINCICOME IN THE PGA TOUR BARBISOL CHAMPIONSHIP.  [I have put all my blogs about this event in this one section 

[7/18/18] IRONY AND HONOR: [upon the death of Marcia Chambers -- author with major impact on womens golf]

Brittany Lincicome will tee it up on the Barbasol Champship July 18th and will be the fifth woman to do so on a PGA Tour event. A few days ago, Marcia Chambers, author of 1995 -- "The Unplayable Lie: The Untold Story of Women and Discrimination in Golf" died. The two events are ironically connected. Chambers' reporting was critical in the 1995 jury victory of nine women in Haverhill Country Club who were awarded four million dollars in damages for sex discrimination under Massachusetts law. related to tee-time access equal to that of male members. At the time, I was writing for "Golf for Women" (a Golf Digest publication) and traveled up to Haverhill to interview the women. I was not surprised that the jury believed their case. Golf courses membership policies were forever changed after Chambers' book and the Haverhill verdict. Only "truly private" courses [under most state laws] are able to limit membership and tee-time-access to women members. My recent Facebook posts in support of Brittany's decision to play in the PGA Tour's event reflect the changes in US culture in the wake of the women's movement of the 1960's and 1970's and Title IX. In the seventies, my daughter had to play on a boy's baseball team because there was no girl's team. Many of the current LPGA Tour players probably played on boys golf teams also. Brittany, hit your drives long and straight at the Barbisol, hit perfect chips onto the greens and sink all those putts. But, whatever the outcome, I am so proud of you and your parents and husband. You are already a winner!  For the article in the NYTimes see https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/17/obituaries/marcia-chambers-78-who-exposed-discrimination-in-golf-dies.html

[7/17/18] HERE'S TO THE MOMS AND DADS THAT ENCOURAGED GIRLS TO PLAY GOLF!! My children are about Brittany's age and generation. We are the moms that raised our kids in those amazing sixties when gender barriers were breaking down and Title IX was passed in the US to insure comparable athletics for girls and boys. We taught our daughters that they can do and be anything they want! So proud of Brittany -- so proud of the Senior Women who played in the US Senior Open -- so proud of the mixed team events on more golf Tours. So proud of our golf industry! Let's maintain the momentum.  See Brittany's response at https://www.golfchannel.com/article/randall-mell/lincicome-thrilled-reception-male-pros/?cid=twitter-cen-a-lincicome-thrilled-reception-male-pros-07182018&utm_source=t.co&utm_medium=referral

[7/17/18] INVITE YOUR KIDS TO WATCH THIS TOURNAMENT: [CHECK TV TIMES]. Brittany is not just trying to show how good she is - I don't expect her to win this tournament. But golf (like many sports) is not just about winning. Speaking as a mom, Brittany is showing children that stepping up to a challenge and just "doing your best" is a great trait to have in everything you do. And Brittany will be a perfect teacher. (Brittany, thanks so much for the inspiration you are offering. And perfect timing coming after the US Senior Women's Open -- and a previous generation of inspirational women leaders.)
[I will be posting about this event on Nancy's Golf Blog at http://nancyberkley.com/nancy-s-golfblog.html

In Brittany's own words:  https://www.theplayerstribune.com/en-us/articles/brittany-lincicome-lpga-pga-golf

[7/17/18]  HERE'S WHY BRITTANY LINCICOME IS PLAYING IN THE MENS PGA TOUR BARBISON CHAMPIONSHIP THIS WEEK.... "The more I thought about whether to play in this event, the more I kept coming back to all the younger girls who I might be able to connect with and inspire by doing this. I thought about how an opportunity like this might be able to make a difference in how people think about our sport in the future."

Click link for Brittany's full article: https://www.theplayerstribune.com/…/brittany-lincicome-lpga…

 





[7/18/18]   #InviteHER -- new campaign soon to be launched by the LPGA Women's Network Most golfers and fans consider the LPGA to be a Tour for professional golfers and a teaching organization.  And, indeed, those are very important.   But the LPGA has undergone some new initiatives for girls and women golfers that are dedicated to growing more recreational women golfers and fans and to strengthen their identification with a bigger LPGA "umbrella."   Under the leadership of LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan, the LPGA Tour has grown to a "Global Tour Like No Other."    But, what about growing the number of fans of the LPGA and growing the number of women golfers?   

Here's the News....   The first new initiative is the LPGA Amateur Golf Association -- www.LPGAAmateurs.com -- which is really a rebranding and of what was formerly the Executive Women's Golf Assocation (the EWGA)and bringing it under the LPGA "umbrella".  The executive director of the LPGA Amateur Golf Association is Jane Geddes who played on the LPGA Tour.  A second initiative is the LPGA Women's Network (www.LPGAWomensNetwork.com), which is the fan-based website  dedicated to publishing articles and newsletters for recreational women golfers.  A third new program is www.LPGAGolf101.com a lesson-based website.  The very successful LPGA-USGA Girls Golf Program continues to flourish and grow.  Nancy Henderson, LPGA Chief Teaching Officer and head of the LPGA Foundation has general oversight of all of the programs listed above.  

What's impressive to me about the new initiatives and programs is that it will help more women identify with the LPGA Tour and be more inspired to become recreational golfers and fans.  Every year I have the honor to interview LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan.  Each year I ask him why I can't be a part of the LPGA?  I want a bag tag that says "I support the LPGA."    I can't wait to catch up with him and get the update.  

In the meantime, the strategy is to grow the number of women golfers which leads me to the "InviteHER" campaign that you will read more about.   It is nice when a friend invites you to a take a golf lesson or play golf together.  Golf is unique in that it is both very individual and very social at the same time.  [Actually, in many ways golf is very similar to bowling, which is why the TopGolf facilities are so successful.  (TopGolf stadiums share many similarities to the old fashioned big bowling alleys -- it's just that the golf ball is so much smaller and harder to hit!!) 

Watch for more about the #InviteHER campaign.  Start thinking about what friend you would like to take lessons with or play a round of golf with and get ready to #InviteHER.  If you are looking for a head-start, enjoy this article I wrote.  "Advice for New Women Golfers" for www.womensgolf.com at https://www.womensgolf.com/new-women-golfers/The first lesson is a short aerial tour of a golf course!  [It would be hard to learn to play baseball if you never saw a baseball diamond.... same with golf and understanding what a golf course is.]   





[7/15/18]  FOLLOWING ARE MORE POSTS FROM MY FACEBOOK RE THE US SENIOR WOMEN'S OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP-- I don't hold back from offering my opinions:

GOLF'S GLOBAL TREND TIED TO HISTORY OF US WOMEN'S OPEN The inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open has served a fascinating array of functions this week at Chicago Golf Club. First and foremost, it is a breakthrough event, a national championship in which female golfers age 50 and over can play. But it has also been a celebration of the women’s game and those who helped grow it around the world. All you need to do is look at the leader board midway through the competition to see where the game has been, and just as importantly, where it is going.  the coverage is missing the bio information that would help.  See my Timeline History of Women's Golf -- see the records that many of the women in this Open have set.  go to my Timeline tab on my website.  http://nancyberkley.com/774892.html.  

Must-read article by Ron Sirak -- with both history and food-for-thought -- see    http://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/championships/2018/u-s--senior-women-s-open/articles/laura-davies-trish-johnson-liselotte-neumann-women-s-global-golf.html

ABOUT THE TV COVERAGEThis Scottish Links-style historic course -- oldest 18-hole course in the US -- with tricky greens is proving challenging to these talented women golfers and to the TV coverage of a course where every hole is very similar in many ways through lens of TV camera.   Why there was not a woman announcer Saturday in the TV booth remains a mystery to me!!! There are so many senior women who did not qualify for the event but have the history to liven up the coverage with coverage and memories. There... I said it!   

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT A PLAYER that may have been on the LPGA Tour fo the lpga.com link: http://www.lpga.com/players.  On the usga.com website for the tournament, when click on a players name there is no bio information (I bet the LPGA might have been able to help out!).  All of these women have remarkable histories and have made such an impact on the game.  Maybe next year, I will write a guide for the Girls Golf Program and write short bios of these women.  This tournament is filled with teaching and inspirational moments on many levels.   

AND CAME THE CUT ON FRIDAYSATURDAY 3RD ROUND US SENIOR WOMENS OPEN. Congratulations to the women who made the cut in the Inaugural US Senior Women's Open on Friday July 13th and good luck to all in final two rounds (check Fox1 TV for Saturday and Sunday times). Special congrats to Jane Geddes for making the cut. Jane, former US Women's Open winner, is new Executive Director of the Amateur Golf Association (formerly the EWGA) and the LPGA Women's Network -- two initiatives sponsored by the World Golf Foundation to promote women's golf -- both with leadership support of LPGA Foundation President Nancy Henderson.

WHY THIS OPEN NOW?  Most of the women competing in this USGA sponsored U.S. Senior Women's Open probably will remember the "women's movement" of the sixties. They may even remember Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem and "Ms Magazine". The "women's movement" empowered a new generation of women -- many of whom are competing in this tournament. And in 1972, the US passed Title IX which required "comparable" athletics for women and men -- there probably would not be women's college golf in the U.S. but for Title IX. (Since they don't teach history very well anymore, I felt the need to make sure our younger women golfers know the path these senior-women carved and how much we owe to them.) BRAVA! to each and every senior. On my card, you are all winners! [record TV Sat and Sun tournament -- TV times shown below are Eastern US times]

[7/13/18] WHY THE US SENIOR WOMEN'S OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP IS HAPPENING NOW -- NOT YEARS AGO.  The connection with the women's movement of the 1960's. 

I didn't gather statistics but my observation is that most of the women in this inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open came of age at a special time in history -- the "sixties" -- the beginning of the "women's movement." They may have listened to Australia's Helen Reddy, sing "I Am Woman" or read Betty Friedan's "Feminine Mystique." I have asked myself why this is first Senior Women's tournament. I think the answer is very simple: It was waiting for this special generation of women golfers. For more about the history of women's golf, please see my history of women's golf timeline (beginning with Mary Queen of Scots) on my website at http://nancyberkley.com/774892.html. Yes, I have just added this event to it.

GO TO www.usga.org AND READ EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS TOURNAMENT.  THE COVERAGE IS OVERWHEMING AND SO VERY GOOD!!  THANKS, USGA!





[7/11/18]   A MUST-READ ARTICLE ABOUT THE UPCOMING US SENIOR WOMEN'S OPEN   by famed golf writer Ron Sirak.  http://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/championships/2018/u-s--senior-women-s-open/articles/suzy-whaley-historic-week-at-chicago-gc-senior-women-s-open.html.   Published on www.usga.org, I have taken the liberty of including the following portion of the article.

"Suzy Whaley knows what it’s like to be a pioneer and she was not about to miss the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open at historic Chicago Golf Club. In 2003, she became the first woman to qualify for a PGA Tour event in 58 years; in 2014, she was made the first female officer of the PGA of America and later this year will become the first woman to serve as the organization’s president.

Along the way, Whaley earned her way onto the LPGA, worked as a teaching pro and raised two daughters who played college golf. What she has never done is stop fighting for the betterment of golf and for full representation of women in the game. The U.S. Senior Women’s Open is a culmination of one of her dreams.

“This is something we all thought we would never see,” Whaley, 51, said Tuesday while warming up for a practice round. “This is about showing respect for the players who came before us and about establishing a championship for the players who are on the LPGA right now. And it’s about competing. That’s why we are here. I wouldn’t have missed this for the world.” ... please click the link above and read the entire article.

.  

[7/9/18]   TO WOMEN GOLFERS OVER 50 -- AREN'T YOU LUCKY! 

See excellent article by Beth Ann Nichols  https://golfweek.com/2018/07/09/an-open-of-their-own-inaugural-u-s-senior-womens-open-set-for-chicago-golf-club/  that explains the inaugural US Senior Women's Open this coming week in Chicago -- July 12-14. (this is a long post -- I think it is very important)

The tournament may be a little confusing because many readers know that the USGA sponsors several women's tournaments: The US Women's Open Championship, for example, is on the LPGA Tour. And there also is a US Women's Amateur along with several other women's amateur events. (Note: your LPGA or PGA instructors are "professionals" and cannot play in amateur events.)

WHAT'S DIFFERENT ABOUT THIS WOMEN'S EVENT? 
NUMBER ONE: This event is open to professional women golfers as well as amateurs. This tournament is about AGE! For example, you will see Juli Inkster competing along with Hollis Stacey and Jane Geddes and many other familiar names. (Only reason Nancy Lopez is not there is because of knee surgery.)

Here are the qualification requirements: "The championship is open to any professional or amateur golfer who is 50 years of age as of July 12 and has a Handicap Index not exceeding 7.4. (Players may be from any country.) There are regional qualifiers and the field is limited to 120 players. (My good friend Kathy Grant Nyman great golfer and founder of www.raingirlgolf.com just turned 50 and came very close to qualifying -- but missed by a few shots... Kathy, see you next year!!)

NUMBER TWO: Go to the site (click box below) and look at the tee times for day one -- these are the "greatest" women golfers who have made the game what it is today -- along with great teaching professionals and even some amateurs. These women -- inspired by The Founders -- helped to energize the vision of the Founders. And now with this inspirational tournament, they with the help of the USGA will make women's golf even greater for the next generations of girls and women. (Recent National Golf Foundation 2017 statistics report that in thirty percent of women golfers are age 50 or older.)

NUMBER THREE: The most important take-away from this inaugural event is the confirmation that golf is a game for a life-time -- from 50 and on. A golfer does not have to be young and hit her drive 300 yardst to enjoy playing golf. Nor does she have to win every tournament and prize. She just needs to love the game -- the special moments we all have on the course that stay with us and keep our bodies and minds healthy. My favorite time on the course is 9 holes by myself at twilight when the first stars come out and I play into the moon hanging over the 9th green. Nothing makes me feel more at peace with myself, my family and the world. I'm over 50 and I hope I can keep doing that for another decade.. maybe two.

________________________

see article by Bethan Nichols for Golfweek about this innauguaral tournament for women over 50... and her memories. 

https://golfweek.com/2018/07/09/an-open-of-their-own-inaugural-u-s-senior-womens-open-set-for-chicago-golf-club/




[6/21/18]  IN MY OPINION:

The Ladies European Tour (the LET) is in the middle of its season. See https://ladieseuropeantour.com/

Many women golfers play on both the LPGA and LET tours when they can work it out on their schedule. In my opinion, golf is unique as a sport in that there is both intense individual AND team competition. One week you may try to win against an opponent that last week was your teammate!

Three tournaments are particularly important on both Tours this season. The Ricoh Women's British Open (August 2-5 in Lancaster, England) and the Evian Championship (September 13-16 in Evian, France) are "Majors" on the LPGA Tour. LPGA Majors not only have bigger prizes but offer more points for LPGA players on the Race to the CME Globe and other season-ending awards.

The UL International Crown October 4-7 has eight teams competing -- three countries: England, Germany and Sweden will have team members that play on both the LPGA and the LET. In alternate years, the Solheim Cup (Team USA vs Team Europe) have similar competitions among friends from different countries.

DO YOU AGREE? I think that recreational women golfers have a more difficult time playing against a friend than the professionals. In my experience, many golf clubs with many active women golfers have a hard time putting together a "Club Championship" event.

But that may change as "Girls Golf" programs increase and girls are exposed to more competition. Your comments and opinions are welcome! [this opinon piece was on my Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/nancy.berkley.98

 





UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN 2018 : 

THE OFFICIAL TEAMS FOR THE UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN (the ULIC) were announced by the LPGA today, Monday July 2 when the Rolex Rankings were officially updated with the KPMG results.    http://www.lpga.com/news/newsfilter….

(Note: The top team is Korea, the second is the United States. The order of the teams is important because the 8 teams are divided into "pools" in determining what country competes with what country in each round over the 3 days of competition.  I will be explaining more about how the matches are set up with two different "Pools".  

The UL Team Lineups are:

Korea (Inbee Park, Sung Hyun Park, So Yeon Rhu, I.K. Kim);

United States (Lexi .Thompson, Jessica Korda, Christe Kerr,Michelle Wie);

Japan (Nasa Hataoka, Ai Suzuki, Misuzu Narita, Mamiko Higa);   

England (Charley Hull, Georgia Hall, Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Bronte Law); 

Australia (Minjee Lee, Katherine Kirk, Sarah Jane Smith, Su Oh); Thailand (Ariya Jutanugarn, Moriya Jutanugarn, Pornanong

Phatlum, Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong); 

Sweden (Anna Nordqvist, Pernilla Lindberg, Madelene Sagstrom, Caroline Hedwall); and 

Chinese Taipei (Teresa Lu, Wei-Ling Hsu, Hsuan-Yu Yao, Candie Kung).




ALL ABOUT THE UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN -- ALL ARTICLES WILL BE POSTED TOGETHER (most recent first)

[6/20/28]  LESSON TWO: UNDERSTANDING THE UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN -- WHAT COUNTRIES PLAY WHAT COUNTRIES? .. why the next two tournaments matter.

The reason that the next two tournaments matter for the UL Crown is because (1) it will confirm the order of the 8 teams based on the total Rolex Ranking Points for the 4 players in each team at the conclusion of the KPMG PGA Championship. (2) The teams will then be ranked #1 through #8 and then divided into two Pools. [In 2016 UL Crown, Pool A consisted of Teams #1, #4, #5 and #6. Pool B consisted of Team #2, #3, #6 and #7. ] Ideally, the Pools are balanced.

The Pools are important! All competitions the first three days are within the same Pool. The format for the first 3 days is "four-ball" (often known as "best ball"): Two players compete against two other players -- each playing their own ball. the best ball counted as the team's score. "Points will be awarded per match based on the following – two for a win, one for a tie and zero for a loss. All points from the four-ball matches will carry over to Sunday and the total cumulative points for the four days of competition will be used to determine the overall champion.

Who decides who plays with what team-partner in what order? A great question! There are no designated team captains. How will decisions be made? Will a team captain emerge? Will there be secret votes? I can't wait to find out! I will be following this tournament closely and posting additional lessons on Nancy's Golf Blog.

Two other articles I have written about the UL Crown that may be helpful are:
https://www.womensgolf.com/lpga-international-crown-rio-ol…/ and

https://www.womensgolf.com/foursomes-fourball/





 

[6/19/18] LESSON ONE -- UNDERSTANDING THE UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN LPGA TOURNAMENT:  

8 countries are finally finalized!

Commissioner Mike Whan made history when he came up with this format in 2016... but it's not easy to explain and understand. (My first career was teaching high school... hope that helps.)

The UL Crown is played in the alternate years of the Solheim Cup. The Solheim Cup is between Team USA and Team Europe. The UL Crown competition is more global, however, because in 2018 it will be a competition among teams from 8 different countries AND 4 different continents: Asia, North America, Europe and Australia.

THE FINAL EIGHT: The eight countries that will compete were determined based on the Rolex Rankings at the conclusion of the US Women's Open June 3. They are: Korea, USA, Japan, England, Australia, Thailand, Sweden and Chinese Taipei. (The top 4 players of the 8 countries had the highest TOTAL Rolex Ranking Points).

What is yet to be confirmed is just what four players from those 8 countries will have the highest Rolex Ranking points at the conclusion of the KPMG PGA Championship June 29-July 1. see the current standings at http://nancyberkley.com/nancy-s-golfblog.html.

 




[6/18/18] 8 TEAMS "ALMOST" FINALIZED FOR UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN -- Incheon Korea, October 4-7

The UL International Crown is the brainchild tournament of LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan.  The Commissioner likes team sports (in 2019, two team events have been added to the schedule).  The LPGA has participated in the Solheim Cup team event for many years.  But the Solheim Cup features players only from the United States and Europe.  With the LPGA message:  "A Global Tour Like No Other", the Commissioner wanted a global team event that is global.  And that's exactly what the UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN is.   The sponsor, United Laboratories, is a perfect fit with its mission of promoting responsible innovation. see https://www.unitedlabsinc.com/.  An innovative sponsor for an innovative tournament!

The UL Crown is a 4-day event -- competition among eight 4-person teams (each team from a different country) playing only two different formats:  fourballs and singles.  (One of the reasons I encourage women to watch this tournament is to learn about these key formats:  singles, foursomes.)  the eight countries that will be competiting were finalized at the conclusion of the US Women's Open and based on the Rolex Rankings.  (the countries with the 4 top golfers who had the  most Rolex Points were selected.  The eight countries (in order of their Rolex Rankings) are:  Korea, USA, Japan, England, Australia, Thailand, Sweden and Chinese Taipei.  To cap off the international flavor, the 2018 UL Crown will be held in Incheon, Korea (an hour west from Seoul) October 4-7/  

The Rolex Rankings were updated as of today June 18 reflecting results of Meijier LPGA Classic. There were no changes to the top 4 players of the 8 teams competing for the Crown based on June 11 Rankings. So yeon Ryu of Korea moved up to the #2 spot on her team -- what a performance at the Meijer LPGA Classic this past weekend. There are two tournaments remaining before team members finalized and the #5 player could replace the current #4 on a few teams. For the USA, keep eye on Danielle Kang. For Japan, keep eye on Misuzu Narita, For Sweden, Caroline Hedwall #4 could face a challenge from Jenny Hagland. For Chinese Taipei, Candie Kung must play well to hold her #4 spot. 

See an article I wrote about the 2016 UL Crown at https://www.womensgolf.com/lpga-international-crown-rio-olympics/

The updated rankings based on June 18 results will be posted on http://www.lpga.com/…/2018-ul-international-crown-team-sta…/ I just got up earlier today!!

An unusual feature of this tournament (and unlike the Solheim Cup) is that there is no designated Captain for the country-teams.  So ... think about it...   4 women have to make team decisions:  What player goes with what player on the alternate shot match?  Who goes with who on the "better ball" match.  And... there is a "wild card" feature that adds additional excitement.

Stay tuned to this event.   The 4 person teams will be finalized at the conclusion of the KPMG PGA Championship June 28-July 1.  (Actually teams finalized o Monday July 2, when Rolex Rankings are officially updated.)  Join me in following this tournament!!

 

 




[6/13/18] NUMBER OF GOLFERS IN U.S. INCREASED IN 2017 REPORTS NATIONAL GOLF FOUNDATION (NGF)

Every year the National Golf Foundation (NGF) in Jupiter, Florida (www.ngf.org) studies golf participation in the United States.  I have been tracking those numbers for many years -- almost two decades.  Recently the NGF reported the results of its 2017 study.  Important to note that the definition of a "golfer" has loosened up a little.  It now includes responders who say they have "played golf [on a golf course]at least once during the survey year."  (In prior years, "golfer" was defined more specifically and required that a person played at least one round of nine holes in the preceding year.)  

(1) For 2017, the total number of golfers ages 6 and older in the United States is 23.8 million -- the same as in 2016.The number of women golfers 18 and older remains at 4.9 million (same as 2016).  The years with the largest number of women golfers were 2004 to 2007 with about 6 million women golfers -- but survey methodogies may account for the difference.

(2) The number of adult male golfers in 2017 was 16.2 million -- a slight increase over previous year of 15.9 million.

(3) Juniors (ages 6-17) The number of girls ages 6-17 has increased slightly.  The number of boys (6-17) decreased slightly.  The overall total number of junior golfers has decreased slightly.  Reminder:  The definition of a golfer requires playing on a golf course and the assumption is that they were playing golf -- not just having fun in a golf cart.

(4) The most significant new reporting by the NGF involves capturing statistics of non-traditional golf -- in TopGolf facilities for example.  In addition to the traditional golf experience on a golf course, the NGF reports the following:

"An estimated 21 million people hit golf balls with a club at off-course locations.  Among off-course participants, 61% of them also played golf on an actual golf course in 2017."   Think about it:  About 7 million people in the U.S. ONLY hit golf balls at an off course location.  (What will it take to get them to the course?  Different dress codes?  Music in golf carts?  All something for the industry to think about.)  Note:  Many countries do not have many traditional golf courses.  "Golf" is enjoyed in those countries at driving ranges.

(5) Finally, the NGF gathered statistics on the number of people who are "looking to take up the game."  Over the last few years that number has increased fromm 12.8 million in 2016 to 14.9 million in 2017.  The NGF suggests that the increase is due "in part to the popularity of off-course-golf.

If you would like more information about the statistics, email me with your question using my Complimentary Help Line as described in the "About Nancy" tab.

 




6/11/18] HOW WOMEN-FRIENDLY IS YOUR GOLF COURSE?

As the golf season begins in northern climates and Womens Golf Day has introduced thousands of women to the game, women golfers are waiting to get out on the course.  "A good beginning is half the race" was my father's favorite advice. I developed this  little quiz based on my years of playing recreational golf while raising my family and working and then becoming a women's golf observer and writer.   It incorporates the work of Arthur D. Little and Jann Lemming about tee length. 

If any woman taking this quiz rates her course a 20, email me!!  I want to feature it.

Women/Friendly/Test

How Women-Friendly Is Your Golf Course? 

Answer these ten questions and then the BONUS questions. Does your facility? (One point for each "yes" answer plus (or minus) bonus points)  Maximum is 20 points.

1, Affordable introductory group lessons?
2. Provide clubs at no charge for beginner lessons?
3. Advertise programs and events for women using the word "fun" or "no pressure" or "beginners welcome"
4. Designate a visible section of the bulletin board (in Pro Shop or Locker Room) to promote women's events and news? 
5. Offer written handouts with basic information for new golfers including etiquette and pace of play?
6. Offer on-course playing lessons (or supervised play) for new golfers at affordable prices?
7. Offer 9-hole rounds (or shorter) at 9-hole rates (or less)?
8. Offer a choice of playing formats in leagues and outings for non-competitive women golfers as well as competitive golfers?
9. Provide customer-service training to your employees specifically about women customers?
10. Attractively display women's golf clothes and accessories in a visible portion of the pro shop?            

ADD POINTS – maximum 10

DEDUCT 3 points from total if facility does NOT have clean, attractive women's rest rooms both on and off the course.

BONUS POINTS!!!! ADD 5 points for Diaper-changing table in men’s rest rooms.
      

BIGGER BONUS!!!  Add 5 points if course has a set of "playable" tees -- 4500 yards or less. (new recommendation you will read about is for 4000 yard set of tees.   Distance off the tee is very related to the swing speed of the golfer and recreational women golfers "tend" to have slower swing speeds than men.   It is very challenging for most women to learn to swing faster (kids learn that under newer theories).  But my golf colleague, Karen Palacious Jensen, reminded me to check to make sure that I was hitting the ball on"sweet spot" of my driver-- and I made an adjustment that made a difference.  Ask your golf instructor to explain and measure whether you are hitting that sweet spot (the pro puts a piece of paper on the face of the driver that shows where it is making contact with the ball). 

HERE'S HOW I GRADE….
8-20 points = "women-friendly" 

____________

WHAT TO DO NEXT....

If the golf facility where you usually play golf does not meet your standards (and my grading), then it's time for women to take a bigger role in leadership.  

My favorite and most popular article about how to do that is "Why Women Golfers Must Be Leaders" and the HOW? is my advice about leadership at: 

https://www.womensgolf.com/women-golfers-leaders/

 




[June 11, 2018]  SHOPRITE LPGA CLASSIC PRESENTED BY ACER (June 8-10 Seaview, New Jersey) 

Annie Park from the United States Wins plus some Fashion Notes

Congratulations to Annie Park for her victory at the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer.  See final Leaderboard at http://www.lpga.com/tournaments/shoprite-lpga-classic-presented-by-acer/results

I could discuss her great putting and her long putter, but cannot help but mention the golf attire in this tournament. And it's a trend! (I noticed it in the US Women's Open also.) More solids with an "all-in-one" look -- more sun-protection sleeves and tops designed to match them to appear as one shirt. Lots of pleats on back of skorts -- but no plaids or patterns or even flower-prints. It's like the LPGA Tour is getting all grown-up and sophisticated.

There are some great designs coming into shops now -- but many prints are subtle and the fabrics have a shimmer rather than a pattern. (the Annika designs are beautiful and the Greg Norman fabrics also use a beautiful shimmer fabric.)

See LPGA MEDIA for more about the SHOPRITE LPGA CLASSIS: 

http://www.lpga.com/news/2018-what-you-missed-from-shoprite-lpga-classic

 




[June 10, 2018]  THE 2018 CURTIS CUP -- USGA Women's Amateur USA vs. Amateur England/Ireland

FINALS June 10, 2018:  USA WON the 

The Curtis Match Cup sponsored by the USGA and R&A is for female amateur golfers -- very good amateurs who we are likely to see in future professional women's tours. It is a team match (the United States vs. Great Britain and Ireland) The final round of the 3-day match is Sunday, June 10. US has the lead. See this link to see current standings: 

http://www.usga.org/…/articl…/saturday-curtis-cup-gamer.html

The format of the Curtis Cup is very similar to the Solheim Cup for professional golfers played in alternate years of the Curtis Cup. The formats are Fourballs (Better Ball), Foursomes (Alternate Shots) and Individual Play on final day.

To refresh your memory about the formats, see my article:   https://www.womensgolf.com/foursomes-fourball/.

The LPGA's 2018 UL International Crown -- a team event among 8 countries -- October 4-7 in Incheon Korea (first time event played out of the US) uses the Fourball format on all three days -- two-somes vs two-somes... very exciting).

 




[June 8, 2018]  PGA TOUR GOING GLOBAL -- Mystery Solved!  WHY LPGA TOUR AND PGA TOUR HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO GET TOGETHER


I have wondered why it has been so difficult for the LPGA Tour to work with the PGA Tour and come up with formats for women and men team events. Now mystery solved. The PGA Tour has been focused on its own global agenda.   The PGA Tour was paid $2 BILLION dollars by Discovery (a big media company) for the rights to media broadcasting of the PGA Tour worldwide.  

LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan was first to recognize the global golf market. Now PGA Tour has also. 

As reported in the Orlando Florida Sentinel newspaper today June 8, in discussing the merits of the PGA Tour deal with Discovery TV, the CEO of Discovery said "Half of the top players on the PGA Tour come from outside the United States. “There is no sport that’s more global than the PGA Tour,”  I guess that's why Discovery paid $2 BILLION dollars to the PGA Tour for the rights to televise, stream and use all the new tech developmenets.

My response -- after checking out the PGA Tour -- "Oh, Really?" It depends on how "global" is defined. As I look at the world and all continents, I believe that the LPGA Tour best illustrates a "global" golf Tour with its events in Asia -- (especially Korea and Japan).

[Check my Facebook page for more posts about this.]

 




[June 8, 2018] LPGA 2017 New LPGA Dress Code -- Is it still working? 

One of the most popular articles I have written was about fashion and the new LPGA Dress Code announced last July 2017.  See http://nancyberkley.com/nancy-s-blog.html.   The cover photo of Michelle on that article is in one of her more daring outfits  before the LPGA new dress code went into effect. Michelle has not worn anything like that red/white outfit since... in a LPGA tournament.

But I have had many comments recently on my social media pages.  My favorite  is "What happened to the new dress code? My answer: "It's still in effect!"

The focus is often on Michelle. She is tall and when she wears skorts. her legs look very long and her skort looks very short. But she is following the official rule : "Length of skirt, skort, and shorts MUST be long enough to not see your bottom area (even if covered by under shorts) at any time, standing or bent over." She knows how to bend over to mark her ball -- she bends her knees -- and her "bottom" does not show. (If you are always watching Michelle's bottom -- try watching golf instead.) In the recent US Women's Open, another player wore a very-sleeveless top (racer-back style) BUT it had a collar which complies with the LPGA rules.

The players in the recent US Women's Open dressed, in general, conservatively -- lots of black. The USGA is very important and is itself a conservative governing body. I believe that the players dressed accordingly. I haven't seen players wearing as many classic shorts and belts in a long time! I will be watching the ShopRite LPGA Classic June 28-July 1 presented by Acer this weekend to see if black still prevails..

More fashion: I was at the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show and soon will write about the newest fashion trends. Buyers at the Show are buying for June through October golf season. You will see the beautiful Annika new designs with some sparkles in them. And some shimmer in Greg Norman. Also lots of geometric/graphic design in new, beautiful synthetic fabrics from Asian fabric designers. "Millennial Pink" on the way out with more peach and violet on the way in. The soft-peach matching skort and top that PUMA designs for Lexi will be there also. The LPGA Tour is a global tour with lots of fashion.

 




[June 3, 2018]  ROLEX RANKINGS AND THE INTERNATIONAL CROWN -- WHO WILL MAKE THE TEAMS? -- TOP 4 PLAYERS FROM EACH OF THE FOLLOWING COUNTRIES: Korea, USA, Japan, England, Australia, Thailand, Sweden, Chinese Taipei.

HOW TO USE THE ROLEX RANKINGS WEBSITE TO TRACK THE UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN TEAMS 

 Here's my step by step guide to using the new Rolex Rankings Chart to understand who has a chance of being one of the four players and how close the competition is for those spots. The Rolex Rankings is using a new format this year, which is tricky to use. For those with patience and determination, here are instructions on how to use it. Once you get used to it... it gets easier to use and then you will have fun keeping track of who will make the teams.

1. go to https://www.rolexrankings.com/rankings home page  -- but keep access to this post
2. Hit "RANKINGS" at top of page below Rolex logo and all players will now be listed in order of their current rankings.
3. Hit the top of the third column "Country" and the list will sort itself into countries in alphabetical order. Next....
4. Go to center of page to small box "Search Player/Country"
5. Click that small box and then hit "Country" (make sure green dot moves to "country") and the list should sort by country --alphabetical order: ARGentina is first.  But -- we want to see the 8 countries that will be in the UL Crown and what 4 players are likely to be on the team.
6. In the that search box in the center where you were, type in the country abbreviation for one of the 8 countries: KOR, USA, JPN, ENG, AUS, TPE, SWE, THA. 
7. For example: type in "THA" (abbreviation for Thailand) and look at the order of players. The rankings go by "average points" -- which measures how well the players did in the tournaments they played in (that means that players who play in lots of tournaments don't automatically hit the top of the list.) Notice how competitive the third and fourth positions are for Thailand's team.

8. Congratulations if you got this far. Now have fun and keep track of players in all 8 countries. On Monday, after the completion of the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer, the rankings will be updated to reflect how players did in the tournament.

On my webpage, I have a "Complimentary Help Line"... use it if you need help understanding the Rankings for the UL International Crown. This is a great tournament. I will be writing more about the unique format. Most unique is that there are no designated captains for each of the eight teams. (unlike the Solheim Cup Captains). This was a feature that Commissioner Mike Whan "invented" for this tournament. I love "team philosophy" -- every player is mutually accountable for the team's result. No one can blame a captain!

 




[June 2, 2018] ARIYA JUTANUGARN WINS US WOMEN'S OPEN AT SHOAL CREEK, ALABAMA

IN DRAMATIC 4-HOLE PLAYOFF (new format from USGA) -- COMMENTS ABOUT FOX-TV COVERAGE

Jutanugarn began the fourth day of the US Women's Open with a 7 shot lead.  But on the back nine of the final round, Jutanugarn lost some of her focus -- her "mental-game".  (For a good summary of how Ariya describes her mental game see LPGA Media account at  http://www.lpga.com/news/2018-five-things-to-know-final-round-us-womens-open.)    Hyo Joo Kim of Korea played outstanding golf on the back nine and they ended up tied at the end of the final round.  The USGA recently introduced a new format for tie-breakers which governed this match.  Two holes are played and the player with the lowest aggregate score is the winner; but, if still tied, the players move to a sudden death format on the same two holes.  For this course, the USGA used holes 14 and 18 for the tie-breakers.  The two were still tied after three holes.  Coming into the 18th, both players hit into the green side bunkers.  Ariya hit a bunker shot within a foot of the pin -- and made the putt.  Kim's bunker shot was not as good and left her a longer put, which she missed.  And the winner:  Ariya Jutanugarn.  I had read and posted about the new USGA rule about tied matches.  And I wondered whether some players would do better in the aggregate score holes or in the sudden death.  I was hoping they had a psychologist in the booth talking about that... but they didn't.  (all readers' comments welcome)

 

The USGA's television production by FOX and FOX1 of the tournament was outstanding in many ways.  First, the main sponsor, Rolex, agreed to no commercials during the tournament although Rolex credit was often mentioned.  That maintained a pace of play visually that kept you watching.  (no kitchen breaks)   The television cameras were not only numerous but had some kind of lenses that provided very close-photos.  Some shots must have been from cameras in trees -- or maybe drones -- but amazing "You are there" photography.  How deep was the ball in the grass?  The camera shots showed you just how deep?  There was an "intimacy" with the players with close up shots that were unique but could not have been intrusive (must be some zoom lense technology).  And the real bonus was Juli Inkster in the booth.  As I watched, I made a list of her comments that were so riveting.  It wasn't that she was a player herself.  It was that she knew the players personally because she still plays tournament golf.  

 

ABOUT MARKETING GOLF:  I have had several conversations with LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan about the quality of US television of the LPGA Tour (usually the Golf Channel/NBC) coverage of the LPGA Tours.  The answer appears to be that the extra-special TV photography techniques costs money and that means more sponsors -- and the LPGA Tour just isn't there... yet.  But, I have another theory that explains the difference between the quality of television coverage by the USGA and the LPGA Tour that goes beyond just the financial issue.

The USGA product -- what it markets -- are primarily golf tournaments for professionals and amaterus.  The LPGA products (according to my interview with the Commissioner) are the LPGA Tour players.  There is a big difference between marketing a Tour and marketing 100 players from 60+ countries.

Marketing a tournament is easy (if there is sponsor money).  Augusta has a brand and is brilliant at promoting it.  the LPGA introduced a good marketing message this season:  "A Global Golf Tour Like No Other."  But that markets the LPGA Tour. 

Marketing a golfer -- that's much harder.  (There are very few Tiger Woods!!) How do you decide which player or players to market?  And what are you promoting?  The players' skills, their styles, the backgrounds, the countries, the personal drama and struggle to get to the Tour?    How do you market 150 LPGA Tour players?   It's a challenge but I have confidence that Mike Whan and his team will figure it out.   I will not be surprised to see an ad campaign that has the flavor of that wonderful "It's a Big World After All" message with a little twist:  "It's a Big World of Women Golfers After All.'  

 




[May 23, 2018]  --  WOMEN'S GOLF GETTING MORE ATTENTION IN SCOTLAND.

SCOTLAND -- ROYAL & ANCIENT (R&A) ANNOUNCE "WOMEN IN GOLF CHARTER" 

The English governing body of golf , the R&A (comparable to the USGA but different from the Royal & Ancient Golf Club which is really a golf-course-club) announced a new program focused on increasing the number of female golfers -- girls and women. The new Charter is also supported by the Ladies European Tour.  As I read quickly through the charter, the most important feature is that it sets targets of participation -that presumably will be measured.

What is driving this interest in women's golf participation? In my opinion, one reason is that the global growth of the LPGA Tour under the leadership of Commissioner Mike Whan, has increased the participation of recreational female golfers and fans including the important youth segment.

No one wants to be left behind as that train leaves the station! I will be writing more about this new R&A Charter.  See https://www.randa.org/News/2018/05/The-RandA-unveil-Women-in-Golf-Charter-at-The-Shard-in-London#.Ww2InqYT_x0.facebook




A LITTLE HISTORY... US WOMEN'S OPEN -- SHOAL CREEK AND HOW THE PGA OF AMERICA CHANGED GOLF HISTORY in 1990

Women golfers are beginning to assemble at the Shoal Creek Golf & Country Club in Alabama for one of the most prestigious women's golf tournaments -- the US Women's Open Championship Conducted by the USGA. But there is a connection between US history and Shoal Creek that - represents how the game of golf shaped history. (This probably will not be mentioned in the broadcasts of the U.S. Women's Open, but I taught American history and want to share this background.)

In 1990, a scheduled PGA of America tournament at Shoal Creek became a critical "tipping point" – a beginning – in ending race discrimination at golf clubs and broadening golf club membership to women as well.

The tipping point occurred in 1990 when the PGA of America announced it would not hold its tournament at Shoal Creek until the club agreed to admit African-Americans. In response, Shoal Creek agreed to change its membership policy. Most importantly, since then the major golf organizations in the United States have rules regarding course selection that require clubs that host their events to meet inclusive membership requirements.

As we watch the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open at Shoal Creek with women golfers from all over the globe with many different backgrounds, let it be a reminder how the game of golf changed American history… for the better. For those who love history and golf, see this July 29, 1990 article in the New York Times at https://www.nytimes.com/…/golf-racism-issue-shakes-world-of….


 




[May 11, 2018] GREAT "GOLF GIFT" IDEAS:  [written for Mother's Day in US but good for any day and for any friend] 

These will work for most holidays and birthdays and easy to shop for.

!. Buy partner or good friend a golf lesson from the best golf instructor at a club near you.  If never played golf before this will be great introduction.  And, if already a golfer, then there will be lots of topics that to focus on.
2. Buy a golf club or even a set of new clubs.  Surprise tha special person with a gift certificate for new clubs.  And, don’t forget the golf shoes. 
3.Take a golf lesson yourself! 

4. This may sound like a strange gift for “her,” but nothing makes golf more special than to play with members of your family      or good friends.   Some of my best memories are playing golf with children and the golf trips my husband and I have taken. 
5. Give a special person the gift of your “time” and go to the golf course or range.  Those few hours on the golf course will always be special.

If you give the gift of golf, it will keep on giving. 
 




[May 23, 2018] BREAKING NEWS!  LPGA TOUR MAKES DEEPER ROOTS IN KOREA FOR 2019

The city of Busan in Southeast Korea will host a new tournament in October 2019 with BMW sponsorship. 

The Busan course will be owned and managed (I think) by the LPGA in a similar model that the PGA Tour uses for its TPC courses. The course will undergo some restoration by famous US golf course architect, ReesJones. Incheon, Korea (on the northeast coast near Seoul) will be the site of the 2018 UL International Crown Tournament October 4-7. In an interview I had with Commissioner Mike Whan back in November, he explained that it was important that the Korean LPGA Tour players experience the enthusiasm of their fellow Korean galleries and crowds especially given the historic role that Korea has played in women's golf.

I'm already looking into plane routes. I think as a golf writer and advocate for women's golf, I would also find the Busan experience thrilling to be a part of. The LPGA message is "A Global Tour Like No Other." But I'm thinking that "It's a Small World After All" might also be appropriate!

 




[May 2018]  "SHAME ON US" SAYS MIKE WHAN, LPGA COMMISSIONER 

 I often write about Commissioner Mike Whan's marketing skill. But it only succeeds if a financial base supports it. That's why each and every new sponsor is so important to the future of the LPGA Tour. In a recent LPGA media release, the Commissioner reported the following: "We've added 20 title sponsors and over 20 official marketing partners during [the last six years]. Don't know too many sports that could claim that."

Commissioner Whan then added: "The last two years have been unprecedented for us but if this is as good as it gets, then shame on us," said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan, who is continually looking to push the envelope, enhance business relationships, grow the tournament schedule and increase exposure and opportunities for the entire LPGA membership. See full media release at http://www.lpga.com/…/2018-lpga-nominated-in-two-categories…

That sounds like a plan to me! I'm on board and will enjoy writing about the Tour's future growth. I've been writing about women's golf and girls' golf for over fifteen years. I have never observed this level of leadership and management of the LPGA Tour. And I am sure there is more ahead. 

 




 

[  May 2018]   NEW LPGA SEASON-LONG AWARDS AWARDED AT END OF FINAL 2018 EVENT

It is almost half-way through the LPGA Tour season at the LPGA Volvik Championship. Although each tournament has a dollar-amount prize for the top finishers, the LPGA Tour has added several "season-long" competitions that have helped to make each tournament more important. Good work, Commissioner! Follow this list:

Depending on her performance, a player may move up or down on the Rolex Rankings. see http://www.rolexrankings.com/rankings. If a player moved up, her name is green; if she moved down, her name is red; if she stayed at same place, her name is black. Use the search by country tab also.
Where she ranks on the Rolex Rankings will affect whether her country is one of 8 country-teams participating in the UL International Crown in Incheon, Korea in October. see current UL Crown standings at www.lpga.com
Player's performance could help her win the innaugural "LEADERS Top-10 Finisher" ($100,000 to the player with the most Top-10 finishes on the 2018 season sponsored by LEADERS.)
Race to the CME Globe Championship in November at season's end. See current standings at http://www.lpga.com/race-to-cme-globe. There is both a winner of the CME season-long points race AND a winner of the last tournament who receives one million dollars
That's why the new LPGA marketing message is "A Global Tour Like No Other."
 





[MAY 2018 ]  LPGA - FIVE RECENT UPDATES for 2019 LPGA TOUR -- You may have missed some - catch up!

UPDATE #5. The 2019 LPGA Tour will begin in Orlando, Florida with the inaugural Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions, -- Jan. 17-20, 2019, at Tranquilo Golf Club (Tom Fazio design) at Four Seasons Resort Orlando in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The field will include LPGA winners from the 2017 and 2018 seasons AND 45 celebrity participants and 10 amateurs, who will be paired with LPGA players for all four tournament days. The format will be 72 holes of stroke play for the LPGA players with no cut, while the amateurs will compete using a Modified Stableford scoring format. (The Stableford format awards points for eagles, birdies, and pars -- amateurs and celebrities will be allowed to use their handicaps.) Just when I was about to complain that the LPGA Tour was not innovative enough.... this came along! But, the LPGA Tour has to make sure it doesn't lose the core values of its Founders as it adjusts to fans who are looking for something different. I have confidence in Commissioner Mike Whan that this new "mixed team" format will serve to enhance the talent and skill of the players on the LPGA Tour, which is always the Commissioner's guiding principle.

UPDATE #4 -- FIRST OFFICIAL TEAM COMPETITION IN LPGA TOUR HISTORY NEXT MAY 2019

From LPGA News Release: The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) and The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) announced on May 10th a new official LPGA Tour event coming to Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay Region next summer. The Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, a 72-hole team event, will debut at Midland Country Club from July 17-20, 2019. The partnership between Dow and the LPGA is initially for five years. The 72-hole, stroke-play tournament will feature 72 two-player teams competing in both foursomes and four-ball with a $2 million purse.

“We are so thrilled to bring this event to the region to further showcase all that the Great Lakes Bay area has to offer,” said Jim Fitterling, chief executive officer-elect of Dow. “The impact of this event will extend far beyond the golf course, as this unique partnership offers a great platform to build our community and explore the intersections between golf, our business, and life, especially in the areas of careers and inclusion

UPDATE #3 - BUICK SPONSORS SHANGAI TOURNAMENT.  The October 18-20, 2019  tournament -- the first LPGA event in Shanghai, China -- now has a name and a sponsor. (A tournament in Shanghai has been on the 2018 LPGA calendar with no name or sponsor.) Buick's five-year sponsorship confirms the LPGA's commitment to the countries of Asia and its market position as a "global tour". Congratulations to Commissioner Mike Whan and the LPGA marketing team for their dedication and hard work. And thanks to Buick! (My first car just happens to have been a Buick)

UPDATE #2: "LEADERS TOP 10" -- The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) announced March 12 that LEADERS Cosmetics, a global leader in facial masks and skincare products, has extended its relationship with the LPGA through 2020, and its designation has been broadened to Official Cosmetics Partner.

As part of this expanded relationship, a ‘LEADERS Top 10’ competition has been launched, with the LPGA player who records the most top-10 finishes at the end of the season taking home a $100,000 bonus. [ARIYA JUTANUGARN WON THE KINGSMILL SUNDAY MAY 20 - SO SHE IS IN THE RUNNING FOR THE "TOP 10" BONUS]

NEWS UPDATE #1 -- TURNER FAMILY LEADERSHIP AWARDS: June 12-13, 2018 -- For the second year the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Foundation will partner with the Turner Family Foundation of the Twin Cities (St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota) to continue to develop the next generation of female leaders when the first of five LPGA Leadership Academies on the 2018 schedule is held next month. Women's leadership programs are in the news for all the right reasons: Our personal values are established when we are young.

I grew up in St. Paul and went to the University of Minnesota. (One of the great LPGA Founders, Patty Berg, was born in Minnesota.) I will be going back to St. Paul next week to award the first student award under a scholarship my family and I recently established at my high school: St. Paul Central -- the oldest high school in the state and the high school that has graduated more Rhodes Scholars than any other high school in the country. I think the school taught "leadership" -- we just didn't know it at the time . Many thanks to the Turner Family for continuing our Twin Cities traditions. Congratulations to the award recipients.

 

For more about leadership see an article I wrote  (It's a real favorite!) ... "Why Women Golfers Must Be Leaders -- and It's Not About Hitting the Ball" at   https://www.womensgolf.com/women-golfers-leaders/




 

[   May ]  LPGA BREAKING NEWS:  New Team Format on the LPGA Tour in 2019.

THE GREAT LAKES BAY INVITATIONAL is innovative in that 144 LPGA golfers playing as two-person teams (72 teams) with a $2 million purse. -- will be the first "official team competition." 

Hmmm? Isn't the International Crown a team competition-- and isn't the Solheim Cup a team competition? Yes! But the difference is important. In the UL Internaitonal Crown, there are 32 LPGA Tour players and in the Solheim, only 12 on Team USA (and some on Team Europe). In contrast, the Great Lakes Bay Invitational will include 144 LPGA players in the field over 4 days of play and that has never been done. (It will make my History of Women's Golf Timeline at http://nancyberkley.com/774892.html

I hear your next question: Won't 144 players take forever? Not really because the tournament will use both Foursome and Fourball formats. The Foursome format is alternate shot -- that's quick. The Fourball does have all each two-person team playing the hole, but it is the "better-ball" score of the twosome; and it is not unusual for only one team member to be playing out the hole if the other is really in trouble -- and that speeds things up -- and makes it exciting. See an article I wrote about the formats at:https://www.womensgolf.com/foursomes-fourball/

This will be the second innovative format on the LPGA 2019 schedule. The first in January is a mixed women/men/celebrity format -- details still to be announced

------------- 

IN MY OPINION:  And in another article about the new DOW Chemical Team event, LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan explained background for the new LPGA Team event and why he is not pushing for a womens/mens event..  According to Global Golf Post... "[Mike Whan] also still preaches the virtues of a future mixed-team tournament where, in Whan’s words, “fans can see Lexi Thompson and Bubba Watson partnering and reading putts for each other. That’ll be great.”“


But if I know the Commissioner, and I think I do, he won't launch a mixed team event until he knows he's got it right. In interviews he has always told me the product of the LPGA Tour is "the LPGA player." Everything the LPGA does must be to make the LPGA player look better than ever. He won't take a short-cut that short-changes the LPGA players. That's my opinion 

 SHORT GEOGRAPHY LESSON:  ABOUT THE GREAT LAKES  IN THE U.S. -- site of the first LPGA "Team" Event.

 

The new 2019 LPGA Tour "team" event -- the Great Lakes Bay Team Invitational sponsored by DOW Chemical -- is located at the Midland Country Club near the shore of Lake Huron one of the five "Great Lakes" in northern United States. The Great Lakes is the largest group of fresh water lakes on our earth (thank you, Wikipedia). I grew up in Minnesota and often visited Lake Superior, the lake farthest west. Heading east is Lake Michigan (Chicago is on Lake Michigan), Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. A river system connected Lake Ontario out to the Atlantic Ocean. Early settlers from Europe entered the US from the Atlantic Ocean using the Great Lakes and rivers to settlements in northern United States. The Great Lakes border Canada. Michigan - where the DOW  has an amazing number of golfers and fans... especially since those beautiful links are covered with snow for much of the year.




SOLHEIM CUP SEPTEMBER 2019 GETS BIG NEW SPONSOR: JOHN DEERE COMPANY .  

John Deere, one of the world’s leading golf course equipment suppliers, is confirmed as the latest big name partner to commit to The Solheim Cup at Gleneagles, Scotland, September 9th – 15th, 2019. 

There are TWO "international" competitive events on the LPGA Tour in alternate years:  The Solheim Cup and the UL International Crown.  They are "team" events (country vs country) and I write and report on both.  They are expensive events to stage and produce and sponsors are important.  Thanks to the John Deere company for stepping up as sponsor early. 

The 2018 UL International Crown October 4-7, 2018 (an LPGA Tour sponsored event - eight countries with 4-person teams compete in different match play formats) is still relatively new on the LPGA Tour.   To see what 8 countries are likely to compete for the 2018 Crown see http://www.lpga.com/tournaments/2018-ul-international-crown-team-standings  (currently: Korea, US, England, Japan, Australia, Thailand, Sweden, Chinese Taipai).  Also see an article I wrote about the 2016 Crown at https://www.womensgolf.com/lpga-international-crown-rio-olympics/.  

In 2019 - September 9-15, the Solheim Cup --  Team USA vs. Team Europe -- will be held in Scotland.   I have attended and written about Solheim Cup 2015 (in Germany), 2017 (in Des Moines, Iowa) and look forward to 2019 in Scotland. This is a really big, great tournament with a long history.  The Captains for each team have already been selected:  Juli Inkster for Team USA and Catriona Matthew for Team Europe.  See the home site for the tournament at http://solheimcup2019.com/.  Here is one article I wrote about Solheim 2017 that explains the format https://www.womensgolf.com/solheim-cup-2017/.  And one of my favorite articles is about Louise Solheim, who along with her husband established the PING golf company and who have generously funded the Solheim Cup -- see https://www.womensgolf.com/louise-solheim/

And almost forgot the Olympics which now includes golf will be held in summer 2020 summer in Tokyo, Japan  (at a course about an hour south of Tokyo).  For some background see my article about the return of golf to the Olympics at https://www.womensgolf.com/olympics/

It's easy to understand why the new marketing message of the LPGA Tour is "A Global Tour Like No Other."  LPGA Tour players will be in all the international events and many also play on European, Asian, and Australian tours that will represent their countries in the Olympics.   A good time to learn world geography! 

 




VOLUNTEER OF AMERICA TEXAS CLASSIC -- May 3 to May 6 (outshttps://www.womensgolf.com/solheim-cup-2017/ide Dallas, Texas at the Old American Golf Club) --  What is the sponsor selling?  Why advertise to golfers?

In an interview with LPGA Commissioner last November I asked him why a "volunteer" organization would sponsor an LPGA Tournament.  There is no product to buy. It's not about "profits".  The Commissioner didn't waste a minute answering my question.  He explained that the TV audience for women's golf had the most important ingredient to offer:  Time! 

Now it all made sense to me.  Although more young golfers are coming into the game -- and more millennials -- the TV fans for golf are "probably" not out coaching little league teams or taking kids to parks.  The TV audience probably (not gathered statistics yet) includes many viewers who are retired or partially retired -- and have time!  There are some other factors at work in our society that also promote volunteer-ism and "giving back".  

Interestingly, this is the only event on the LPGA Tour that promotes the role of volunteers. (You can't buy this sponsor's product in a store!) I will have more to say about Volunteers of America because it has an importat history and seems to be able to produce some of the best spots about women's golf of any sponsor.

The short pieces are intimate and dramatic insights into the mind of serious women golfers; Don't leave your TV to go to the kitchen when these spots come on! Let me know if you agree.



STACY LEWIS announces she is having a baby.  And her sponsor KPMG responds with great news.  Below is a copy of my Facebook post.

CONGRATULATIONS TO STACY AND HER HUSBAND.

KPMG, THANK YOU!. On behalf of all working moms for launching "LPGA FAMILY LEAVE" for KPMG-sponsored players and leading the way. Mothers are great golfers....Nancy Lopez. Julie Inkster, Christie Kerr -- . And team Europe 2019 Solheim Captain Catriona Matthew to name just a few. Perfect role for Stacy in the announcers booth over the next month's. @KPMG. #whatareyoushootingfor.

Here is a portion from an article for GOLFWEEK magazine written by star supporter Beth Ann Nichols:

"As Lewis began to tell friends, family and sponsors the happy news, she got an unexpected follow-up phone call from KPMG. The way most sponsorship contracts are written, Lewis said, players get paid based in part on the number of tournaments they compete in. For example, if she had to play in a minimum number of 20 events and played in only 10, she’d get half the pay.

“(KPMG) called me a couple days later and said they wanted to pay me for the whole contract, regardless of the number of tournaments I played in,” said Lewis. “They see me as a member of their team and their family and they wanted to treat me like any other female in their organization that has a baby. Which I was pretty blown away by, shocked to get that phone call really.”

To read the entire GOLFWEEK article go to

https://golfweek.com/2018/04/26/stacy-lewis-pregnant-with-1st-child-sponsor-shows-unexpected-support/



KPMG, a leading worldwide accounting firm, is a strong supporter of women's golf and sponsor a "major" tournament on the LPGA Tour:  the KPMG Women's PGA Championship. June 28-July 1.  At this tournament, the final four players for each of the 8 teams competing in the UL International Crown will be announced based on the current Rolex Rankings. 

P.S. Just to note that the next President of the PGA of America will be Suzy Whaley -- the first female president of The PGA.... and the mother of two talented daughters (golfers, of course!).

For another article about the impact of the KPMG decision see the Business Insider at:

http://www.businessinsider.com/stacy-lewis-kpmg-lpga-sponsor-maternity-leave-2018-4

 




HAVE YOU NOTICED?  More Women's Product-Sponsors on the LPGA Tour

There are more sponsors of the LPGA Tour that make and sell products specifically for women? The LPGA has had a long sponsorship-history with Pure Silk shaving cream for women (and Barbasol shaving cream for men.). But read on...

The current LPGA event in San Francisco is sponsored by MEDIHEAL which sells a cosmetic face-mask product to improve the look, feel and health of our complexions. Next season, another skin care manufacturer LEADERS (also a face-mask product) will sponsor a first-time women/men/celebrity event in January. Both MEDIHEAL and LEADERS ares successful Korean-based cosmetic manufacturers that sell their products all over the world. . (Before writing this post, I spent some time interviewing an esthetician to understand the face-mask products and learned about their increased popularity in the U.S..)

To see MEDIHEAL and LEADERS come on board as sponsors of the LPGA suggests that more women are watching more LPGA Tour golf.-- all over the globe The recent announcement that UBS and Prudential Securities will be sponsoring programs for working women to learn the game adds to the good news. And so much more to come this season -- the US Women's Open, the KPMG Women's Championship, the UL International Crown and the grand finale Race to the CME Globe in November. I'm already thinking 2020 Olympics in Tokyo! (this will also be posted on Nancy's Blog at http://nancyberkley.com/nancy-s-blog.html. 

This blog post first appeared on my Facebook Page -- Follow me on Facebook and Twitter -- go to Home Page for click-on icons.

 




 WHY WE WILL BE SEEING MORE GREAT WOMEN GOLFERS FROM THE U.S. 

As I read about this wonderful new young woman golfer, Alexa Pano, (from Coral Gables, Florida) I am reminded of Lexi Thompson at a similar age.

Read the Global Golf Post article at http://read.nxtbook.com/global_golf_post/local/20180423_fsga/index.html#alexa_pano_feature

But this article (long but worth every paragraph) suggests that it's not just one American girl but a significant trend among talented US girls taking up golf. The numbers of young golfers (from the National Golf Foundation) confirm this especially because the NGF now includes girls and women who play less than a full nine or 18 holes -- what beginners do!

The new measurements suggest that golf is a growing sport in the US and with the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf, support from Annika, TopGolf and new golf ranges, there is really nothing to stop the trend. [I always remind readers, that these are the children of the children who went to school in the US after Title IX was enacted and girls were provided comparable opportunities to play sports.]

With the upcoming release from the NGF about the numbers of golfers, I expect that this trend will be statistically confirmed.  I have written several articles about the girls golf.  See "Is Junior Golf Really Good for Kids?" at https://www.womensgolf.com/is-junior-golf-good-for-kids/

And there is a new program for children ages 2 to 5 .  http://littlegolftrain.com/.  The Little Golf Train is taught by certified instructors in a program developed by Dr. Patricia Donnelly.  Here is the Little Golf T.R.A.I.N.™ Mission Statement:  "To provide children ages 2-5 with a research-based, holistic, early-learning environment and introduce them to the fundamentals of golf and accompanying life skills. To foster a love of the game of golf through a developmentally appropriate curriculum rooted in evidence-based research. To provide golf professionals with turn-key resources to help build a safe, fun and effective early-learning environment for children ages 2-5." 

And look at the wonderful programs (with sites all over the United States) at :  http://www.uskidsgolf.com/  AND at the LPGA/USGA Girls Golf Program at many sites all over the country  https://www.girlsgolf.org/ And the PGA of America has introduced a league program that merges teaching and competition see https://www.pgajrleague.com/.  And one of the first junior programs introduced years ago is still growing and thriving:  The First Tee at  https://thefirsttee.org.

Your young golfer may not win a gold medal at the Olympics, or play in the Solheim Cup, or win a USGA tournament, or top the leaderboard at an LPGA Tour event.  But she will learn a game that teaches not only golf-skills, but also life-skills.  And nothing is really more important than that in the end.  

 

 




WHERE IS THE LPGA TOUR PLAYING NEXT?  EASY-TO-DO ADVICE FOR WOMEN GOLFERS 

One way the number of women's golfers (and girls also) will grow is by watching more of the LPGA Tour on television.  There is more TV coverage than!  Just watching a few holes and listening to the announcers is a lesson in itself.  Many golfers are encouraged to try the game from watching the professionals.  The really good news is that there are many more programs for new golfers than ever. 

STEP ONE:  Go to the LPGA website (www.lpga.com and then go to the Tournaments tab and download the schedule.  http://www.lpga.com/tournaments/download-lpga-schedule

STEP TWO:  Print the schedule out and put it up on the women's locker room bulletin board and on your club's main bulletin board. and certainly in the Pro Shop (women are the best customers!)..

STEP THREE:  I suggest you "CHECK OFF" the tournaments played so women can easily see what's next.

STEP FOUR:  If your golf shop only shows men's golf tournaments on the shop TV, teach them how to record an LPGA tournament and replay it in the pro shop.  [If your proshop is not showing women's golf tournaments on the TV, better read "ADVICE FOR WOMEN GOLFERS (my all-time favorite article)   https://www.womensgolf.com/women-golfers-leaders/

STEP FIVE:  If you have a really good golf professional at your club or a great Women's Golf Committee Chairperson, suggest this tournament format:  Pick a Pro for Your Partner.   Have your pro select about twenty-plus of the top pros who will be in the field of an upcoming tournament; members should try to each pick a different pro as their partner.  The Winner will be announced after the tournament:  Net score of your member plus score of the pro she picked.   And then print out the final Leaderboard from the lpga.com site and your member who was smart enough (or lucky enough) to be her partner.  What this simple fun tournament teaches is how to use the LPGA website and how to get to know the LPGA players and to watch the LPGA Tour on TV (live or record ed).  

 






 WHERE ARE THE ROLEX WORLD RANKINGS (HOW DO I USE THEM?)

AND WHERE IS THE UPDATE ON THE UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN???

Check out the Rolex Women's Golf Rankings at the Official Rolex Web
http://www.rolexrankings.com/en/rankings/?help.

I like this page of the Rankings because it shows which players moved up and which moved down. At bottom of page use the scroll button to page 2 and notice that Azahara Munoz of Spain moved up 15 places after the last tournament!!

She could help Spain move into the UL International Crown. This is also a good page to search by "country".

 

To see the leaders in any country, put the name (abbreviation) of the country you want to see -- and there are all the golfers ranked. So much to see on this site!! [The Rolex Rankings are also used to determine the two players from 30 countries that will compete in the 2020 Olympic golf competition in Tokyo. ]

TO SEE THE STANDINGS FOR THE UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN -- GO TO  www.lpga.com and Tournaments tab and "Standings for UL Crown  -- or click on http://www.lpga.com/tournaments/2018-ul-international-crown-team-standings.  

Now that the previous LOTTE Championship sponsored by Hershey is over and the Rolex Rankings have been updated, the eight countries (with 4-person teams) are: Korea, US, Japan, England, Australia, Thailand, Sweden, and Chinese Taipei. See the current top 4 players from the countries using the Rolex Rankings page. Who will join me Oct 4-7 in Incheon, Korea for this great tournament?  ALL THIS COULD CHANGE AFTER THE LA OPEN.... stay tuned.

 

 




BREAKING NEWS - April 11, 2018:  LPGA TOUR ANNOUNCES A NEW AMATEUR TOURNAMENT AND QUALIFICATION FOR THE LPGA TOUR -- "THE Q SERIES"

WOMENS AMATEUR GOLF IN THE NEWS...AGAIN! Last week before the Masters began, the Masters Chairman announced the 2019 Augusta National Women's Amateur Championship with 72 women golfers -- 30 of which would play the final round on "THE" hallowed Masters Course on Saturday before the Masters begins and before the Drive, Chip and Putt finals on Sunday. It is not clear to what extent and when Mike Whan LPGA Commissioner was informed of the new Masters women's amateur.

A major issue emerged: The first major of the LPGA season in 2019 is the ANA Inspiration in Palm Springs and it concludes on the Sunday before Masters week. Amateur women golfers might have to decide whether or not to play in the ANA Inspiration or qualify for the new Masters Women's Amateur. Didn't seem fair to women! (But the Masters is generally arrogant -- it now has 4 women members! Hardly a commitment to women's golf and golfers! )

I predicted in another Facebook post that Mike Whan -- who in my interviews with him is always motivated by an overall. thoughtful strategy for the LPGA Tour and women's golf -- would meet with his Board and carefully decide how to deal with the Masters conflict.  I was right!

Today, April 11, (a week after the Master's announcement of a women's amateur event), the Commissioner went further and announced a new amateur tournament later this year (yes, this fall) -- the "Q-Series" that would make it easier (actually double the number) for amateurs to qualify for the LPGA Tour.  The new LPGA amateur Q-Series tournament will be played on two great courses at Pinehurst   (famous designs by architect Donald Ross)  see https://www.homeofgolf.com/

And from today's announcement: Quote from Commissioner Mike Whan: 
"What I like most about the Q-Series is that it will be a true test for how players will qualify for the LPGA tour," said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan. "The playing status earned by competitors at Q-Series will be a direct reflection of eight rounds of head-to-head competition on a demanding test at Pinehurst Resort."

There was no mention of postponing the ANA Inspiration to accommodate The Masters.  

____________________________________

To read more about the new LPGA Q-Series - see a good summary aY

https://www.golfchannel.com/article/golf-central-blog/lpga-unveils-new-q-series-debut-pinehurst/

 _____________________________________

 

 

 

ABOUT "AMATEUR" STATUS AND ROLE OF THE USGA 

The United States Golf Association (the USGA)  sets the rules for "amateur status".  I confirmed with the LPGA that the LPGA follows the USGA rules for amateur status.   To see the USGA rules of Amateur Status see:  http://www.usga.org/rules/rules-of-amateur-status.html#!rule-01The USGA is a great supporter of amateur golf.  Last year, the USGA introduced a US Women's Amateur with a schedule of qualifying rounds at sites all over the world.   There is also a "four-ball" tournament for women's amateurs.  And most importantly, the US Women's Open is open to amateurs who qualify at qualifying sites all over the world.  (Many LPGA Tournaments also allow a certain number of women amateur golfers to play in LPGA Tournaments (provided they waive any prize money).  

 

___________________________________________

 

MORE...  about amateur womens golf and marketing women's golf.... 

https://www.nytimes.com/…/augusta-national-womens-tournamen…

https://www.golfchannel.com/…/augusta-national-creates-wom…/

https://golfweek.com/…/augusta-national-womens-amateur-cha…/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/946cb9da-3825-11e8-acd5-35…

Just to refresh the opportunities open to female amateur golfers conducted by the USGA, see http://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/schedule.html

 

 

 




LPGA and Executive Women's Golf Association (EWGA) to Unite in Strategic Alliance to Grow the Women's Game | LPGA | Ladies Professional Golf Association

 

March 27, 2018.  The EWGA -- Executive Women's Golf Association. -- was established in Florida in 1991. Women were entering the workplace and academia in greater numbers than ever before. Generally, women in the U.S.faced a work environment dominated by men. Golf was a favorite sport among the male employees and many corporations and law firms held golf outings. (I was the only woman in my law firm's golf outing). Enter the Executive Women's Golf Association introducing the game to a "network" of many thousands of "executive" working women. But times change. Today golf must attract young girls and young mothers, working women and non-working women ...new golfers and recreational and experienced golfers.

 

The "umbrella" of women's golf must be huge! Every time I interview Commissioner Mike Whan -- as recently as last November at the CME---- I ask him: Why can't I have an "I SUPPORT THE LPGA tag on my golf bag. (I have one for the USGA) Last interview he suggested he was working on it. i welcome the new LPGA -,WOMEN. WHO PLAY. I want the first bag tag! It's been an honor to be on the Women's Committee of the World Golf Foundation and to support and celebrate this new strategic alliance. It will make my History of Women's Golf Timeline at http://nancyberkley.com/774892.html.

 

LPGA and Executive Women's Golf Association to Unite in Strategic Alliance to Grow the Women's Game | LPGA | Ladies Professional Golf Association





INBEE PARK RETURNS TO LPGA TOUR FOR THE HSBC WOMEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP IN SINGAPORE

 

Recovering from thumb and back injuries, Inbee returns.  She is one of my favorite golfers to watch -- a swing that looks slow and short but has the distance..... always looks like magic to me!  See  http://www.lpga.com/news/2018-inbee-park-makes-season-debut-in-singapore

 


Honda Thailand LPGA Tournament -- Lexi Thompson Rules Issue, Second Round February 23, 2018

 

What is a "local rule"; How do you know if there are local rules; What is the penalty if violate a local rule?

 

ABOUT the "LOCAL RULE" rule. About Lexi Thompson 2nd round penalty at the Honda Thailand LPGA tournament. (this is long and will also posted on www.nancyberkley.com). The time difference between Thailand and US is about 12 hours so the final round of the match is just about to begin as this note is published!

 

I have the current USGA Rules of Golf in front of me... over 200 pages small print. A tricky rule is if a course declares a "local rule" (Rule 33-8) -- one that does not conform to the official rule and is usually specific to the course and the competition. "Local Rules" are not printed in the Rules of Golf -- only the ability to declare a "local rule" under Rule 33-8.

 

BUT HOW DO YOU KNOW IF THERE IS A LOCAL RULE -- THAT'S THE ISSUE! When a course makes a local rule for a tournament it notifies the players of the local rule. In non-professional competition, there might be a posting on a bulletin board and an announcement or notice handed out to each player. For instance if a temporary fence has been put up as part of some construction project, a "local rule" might allow "relief" from that fence without penalty.

 

But without that local rule, a player up against an immovable obstruction with no possible way to make a shot, could take one-shot penalty and re-drop the ball. Or, a player might take a putter to hit that shot away from the immovable obstruction without incurring a penalty.

 

In the second round of the Honda Thailand LPGA, a local rule was established and notice was given to each caddy on a piece of paper at the beginning of the round. (The caddy and and golfer are "one" -- and the golfer is assumed to know the information the caddy received and vice-versa.)

 

The local rule in the 2nd round of the Honda Thailand LPGA tournament was that advertisement-signs on the course were declared to be "immovable obstructions" so the ball had to be played where it lay -- and if a shot was not possible, then the player had to replace it and take a one-shot penalty . By definition an "obstruction" is something artificial. (a tree is not an obstruction.)

 

Lexi was not aware of the "local rule" and moved the sign and then hit her shot. She did not know she had violated the local rule and went on to finish her round and submit her scorecard. AFTER the round, the rule violation was "discovered" and she received a two-shot penalty. BUT -- she did not receive another 2-stroke penalty for submitting an incorrect scorecard which happened last season at the ANA Inspiration when a TV-viewer called in a penalty. Last season the USGA revised the rules to prohibit call-in viewers and no longer applies another 2-shot penalty when a player was not aware of a rules violation.

 

None of this rule-technicality should dissuade any golfer from playing golf. Golf is my passion and most of the time the rules make sense in competitions. For recreational golfers like myself, when I play in serious championship matches, I always bring my USGA Rules of Golf and never leave a hole with a rules question until I have a professional come out and make an official decision. Once you move on to the next hole, whatever you did cannot be changed.

February 2018:  The PGA of America annnounced a new special 2019 "International" Women's Tournament -- the 2019 Women's PGA Cup -- for it's female PGA Professionals (probably amateurs - but may be some exceptions). The link below includes a nice video from Suzy Whaley, the next President of The PGA.   

 

 

The following countries are tentatively committed to play in the 2019 Women’s PGA Cup: Australia, Canada, Great Britain & Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden and the United States.

The site of the inaugural competition will be announced at a later date.  

This PGA of America tournament format is similar in some ways to the LPGA Tour UL International Crown tournament with eight-country-teams -- each with four players.  The 2018 UL International Crown will be played in Incheon, Korea the first weekend in October. 

See this link:  https://www.pga.com/pga-of-america/golf-buzz/pga-of-america-launch-womens-pga-cup-in-2019

 

 




WHAT'S THIS ABOUT?  -- SLOW PLAY -- "BEING PUT ON THE CLOCK" LPGA -- ANA INSPIRATION THIRD ROUND - Mission Hills, Palm Springs, California.

 

The top two players in the third round were paired:  Sweden's Pernilla Lindberg and Korea's Sung Hyun Park.  They were "Put on the Clock" and Park's game faltered as she tried to speed up.  Here's my opinion about the issue:

What is "Being Put on the Clock" all about? The LPGA has rules about "slow play" -- (so does the PGA Tour, but they differ) -- the LPGA rules were made a little tougher about six years ago.

 

In order for a group to be put “on the clock”, the group must be in violation of two rules: (1) They have violated “time par” which is the amount of time allocated to the play of each hole; this is customized for each course and takes into account playing conditions, and (2) the group must be “out of position”, that is there is too much space between them and the group in front of them. Even though only one player in a group may be the "slow" player, the whole group is "on the clock".

 

In today's Round 3 of the ANA Inspiration tournament, the two-some of Pernilla Lindberg (Sweden) and Sung Hyun Park (Korea) were first warned about being slow and then were "put on the clock". Although I watched the match, I will have to back and replay it to see who actually was "slower." Once "put on the clock", Park lost her rhythm and did not play as well. Lindberg did not seem affected by the slow play warning and played the final holes very well to take the lead. Why the difference? In my opinion, Lindberg was the more experienced tournament player and knew how to speed up. And Lindberg from Sweden is also an excellent skier who has probably speeded down many trails. Park is less experienced in tournament golf and just had a harder time adjusting to a faster routine. Park also does not have a coach -- she relies on her own innate talent. Perhaps a coach would have helped her learn and practice playing faster. The final match on Sunday April 1 will be one to watch! 

 

 

BRAND MARKETING  #101 -- the NIKE Lesson

Strong television ratings for the 2018 Masters owe it to Tiger Woods and the strength of the "Tiger Brand". Modern-brand "celebrity" marketing was invented and popularized by NIKE -- beginning with basketball's Michael Jordan. The great LPGA Tour player, Lorena Ochoa, now has brand status as a new line in Mattel's famous Barbie Doll Collection. As a result, I would expect to see more Latina-American golfers in the LPGA/USGA Girls Golf programs and then on more women's amateur and professional golf tours.

 

Commissioner Mike Whan has announced a new 2019 LPGA Tour event next January that includes women, men and celebrities. That's how great personal brands are built. The game of golf needs more of them!

 

P.S. I wrote this post before I read the Wall Street Journal April 9, 2018 article "Nike Needs to Run After Women." The new Nike skort worn by Michelle Wie this season with longer ruffled back is a great and welcome new design.

 

KIA CLASSIC (March 22-25_ -- I WAS FOLLOWING LIZETTE SALAS... AND NANCY LOPEZ

 

TO BE HONEST: I was following Lizette Salas at the LPGA Tour Kia Classic at Carlsbad.   It was forty years ago in 1978 that Nancy Lopez made history winning five tournaments in a row. I remember the impact on women's golf of Nancy Lopez and her Latina heritage. And then in 2017, I was lucky to sit next to Azucena Maldonado in the media room of the Solheim Cup. She was following Lizette on Team USA. I learned that in 2008, Azucena had established the Latina Golfers Association and I knew our paths would cross again.

 

Today, I caught up with Azucena during the final round of the Kia Classic -- Lizette was very close to victory. I asked Azucena to bring me up to date on the Latina Golfers Association.

 

FROM AZUCENA MALDONADO, Founder of the Latina Golfers Association:
"It’s a new dawn and today young Latinas look to Lizette as the evolving face of golf in the United States and she gives them hope that it won’t take that many years to see more Lizette’s playing professional golf. In fact the pipeline is going strong with Lee Lopez now on the tour and many U.S. Latinas playing collegiate golf ready to start the quest to earn their LPGA tour card. As the founder fo the Latina Golfers Association I love to shine a light on Lizette and the Salas family. She is a role model for our community and works with us to grow the game of golf. Lizette works fervently to realize her dream to be the best woman golfer in the world and she works as diligently to encourage girls and women to learn to golf to enhance their lives. Lisette is living the American Dream and she wants other girls to do the same - by learning how to play golf!"

 

LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan has worked hard to achieve a "global Tour." But worth noting that a "global heritage" -- one that Lizette embraces as a Latina -- enhances the global character of the LPGA Tour. Not just about where you live, but where your heart lives also. 

 

USGA NEW RULES OF GOLF OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCED

TO GO INTO EFFECT JANUARY 1, 2019. 

See http://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules-hub/rules-modernization/major-changes/major-changes.html

 

"The following are the main changes to the Rules of Golf taking effect January 1, 2019 that are expected to have the most impact on the game and to be of most interest to golfers. The items covered on this page are organized into eight categories, and within each individual item, you will find the main reasons for the change. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us any time.

 

Ball at Rest  |  Ball in Motion  |  Taking Relief  |  Areas of the Course    

Equipment  |  Playing a Ball  |  When to Play During a Round  |  Player Behavior

 

The new rules are very well explained on the USGA site with both text and videos.  I recently reminded my caddy that he could not touch the green with the flagstick to show me the line of my putt, BUT after next January 1, that will not be a penalty.  That special drop technique (arm out straight at shoulder height) will also be gone and replaced with a new more relaxed "drop rule".  And, several new rules about bunkers -- players will be able to remove loose objects (like a leaf) in a bunker.  

In the interest of speeding up play, one of the most important new rules is this one:  "It is recommended that you play “ready golf” and make each stroke in no more than 40 seconds."  No more conversations about who is farther from the flagstick!

 

The new rules should "relax" the game and speed it up.  

FROM THE FOUNDERS CUP -- SATURDAY MARCH 17 --ROUND 3 --MEDIA CENTER INTERVIEWS:

Excerpts from just two players in the LPGA Media Center Interviews because of their historical significance -- chance to share some history. This is a very long post on Facebook -- read it here also on http://nancyberkley.com/nancy-s-blog.html

 

Q. TO INBEE PARK: Phenomenal start to the round; 6-under through five holes. You shot a 29 on the front nine. Were you ever thinking about that magic number that would come into play in shooting a 59 today?

INBEE PARK: Yes, for a little bit I think after the front nine. I got off to really good start with a shot eagle on the front and everything seemed to be in. On the back nine it was a little bit different, a little bit more boring golf.

 

NANCY'S NOTES: What is that "magic number" all about?  The magic number if 54 -- the score if a player "birdied" every hole. The closest anyone has come is Annika Sorenstam with a score of 59. Enjoy this utube video of Annika talking about that 59 round https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNGvp8JiJXE. The golf instructor team of Lynn Marriott & Pia Nilsson have written about "Vision 54" https://www.vision54.com/ and reference it in their new book "Be A Player".

 

Q. TO INBEE PARK: And your putting, obviously one of the best putters of all-time. You changed your putter. Can you tell us 
about that?
INBEE PARK: Yes, I changed to a little bit more Anser style of putter this week, because I think I was getting too used to the mallet style putter doesn't really shows mistakes. I wanted to see which way I was missing, what my stroke was doing wrong. With Anser style you can tell much better. I wanted to see my misses and good putts and bad putts. That's why I kind of change it before going to ANA, so I can kind of see my mistakes and see which putts are the good putts.

 

NANCY'S NOTES: The reference to an "Anser" style putter goes back to Karsten Solheim and his "invention" of the Anser blade-type putter that made a "Ping" sound when hit. And that's the beginning of PING golf. I had the honor to write about the PING family and the role of Louise Solheim (who gave the putter its name). She was a "founder" and with Karsten originated the Solheim Cup. See https://www.womensgolf.com/louise-solheim/

 

Q. TO LAURIE DAVIES: Q. The think the folks in the media center were saying it's the lowest round you've had on the LPGA since '06. Where did that come from?
LAURA DAVIES: Well, my putting is improved no end, and my ball striking has always been pretty solid. My putting has been letting me down for the last four, five, six, years. I changed to the claw grip in Arkansas last year, so that was sort of July last year. And I've started to hole some putts.

 

NANCY'S FINAL NOTE:  CHECK MY PUTTER AND PUTTING STROKE.

FROM THE FOUNDERS CUP - FRIDAY MARCH 16 -- MEDIA CENTER -- NOTES FROM THE PLAYERS:

After every round on the LPGA Tour (with few exceptions), the players come to the media center and answer questions from reporters.  The text of the Q&A are distributed and even though I am not in Arizona, I can review the press releases.  The media center at LPGA events is amazing!

I read the comments from Friday’s rounds and have selected just two players’ comments to share.  One from Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn and another from U.S. Brittany Lincicome.  Golf is a very “personal” game.  (Two more rounds to go!  Remember there is life TV coverage in most areas -- tape the coverage.) 

 

TO ARIYA JUTANUGARN

Q. How are you able to not focus on being in the lead and winning? How do you keep that out of your mind?

ARIYA JUTANUGARN: It's very tough for me. It's hard. Before, every putt we just want to make it, but I know that when I'm thinking about make it I'm not going to make it. I have to thinking about like what my coach said.

 

Q. What are you thinking about? The stroke?

ARIYA JUTANUGARN: Just make sure I have to finish my stroke before I look at the hole or at my ball.

 

There is quite a difference between Arriya’s statements:  “Do not look at the hole” and “Finish the stroke”. 

Someone once told me that our brains don’t really understand “not” and negatives.  “Thinking positive” is good advice for golf.

 

TO BRITTANY LINCICOME

Q. How much have you worked on your putting and how big a deal is it?

BRITTANY LINCICOME: Zero. I mean, I just go and when I'm home I play a bunch, but I never go to the putting green. I haven't even seen the putting green this week other than my five, ten minutes before I go to the tee.

I played with Angela Stanford this week, and she was like, How do you do it? I hate you. You never have to practice. You're just like a natural. Just go out and play.

Just super lucky, because if I had to practice -- like I cannot wait to go take a nap right now. (Laughter.)

 

 

 

BREAKING NEWS:  New tournament and sponsor for LPGA TOUR 2019. Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions -- Men, Women, Celebrities, Amateurs -- What more do you need?  Fans!!! 

See  http://www.lpga.com/news/diamond-resorts-tournament-of-champions-to-kick-off-2019-lpga-season   

Can you believe that the LPGA Tour has already announced a new tournament for next year?  [information recently also posted on my Facebook page - click Facebook icon above to also check out the other postings):

 

To say that LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan thinks ahead is the understatement of the season! The Commissioner just announced  the first -- and new format -- tournament to launch the 2019 season next January. The tournament will include the best of the best LPGA Tour players and celebrities and some amateurs.

 

It reminds me of a 2010 tournament sponsored by Golf Digest -- the Golf Digest US Open Challenge -- that had an online contest about who would be the amateur to play with a group of celebrities at famous Pebble Beach - playing from the 7,040-yard tournament tees.  Peggy Ferrence, an amateur golfer from New Jersey, won the on-line vote and the only woman beating several other male golfers for the opportunity.  That celebrity Pebble Beach tournament was an opening event for the USGA's 2010 US Open.  Peggy's goal was to break 100 on the course, but the prevailing winds that day and the long grasses proved a formidable challenge for both Peggy and the celebrities.

 

Here's an article about that famous tournament where famous/popular golfers were caddies for the celebrity foursome.

http://www.usga.org/articles/2010/06/foursome-finds-pebble-to-be-a-tough-roll-2147487124.html

 

Mike Whan, in my interview with him at the CME Globe, last November mentioned some "new" tournaments for 2019. I was hoping for a good, mixed LPGA Tour and PGA Tour "team" event.  But will have to wait a little longer for that -- I know the Commissioner is thinking about it. 

The 2010 Golf Digest event, in my opinion, met mixed reviews.  It is a sponsor's opportunity to feature a new resort to a large TV audience, but it will be challenging to market to golfers.  But -- then again -- marketing is the specialty of the Commissioner. 

 

This tournament must be successfull so I will stay close to it in the planning stage.  My advice:  (although not requested) is that perhaps the Commissioner can include some of the PGA Tour players.  In the Golf Digest 2010 tournament discussed above, Peggy Ference played from the same 7000 yard tees as the men in her foursome.  My advice would be to have different players playing from different tees (that's the backbone of the US Handicap System and an opportunity to educate golfers about the Handicap System).  PGA Tour events are usually at least 600 yards longer than LPGA Tour events; so, let's see how Mike Whan handles the dilemma of "women's tees) and "amateurs' shorter tees".   And wouldn't it be interesting to have one of the top teens in the mix.  (Lexi Thompson at 15 could have scored better than some Tour players.)  I will stay tuned to how the new Diamond Resort Tournament of Champions develops.  I'm putting the tournament on my schedule for next January -- just a few hours drive north for me.

 





 

Women's Forums now part of more LPGA Tour Events...starting with the Bank of Hope Founders Cup 

 

At the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, March 15-18, in Phoenix, Arizona, the LPGA Tour holds its first (of the the 2018) season women's lunch and forum for about 100 women from the area. Forums and luncheons for women held in conjunction with a LPGA Tournament are a growing trend.

The Bank of Hope forum will feature a putting lesson from the great LPGA players, Nancy Lopez and Betsy King along with instructors from the famed "Vision 54" teaching program.  As explained by Tracy Hupko, Sales and Marketing Manager LPGA Bank of Hope Founders Cup, "Each year our 'What’s Fore Lunch' events grow and bring new faces to the game of golf. The luncheons carve out a small piece of the day to give business woman a chance to network and learn about golf or improve their game, without cutting into their family time.” What I also liked about the Bank of Hope forum is that LPGA Girls Golf participants are invited to the forum to witness for themselves how golf and leadership work together.

 

About one-third of the 2018 LPGA Tour events are reaching out to the local women golfers with special programming. I will be writing more about those forums as a new and positive trend building both women golfers and fans.  

It's a new world for business women (still not perfect), but like to share my story.  When I was a lawyer with a New York City big, law firm, they announced their annual golf outing and dinner -- for all employees.  I signed up for the golf tournament, of course!  A partner called me aside to tell me that I was the only woman playing golf.  He was perplexed because there was a long drive contest, and he recognized that one woman against all those men in a long drive contest didn't sound quite fair.  So he asked for my suggestion.  It was an easy answer!  I said, "I guess I will probably win the longest women's drive contest."  And, I did!  And I received a lovely sweater at the prize ceremony.  In a small way, all women golfers have an opportunity to level the playing field -- the fairway -- to make the game of golf more welcoming for all women and girls.

 

 

European Tours organize 2018 mixed men/women events and lead the way.  It's a busy summer!  (posted on Nancy Facebook page -- March 9, 2018)

 

MARK SUMMER GOLF CALENDAR: The European golf associations -- the Ladies European Tour (the LET) and the men's European Tour are playing TWO mixed women/men tournaments in 2018. Some women golfers are members of the the LET and the LPGA Tours. (hmmm?.. the PGA Tour and the LPGA Tour just can't get their schedules in sync according to conversations I have had with LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan, who has "hinted" that thinking about a co-ed format.).

 

The first men/swomen European event in May -- GolfSixes -- is a short event and will be played over two days May 5 and 6 at the Centurion Club in England (north of London). See http://www.bbc.com/sport/golf/43205185

 

The second mixed event -- described as "revolutionary" -- August 8-12 is in Gleneagles, Scotland and will feature a 50/50 gender split in the field with male and female professionals competing for equal prize money in both a Men’s and Women’s Team match play Championship as well as an 18-hole foursomes stroke play Mixed Team Championship. Click the box below for more about this new event.

 

the LPGA Tour's "Major" Ricoh Women's British Open is August 2-5 in Lancashire, England. A few days later, the European Mixed Golf Team Championship August 8-12 (describe above) follows And then.... the LPGA Tour plays August 16-19 back in the US in Indianapolis, Indiana at the Indy Women in Tech Championship sponsored by Guggenheim -- at the Indianapolis raceway. Wow -- a busy August!

And almost forgot.... the MENS RYDER CUP -- TEAM USA vs TEAM EUROPE will be played September 25-30 at Le Golf National in Paris France. And then October 4-7, the LPGA Tour gathers in Incheon, Korea for the UL International Crown. Two great team country-vs-country events this summer.

 

 

Lorena Ochoa, LPGA Tour player and member of Golf Hall of Fame added to Barbie collection of "Shero" dolls created to inspire the next generation of girls.... and my background with Barbie.  Announcement in honor of -- International Women's Day, March 8, 2018. (posted March 8, 2018)

I bring some history to Mattel and girls golf.  In 2008, I was a consultant to Mattel involving the launch of "Barbie" branded girls-golf clubs.  As a test, they were introduced at the PGA Merchandise Show in 2008 where I met with the Mattel executives on this project.

 

The company determined, however, that Barbie golf clubs were not an appropriate extention of Mattel's brand.  I became intrigued with the line of "famous" Barbies and suggested that Nancy Lopez should be included in their famous-women-doll-collection.  That never happened. (see photo below)

Interestingly, back in 1992, Mattel introduced "Golf Date Barbie" which I could not resist buying for its history.(see the photo below).

So here we are -- twenty-six years later -- and Mattel has returned to women's golf.  Their selection of Lorena Ochoa as one of the "Sheros" collection (that's Mattel translation of "she-heroes") is a perfect choice.  And isn't it interesting and important that women have moved beyond just being a "date" to being an "inspiration" to girls about what they can achieve?  

I considered Mattel's recognition of Lorena Ochoa important and symbolic of changing attitudes that I have added it to the HISTORY TIMELINE -- see tab on left) Enjoy this photo history.

 

Left (1992 Mattel introduces "Golf Date" Barbie),

Middle (2008 Mattel tests Barbie branded golf clubs -- but rejects concept)

Right (2018) Lorena Ocheo, LPGA Tour & World Golf Hall of Fame member) becomes one of Mattel's inspirational Sheros collection added on March 3, 2018 -- International Women's Day.   Adding my personal "Thank You" to Mattel and reminding all readers that the fastest growing segment of golfers in the US today are girls.  I hope that when girls receive the Lorena Ocheo new Barbie it includes information about the history of golf and the role that Lorena played in demonstrating the global appeal of woomen's golf along with a reminder that all over the world there are opportunities for girls to learn the game at very young ages.  For more about girls golf see  https://www.girlsgolf.org/

 

LPGA release:  "Korea to be Site of the First LPGA International Property Outside the U.S. -- Going Global"  (posted March 6, 2018)

In every interview I have had with the Commissioner he has never wavered from his vision of a global LPGA.  See one of several interviews with the Commissioner at https://www.womensgolf.com/mike-whan-nancy-berkley/ 

 

But this most recent announcement in my opinion is the most important. See  http://www.lpga.com/news/2018-korea-to-be-site-of-first-lpga-international-property-outside-us

Some background: When Mike Whan officially became LPGA Commissioner in January 2010 -- just eight years ago, he inherited the LPGA's fragmented marketing strategy.  As an example:  In spite of the number of non-U.S. players on the Tour, the previous LPGA Commissioner wanted all players to learn and speak in English.   Along comes Mike Whan with a strong marketing background that included working for Proctor & Gamble, one of the largest international corporations in the world.  The Commissioner wasted little time in re-branding the "international" quality of the LPGA Tour and schedule more LPGA Tour events outside of the United States.  The new strategy had its critics, but Whan pursued his marketing vision.  In this current 2018 LPGA Tournament season, almost half of all tournaments are played outside the United States.  

 

What always impresses me in my conversations with "the Commish" is the clarity and consistency of his strategy.  Here's a Q&A from the interview referenced above a few years after he became Commissioner:

 

Q Nancy: Let’s clarify that answer: In your opinion the LPGA brand is NOT about growing the number of female recreational golfers – the six-plus million golfers in the U.S. (20% of all golfers in the U.S.) or recreational golfers around the world. Is that what you are saying?
A.MikeWhan:  Yes. Honestly, I don’t spend a lot of my time trying to figure out how to get more recreational golfers – other than giving women golfers a showcase for watching the best women golfers in the world. I know that in most other sports, it’s all about fans. But the LPGA is different. We focus on our sponsors. Our LPGA golfers connect with our sponsors like no other sports figures. 

 

Back to the Press Release at the beginning of this blog topic:  The LPGA is establishing a second International headquarters half way around the world from Daytona Beach, Florida -- along the southern coast of Korea in the city of Busan.  Why? 

 

The final paragraph in the LPGA Press Release (cited above) from Mike Whan answers the question: 

 

"I really felt the beauty and vibrancy of the city when I visited Busan for the first time last year, and the launch of LPGA International Busan will make it an even more special place to visit," said LPGA Commissioner Whan. "This is a special occasion for the LPGA with the first LPGA International brand besides our headquarters, and it will play a significant role in our global business in the future."  

________________________________

 

I expect some comments and reactions from the golf industry writers and observers and from other women's world golf tours -- such as the LET (Ladies European Tour) and world tours in Australia and Japan.  How does a stronger global LPGA affect them?     

 




sorry about formatting issues -- web.com changed its coding... these may be duplicates.

 

Always my final message:  "Be Happy, Be Healthy, Live Longer, Play Golf" -- Nancy Berkley 

[6/21/18]  IN MY OPINION:

The Ladies European Tour (the LET) is in the middle of its season. See https://ladieseuropeantour.com/

Many women golfers play on both the LPGA and LET tours when they can work it out on their schedule. In my opinion, golf is unique as a sport in that there is both intense individual AND team competition. One week you may try to win against an opponent that last week was your teammate!

Three tournaments are particularly important on both Tours this season. The Ricoh Women's British Open (August 2-5 in Lancaster, England) and the Evian Championship (September 13-16 in Evian, France) are "Majors" on the LPGA Tour. LPGA Majors not only have bigger prizes but offer more points for LPGA players on the Race to the CME Globe and other season-ending awards.

The UL International Crown October 4-7 has eight teams competing -- three countries: England, Germany and Sweden will have team members that play on both the LPGA and the LET. In alternate years, the Solheim Cup (Team USA vs Team Europe) have similar competitions among friends from different countries.

DO YOU AGREE? I think that recreational women golfers have a more difficult time playing against a friend than the professionals. In my experience, many golf clubs with many active women golfers have a hard time putting together a "Club Championship" event.

But that may change as "Girls Golf" programs increase and girls are exposed to more competition. Your comments and opinions are welcome! [this opinon piece was on my Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/nancy.berkley.98

 




 

 

UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN 2018 : 

ALL ABOUT THE UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN -- ALL ARTICLES WILL BE POSTED TOGETHER (most recent first)

[6/20/28]  LESSON TWO: UNDERSTANDING THE UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN -- WHAT COUNTRIES PLAY WHAT COUNTRIES? .. why the next two tournaments matter.

The reason that the next two tournaments matter for the UL Crown is because (1) it will confirm the order of the 8 teams based on the total Rolex Ranking Points for the 4 players in each team at the conclusion of the KPMG PGA Championship. (2) The teams will then be ranked #1 through #8 and then divided into two Pools. [In 2016 UL Crown, Pool A consisted of Teams #1, #4, #5 and #6. Pool B consisted of Team #2, #3, #6 and #7. ] Ideally, the Pools are balanced.

The Pools are important! All competitions the first three days are within the same Pool. The format for the first 3 days is "four-ball" (often known as "best ball"): Two players compete against two other players -- each playing their own ball. the best ball counted as the team's score. "Points will be awarded per match based on the following – two for a win, one for a tie and zero for a loss. All points from the four-ball matches will carry over to Sunday and the total cumulative points for the four days of competition will be used to determine the overall champion.

Who decides who plays with what team-partner in what order? A great question! There are no designated team captains. How will decisions be made? Will a team captain emerge? Will there be secret votes? I can't wait to find out! I will be following this tournament closely and posting additional lessons on Nancy's Golf Blog.

Two other articles I have written about the UL Crown that may be helpful are:
https://www.womensgolf.com/lpga-international-crown-rio-ol…/ and

https://www.womensgolf.com/foursomes-fourball/




 

[6/19/18] LESSON ONE -- UNDERSTANDING THE UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN LPGA TOURNAMENT:  8 countries finalized

Commissioner Mike Whan made history when he came up with this format in 2016... but it's not easy to explain and understand. (My first career was teaching high school... hope that helps.)

The UL Crown is played in the alternate years of the Solheim Cup. The Solheim Cup is between Team USA and Team Europe. The UL Crown competition is more global, however, because in 2018 it will be a competition among teams from 8 different countries AND 4 different continents: Asia, North America, Europe and Australia.

THE FINAL EIGHT: The eight countries that will compete were determined based on the Rolex Rankings at the conclusion of the US Women's Open June 3. They are: Korea, USA, Japan, England, Australia, Thailand, Sweden and Chinese Taipei. (The top 4 players of the 8 countries had the highest TOTAL Rolex Ranking Points).

What is yet to be confirmed is just what four players from those 8 countries will have the highest Rolex Ranking points at the conclusion of the KPMG PGA Championship June 29-July 1. see the current standings at http://nancyberkley.com/nancy-s-golfblog.html.

 




 

[6/18/18] 8 TEAMS ALMOST FINALIZED FOR UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN -- Incheon Korea, October 4-7

The UL International Crown is the brainchild tournament of LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan.  The Commissioner likes team sports (in 2019, two team events have been added to the schedule).  The LPGA has participated in the Solheim Cup team event for many years.  But the Solheim Cup features players only from the United States and Europe.  With the LPGA message:  "A Global Tour Like No Other", the Commissioner wanted a global team event that is global.  And that's exactly what the UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN is.   The sponsor, United Laboratories, is a perfect fit with its mission of promoting responsible innovation. see https://www.unitedlabsinc.com/.  An innovative sponsor for an innovative tournament!

The UL Crown is a 4-day event -- competition among eight 4-person teams (each team from a different country) playing only two different formats:  fourballs and singles.  (One of the reasons I encourage women to watch this tournament is to learn about these key formats:  singles, foursomes.)  the eight countries that will be competiting were finalized at the conclusion of the US Women's Open and based on the Rolex Rankings.  (the countries with the 4 top golfers who had the  most Rolex Points were selected.  The eight countries (in order of their Rolex Rankings) are:  Korea, USA, Japan, England, Australia, Thailand, Sweden and Chinese Taipei.  To cap off the international flavor, the 2018 UL Crown will be held in Incheon, Korea (an hour west from Seoul) October 4-7/  

The Rolex Rankings were updated as of today June 18 reflecting results of Meijier LPGA Classic. There were no changes to the top 4 players of the 8 teams competing for the Crown based on June 11 Rankings. So yeon Ryu of Korea moved up to the #2 spot on her team -- what a performance at the Meijer LPGA Classic this past weekend. There are two tournaments remaining before team members finalized and the #5 player could replace the current #4 on a few teams. For the USA, keep eye on Danielle Kang. For Japan, keep eye on Misuzu Narita, For Sweden, Caroline Hedwall #4 could face a challenge from Jenny Hagland. For Chinese Taipei, Candie Kung must play well to hold her #4 spot. 

See an article I wrote about the 2016 UL Crown at https://www.womensgolf.com/lpga-international-crown-rio-olympics/

The updated rankings based on June 18 results will be posted on http://www.lpga.com/…/2018-ul-international-crown-team-sta…/ I just got up earlier today!!

An unusual feature of this tournament (and unlike the Solheim Cup) is that there is no designated Captain for the country-teams.  So ... think about it...   4 women have to make team decisions:  What player goes with what player on the alternate shot match?  Who goes with who on the "better ball" match.  And... there is a "wild card" feature that adds additional excitement.

Stay tuned to this event.   The 4 person teams will be finalized at the conclusion of the KPMG PGA Championship June 28-July 1.  (Actually teams finalized o Monday July 2, when Rolex Rankings are officially updated.)  Join me in following this tournament!!

 

 






 

[6/13/18] NUMBER OF GOLFERS IN U.S. INCREASED IN 2017 REPORTS NATIONAL GOLF FOUNDATION (NGF)

Every year the National Golf Foundation (NGF) in Jupiter, Florida (www.ngf.org) studies golf participation in the United States.  I have been tracking those numbers for many years -- almost two decades.  Recently the NGF reported the results of its 2017 study.  Important to note that the definition of a "golfer" has loosened up a little.  It now includes responders who say they have "played golf [on a golf course]at least once during the survey year."  (In prior years, "golfer" was defined more specifically and required that a person played at least one round of nine holes in the preceding year.)  

(1) For 2017, the total number of golfers ages 6 and older in the United States is 23.8 million -- the same as in 2016.The number of women golfers 18 and older remains at 4.9 million (same as 2016).  The years with the largest number of women golfers were 2004 to 2007 with about 6 million women golfers -- but survey methodogies may account for the difference.

(2) The number of adult male golfers in 2017 was 16.2 million -- a slight increase over previous year of 15.9 million.

(3) Juniors (ages 6-17) The number of girls ages 6-17 has increased slightly.  The number of boys (6-17) decreased slightly.  The overall total number of junior golfers has decreased slightly.  Reminder:  The definition of a golfer requires playing on a golf course and the assumption is that they were playing golf -- not just having fun in a golf cart.

(4) The most significant new reporting by the NGF involves capturing statistics of non-traditional golf -- in TopGolf facilities for example.  In addition to the traditional golf experience on a golf course, the NGF reports the following:

"An estimated 21 million people hit golf balls with a club at off-course locations.  Among off-course participants, 61% of them also played golf on an actual golf course in 2017."   Think about it:  About 7 million people in the U.S. ONLY hit golf balls at an off course location.  (What will it take to get them to the course?  Different dress codes?  Music in golf carts?  All something for the industry to think about.)  Note:  Many countries do not have many traditional golf courses.  "Golf" is enjoyed in those countries at driving ranges.

(5) Finally, the NGF gathered statistics on the number of people who are "looking to take up the game."  Over the last few years that number has increased fromm 12.8 million in 2016 to 14.9 million in 2017.  The NGF suggests that the increase is due "in part to the popularity of off-course-golf.

If you would like more information about the statistics, email me with your question using my Complimentary Help Line as described in the "About Nancy" tab.

 




 


 

 

6/11/18] HOW WOMEN-FRIENDLY IS YOUR GOLF COURSE?

As the golf season begins in northern climates and Womens Golf Day has introduced thousands of women to the game, women golfers are waiting to get out on the course.  "A good beginning is half the race" was my father's favorite advice. I developed this  little quiz based on my years of playing recreational golf while raising my family and working and then becoming a women's golf observer and writer.   It incorporates the work of Arthur D. Little and Jann Lemming about tee length. 

If any woman taking this quiz rates her course a 20, email me!!  I want to feature it.

Women/Friendly/Test

How Women-Friendly Is Your Golf Course? 

Answer these ten questions and then the BONUS questions. Does your facility? (One point for each "yes" answer plus (or minus) bonus points)  Maximum is 20 points.

1, Affordable introductory group lessons?
2. Provide clubs at no charge for beginner lessons?
3. Advertise programs and events for women using the word "fun" or "no pressure" or "beginners welcome"
4. Designate a visible section of the bulletin board (in Pro Shop or Locker Room) to promote women's events and news? 
5. Offer written handouts with basic information for new golfers including etiquette and pace of play?
6. Offer on-course playing lessons (or supervised play) for new golfers at affordable prices?
7. Offer 9-hole rounds (or shorter) at 9-hole rates (or less)?
8. Offer a choice of playing formats in leagues and outings for non-competitive women golfers as well as competitive golfers?
9. Provide customer-service training to your employees specifically about women customers?
10. Attractively display women's golf clothes and accessories in a visible portion of the pro shop?            

ADD POINTS – maximum 10

DEDUCT 3 points from total if facility does NOT have clean, attractive women's rest rooms both on and off the course.

BONUS POINTS!!!! ADD 5 points for Diaper-changing table in men’s rest rooms.
      

BIGGER BONUS!!!  Add 5 points if course has a set of "playable" tees -- 4500 yards or less. (new recommendation you will read about is for 4000 yard set of tees.   Distance off the tee is very related to the swing speed of the golfer and recreational women golfers "tend" to have slower swing speeds than men.   It is very challenging for most women to learn to swing faster (kids learn that under newer theories).  But my golf colleague, Karen Palacious Jensen, reminded me to check to make sure that I was hitting the ball on"sweet spot" of my driver-- and I made an adjustment that made a difference.  Ask your golf instructor to explain and measure whether you are hitting that sweet spot (the pro puts a piece of paper on the face of the driver that shows where it is making contact with the ball). 

HERE'S HOW I GRADE….
8-20 points = "women-friendly" 

____________

WHAT TO DO NEXT....

If the golf facility where you usually play golf does not meet your standards (and my grading), then it's time for women to take a bigger role in leadership.  

My favorite and most popular article about how to do that is "Why Women Golfers Must Be Leaders" and the HOW? is my advice about leadership at: 

https://www.womensgolf.com/women-golfers-leaders/

 





 

 

 

[June 11,2018] CURRENT STANDINGS FOR 2018 UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN -- WHAT PLAYERS MAKE THE TEAMS: See http://www.lpga.com/tournaments/2018-ul-international-crown-team-standings.    Awaiting update on Rolex Rankings for current standings.




 

[June 11, 2018]  SHOPRITE LPGA CLASSIC PRESENTED BY ACER (June 8-10 Seaview, New Jersey) 

Annie Park from the United States Wins plus some Fashion Notes

Congratulations to Annie Park for her victory at the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer.  See final Leaderboard at http://www.lpga.com/tournaments/shoprite-lpga-classic-presented-by-acer/results

I could discuss her great putting and her long putter, but cannot help but mention the golf attire in this tournament. And it's a trend! (I noticed it in the US Women's Open also.) More solids with an "all-in-one" look -- more sun-protection sleeves and tops designed to match them to appear as one shirt. Lots of pleats on back of skorts -- but no plaids or patterns or even flower-prints. It's like the LPGA Tour is getting all grown-up and sophisticated.

There are some great designs coming into shops now -- but many prints are subtle and the fabrics have a shimmer rather than a pattern. (the Annika designs are beautiful and the Greg Norman fabrics also use a beautiful shimmer fabric.)

See LPGA MEDIA for more about the SHOPRITE LPGA CLASSIS: 

http://www.lpga.com/news/2018-what-you-missed-from-shoprite-lpga-classic

 




 

[June 10, 2018]  THE 2018 CURTIS CUP -- USGA Women's Amateur USA vs. Amateur England/Ireland

FINALS June 10, 2018:  USA WON the 

The Curtis Match Cup sponsored by the USGA and R&A is for female amateur golfers -- very good amateurs who we are likely to see in future professional women's tours. It is a team match (the United States vs. Great Britain and Ireland) The final round of the 3-day match is Sunday, June 10. US has the lead. See this link to see current standings: 

http://www.usga.org/…/articl…/saturday-curtis-cup-gamer.html

The format of the Curtis Cup is very similar to the Solheim Cup for professional golfers played in alternate years of the Curtis Cup. The formats are Fourballs (Better Ball), Foursomes (Alternate Shots) and Individual Play on final day.

To refresh your memory about the formats, see my article:   https://www.womensgolf.com/foursomes-fourball/.

The LPGA's 2018 UL International Crown -- a team event among 8 countries -- October 4-7 in Incheon Korea (first time event played out of the US) uses the Fourball format on all three days -- two-somes vs two-somes... very exciting).

 




 

[June 8, 2018]  PGA TOUR GOING GLOBAL -- Mystery Solved!


I have wondered why it has been so difficult for the LPGA Tour to work with the PGA Tour and come up with formats for women and men team events. Now mystery solved. The PGA Tour has been focused on its own global agenda.   The PGA Tour was paid $2 BILLION dollars by Discovery (a big media company) for the rights to media broadcasting of the PGA Tour worldwide.  

LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan was first to recognize the global golf market. Now PGA Tour has also. 

As reported in the Orlando Florida Sentinel newspaper today June 8, in discussing the merits of the PGA Tour deal with Discovery TV, the CEO of Discovery said "Half of the top players on the PGA Tour come from outside the United States. “There is no sport that’s more global than the PGA Tour,”  I guess that's why Discovery paid $2 BILLION dollars to the PGA Tour for the rights to televise, stream and use all the new tech developmenets.

My response -- after checking out the PGA Tour -- "Oh, Really?" It depends on how "global" is defined. As I look at the world and all continents, I believe that the LPGA Tour best illustrates a "global" golf Tour with its events in Asia -- (especially Korea and Japan).

[Check my Facebook page for more posts about this.]

 




 

[June 8, 2018] LPGA 2017 New Dress Code -- Is it still working? 

One of the most popular articles I have written was about fashion and the new LPGA Dress Code announced last July 2017.  See http://nancyberkley.com/nancy-s-blog.html.   The cover photo of Michelle on that article is in one of her more daring outfits  before the LPGA new dress code went into effect. Michelle has not worn anything like that red/white outfit since... in a LPGA tournament.

But I have had many comments recently on my social media pages.  My favorite  is "What happened to the new dress code? My answer: "It's still in effect!"

The focus is often on Michelle. She is tall and when she wears skorts. her legs look very long and her skort looks very short. But she is following the official rule : "Length of skirt, skort, and shorts MUST be long enough to not see your bottom area (even if covered by under shorts) at any time, standing or bent over." She knows how to bend over to mark her ball -- she bends her knees -- and her "bottom" does not show. (If you are always watching Michelle's bottom -- try watching golf instead.) In the recent US Women's Open, another player wore a very-sleeveless top (racer-back style) BUT it had a collar which complies with the LPGA rules.

The players in the recent US Women's Open dressed, in general, conservatively -- lots of black. The USGA is very important and is itself a conservative governing body. I believe that the players dressed accordingly. I haven't seen players wearing as many classic shorts and belts in a long time! I will be watching the ShopRite LPGA Classic June 28-July 1 presented by Acer this weekend to see if black still prevails..

More fashion: I was at the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show and soon will write about the newest fashion trends. Buyers at the Show are buying for June through October golf season. You will see the beautiful Annika new designs with some sparkles in them. And some shimmer in Greg Norman. Also lots of geometric/graphic design in new, beautiful synthetic fabrics from Asian fabric designers. "Millennial Pink" on the way out with more peach and violet on the way in. The soft-peach matching skort and top that PUMA designs for Lexi will be there also. The LPGA Tour is a global tour with lots of fashion.

 


 



 

[June 3, 2018]  ROLEX RANKINGS AND THE INTERNATIONAL CROWN -- WHO WILL MAKE THE TEAMS? -- TOP 4 PLAYERS FROM EACH OF THE FOLLOWING COUNTRIES: Korea, USA, Japan, England, Australia, Thailand, Sweden, Chinese Taipei.

HOW TO USE THE ROLEX RANKINGS WEBSITE TO TRACK THE UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN TEAMS 

 

Here's my step by step guide to using the new Rolex Rankings Chart to understand who has a chance of being one of the four players and how close the competition is for those spots. The Rolex Rankings is using a new format this year, which is tricky to use. For those with patience and determination, here are instructions on how to use it. Once you get used to it... it gets easier to use and then you will have fun keeping track of who will make the teams.

 

go to https://www.rolexrankings.com/rankings home page  -- but keep access to this post
Hit "RANKINGS" at top of page below Rolex logo and all players will now be listed in order of their current rankings.
3. Hit the top of the third column "Country" and the list will sort itself into countries in alphabetical order. Next....
4. Go to center of page to small box "Search Player/Country"
5. Click that small box and then hit "Country" (make sure green dot moves to "country") and the list should sort by country --alphabetical order: ARGentina is first.  But -- we want to see the 8 countries that will be in the UL Crown and what 4 players are likely to be on the team.
6. In the that search box in the center where you were, type in the country abbreviation for one of the 8 countries: KOR, USA, JPN, ENG, AUS, TPE, SWE, THA. 
7. For example: type in "THA" (abbreviation for Thailand) and look at the order of players. The rankings go by "average points" -- which measures how well the players did in the tournaments they played in (that means that players who play in lots of tournaments don't automatically hit the top of the list.) Notice how competitive the third and fourth positions are for Thailand's team.
 

8. Congratulations if you got this far. Now have fun and keep track of players in all 8 countries. On Monday, after the completion of the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer, the rankings will be updated to reflect how players did in the tournament.

 

On my webpage, I have a "Complimentary Help Line"... use it if you need help understanding the Rankings for the UL International Crown. This is a great tournament. I will be writing more about the unique format. Most unique is that there are no designated captains for each of the eight teams. (unlike the Solheim Cup Captains). This was a feature that Commissioner Mike Whan "invented" for this tournament. I love "team philosophy" -- every player is mutually accountable for the team's result. No one can blame a captain!

 




 

[June 2, 2018] ARIYA JUTANUGARN WINS US WOMEN'S OPEN AT SHOAL CREEK, ALABAMA

IN DRAMATIC 4-HOLE PLAYOFF (new format from USGA) -- COMMENTS ABOUT FOX-TV COVERAGE

Jutanugarn began the fourth day of the US Women's Open with a 7 shot lead.  But on the back nine of the final round, Jutanugarn lost some of her focus -- her "mental-game".  (For a good summary of how Ariya describes her mental game see LPGA Media account at  http://www.lpga.com/news/2018-five-things-to-know-final-round-us-womens-open.)    Hyo Joo Kim of Korea played outstanding golf on the back nine and they ended up tied at the end of the final round.  The USGA recently introduced a new format for tie-breakers which governed this match.  Two holes are played and the player with the lowest aggregate score is the winner; but, if still tied, the players move to a sudden death format on the same two holes.  For this course, the USGA used holes 14 and 18 for the tie-breakers.  The two were still tied after three holes.  Coming into the 18th, both players hit into the green side bunkers.  Ariya hit a bunker shot within a foot of the pin -- and made the putt.  Kim's bunker shot was not as good and left her a longer put, which she missed.  And the winner:  Ariya Jutanugarn.  I had read and posted about the new USGA rule about tied matches.  And I wondered whether some players would do better in the aggregate score holes or in the sudden death.  I was hoping they had a psychologist in the booth talking about that... but they didn't.  (all readers' comments welcome)

 

The USGA's television production by FOX and FOX1 of the tournament was outstanding in many ways.  First, the main sponsor, Rolex, agreed to no commercials during the tournament although Rolex credit was often mentioned.  That maintained a pace of play visually that kept you watching.  (no kitchen breaks)   The television cameras were not only numerous but had some kind of lenses that provided very close-photos.  Some shots must have been from cameras in trees -- or maybe drones -- but amazing "You are there" photography.  How deep was the ball in the grass?  The camera shots showed you just how deep?  There was an "intimacy" with the players with close up shots that were unique but could not have been intrusive (must be some zoom lense technology).  And the real bonus was Juli Inkster in the booth.  As I watched, I made a list of her comments that were so riveting.  It wasn't that she was a player herself.  It was that she knew the players personally because she still plays tournament golf.  

 

ABOUT MARKETING GOLF:  I have had several conversations with LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan about the quality of US television of the LPGA Tour (usually the Golf Channel/NBC) coverage of the LPGA Tours.  The answer appears to be that the extra-special TV photography techniques costs money and that means more sponsors -- and the LPGA Tour just isn't there... yet.  But, I have another theory that explains the difference between the quality of television coverage by the USGA and the LPGA Tour that goes beyond just the financial issue.

 

The USGA product -- what it markets -- are primarily golf tournaments for professionals and amaterus.  The LPGA products (according to my interview with the Commissioner) are the LPGA Tour players.  There is a big difference between marketing a Tour and marketing 100 players from 60+ countries.

 

Marketing a tournament is easy (if there is sponsor money).  Augusta has a brand and is brilliant at promoting it.  the LPGA introduced a good marketing message this season:  "A Global Golf Tour Like No Other."  But that markets the LPGA Tour. 

 

Marketing a golfer -- that's much harder.  (There are very few Tiger Woods!!) How do you decide which player or players to market?  And what are you promoting?  The players' skills, their styles, the backgrounds, the countries, the personal drama and struggle to get to the Tour?    How do you market 150 LPGA Tour players?   It's a challenge but I have confidence that Mike Whan and his team will figure it out.   I will not be surprised to see an ad campaign that has the flavor of that wonderful "It's a Big World After All" message with a little twist:  "It's a Big World of Women Golfers After All.'  

 




 

[May 23, 2018]  --  WOMEN'S GOLF GETTING MORE ATTENTION IN SCOTLAND.

SCOTLAND -- ROYAL & ANCIENT (R&A) ANNOUNCE "WOMEN IN GOLF CHARTER" 

 

The English governing body of golf , the R&A (comparable to the USGA but different from the Royal & Ancient Golf Club which is really a golf-course-club) announced a new program focused on increasing the number of female golfers -- girls and women. The new Charter is also supported by the Ladies European Tour.  As I read quickly through the charter, the most important feature is that it sets targets of participation -that presumably will be measured.

 

What is driving this interest in women's golf participation? In my opinion, one reason is that the global growth of the LPGA Tour under the leadership of Commissioner Mike Whan, has increased the participation of recreational female golfers and fans including the important youth segment.

 

No one wants to be left behind as that train leaves the station! I will be writing more about this new R&A Charter.  See https://www.randa.org/News/2018/05/The-RandA-unveil-Women-in-Golf-Charter-at-The-Shard-in-London#.Ww2InqYT_x0.facebook

 

 




 

 

A LITTLE HISTORY... US WOMEN'S OPEN -- SHOAL CREEK AND HOW THE PGA OF AMERICA CHANGED GOLF HISTORY in 1990

 

Women golfers are beginning to assemble at the Shoal Creek Golf & Country Club in Alabama for one of the most prestigious women's golf tournaments -- the US Women's Open Championship Conducted by the USGA. But there is a connection between US history and Shoal Creek that - represents how the game of golf shaped history. (This probably will not be mentioned in the broadcasts of the U.S. Women's Open, but I taught American history and want to share this background.)

 

In 1990, a scheduled PGA of America tournament at Shoal Creek became a critical "tipping point" – a beginning – in ending race discrimination at golf clubs and broadening golf club membership to women as well.

 

The tipping point occurred in 1990 when the PGA of America announced it would not hold its tournament at Shoal Creek until the club agreed to admit African-Americans. In response, Shoal Creek agreed to change its membership policy. Most importantly, since then the major golf organizations in the United States have rules regarding course selection that require clubs that host their events to meet inclusive membership requirements.

 

As we watch the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open at Shoal Creek with women golfers from all over the globe with many different backgrounds, let it be a reminder how the game of golf changed American history… for the better. For those who love history and golf, see this July 29, 1990 article in the New York Times at https://www.nytimes.com/…/golf-racism-issue-shakes-world-of….

 




 

[May 11, 2018] GREAT "GOLF GIFT" IDEAS:  [written for Mother's Day in US but good for any day and for any friend] 

These will work for most holidays and birthdays and easy to shop for.

 

Buy partner or good friend a golf lesson from the best golf instructor at a club near you.  If never played golf before this will be great introduction.  And, if already a golfer, then there will be lots of topics that to focus on.
Buy a golf club or even a set of new clubs.  Surprise tha special person with a gift certificate for new clubs.  And, don’t forget the golf shoes. 
Take a golf lesson yourself!  This may sound like a strange gift for “her,” but nothing makes golf more special than to play with members of your family      or good friends.   Some of my best memories are playing golf with children and the golf trips my husband and I have taken. 
Give a special person the gift of your “time” and go to the golf course or range.  Those few hours on the golf course will always be special.
If you give the gift of golf, it will keep on giving. 
 




 

[May 23, 2018] BREAKING NEWS!  LPGA TOUR MAKES DEEPER ROOTS IN KOREA FOR 2019

The city of Busan in Southeast Korea will host a new tournament in October 2019 with BMW sponsorship. 

The Busan course will be owned and managed (I think) by the LPGA in a similar model that the PGA Tour uses for its TPC courses. The course will undergo some restoration by famous US golf course architect, ReesJones. Incheon, Korea (on the northeast coast near Seoul) will be the site of the 2018 UL International Crown Tournament October 4-7. In an interview I had with Commissioner Mike Whan back in November, he explained that it was important that the Korean LPGA Tour players experience the enthusiasm of their fellow Korean galleries and crowds especially given the historic role that Korea has played in women's golf.

 

I'm already looking into plane routes. I think as a golf writer and advocate for women's golf, I would also find the Busan experience thrilling to be a part of. The LPGA message is "A Global Tour Like No Other." But I'm thinking that "It's a Small World After All" might also be appropriate!

 




 

[May 2018]  "SHAME ON US" SAYS MIKE WHAN, LPGA COMMISSIONER 

 

I often write about Commissioner Mike Whan's marketing skill. But it only succeeds if a financial base supports it. That's why each and every new sponsor is so important to the future of the LPGA Tour. In a recent LPGA media release, the Commissioner reported the following: "We've added 20 title sponsors and over 20 official marketing partners during [the last six years]. Don't know too many sports that could claim that."

 

Commissioner Whan then added: "The last two years have been unprecedented for us but if this is as good as it gets, then shame on us," said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan, who is continually looking to push the envelope, enhance business relationships, grow the tournament schedule and increase exposure and opportunities for the entire LPGA membership. See full media release at http://www.lpga.com/…/2018-lpga-nominated-in-two-categories…

 

That sounds like a plan to me! I'm on board and will enjoy writing about the Tour's future growth. I've been writing about women's golf and girls' golf for over fifteen years. I have never observed this level of leadership and management of the LPGA Tour. And I am sure there is more ahead. 

 




 

[      ]   NEW LPGA SEASON-LONG AWARDS AWARDED AT END OF FINAL 2018 EVENT

 

It is almost half-way through the LPGA Tour season at the LPGA Volvik Championship. Although each tournament has a dollar-amount prize for the top finishers, the LPGA Tour has added several "season-long" competitions that have helped to make each tournament more important. Good work, Commissioner! Follow this list:

 

Depending on her performance, a player may move up or down on the Rolex Rankings. see http://www.rolexrankings.com/rankings. If a player moved up, her name is green; if she moved down, her name is red; if she stayed at same place, her name is black. Use the search by country tab also.
Where she ranks on the Rolex Rankings will affect whether her country is one of 8 country-teams participating in the UL International Crown in Incheon, Korea in October. see current UL Crown standings at www.lpga.com
Player's performance could help her win the innaugural "LEADERS Top-10 Finisher" ($100,000 to the player with the most Top-10 finishes on the 2018 season sponsored by LEADERS.)
Race to the CME Globe Championship in November at season's end. See current standings at http://www.lpga.com/race-to-cme-globe. There is both a winner of the CME season-long points race AND a winner of the last tournament who receives one million dollars
That's why the new LPGA marketing message is "A Global Tour Like No Other."
 

 

 




 

 

 

[      ]  LPGA - FIVE RECENT UPDATES for 2019 LPGA TOUR -- You may have missed some - catch up!

 

 

 

UPDATE #5. The 2019 LPGA Tour will begin in Orlando, Florida with the inaugural Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions, -- Jan. 17-20, 2019, at Tranquilo Golf Club (Tom Fazio design) at Four Seasons Resort Orlando in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The field will include LPGA winners from the 2017 and 2018 seasons AND 45 celebrity participants and 10 amateurs, who will be paired with LPGA players for all four tournament days. The format will be 72 holes of stroke play for the LPGA players with no cut, while the amateurs will compete using a Modified Stableford scoring format. (The Stableford format awards points for eagles, birdies, and pars -- amateurs and celebrities will be allowed to use their handicaps.) Just when I was about to complain that the LPGA Tour was not innovative enough.... this came along! But, the LPGA Tour has to make sure it doesn't lose the core values of its Founders as it adjusts to fans who are looking for something different. I have confidence in Commissioner Mike Whan that this new "mixed team" format will serve to enhance the talent and skill of the players on the LPGA Tour, which is always the Commissioner's guiding principle.

 

 

 


 

 

 

UPDATE #4 -- FIRST OFFICIAL TEAM COMPETITION IN LPGA TOUR HISTORY NEXT MAY 2019

 

From LPGA News Release: The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) and The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) announced on May 10th a new official LPGA Tour event coming to Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay Region next summer. The Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, a 72-hole team event, will debut at Midland Country Club from July 17-20, 2019. The partnership between Dow and the LPGA is initially for five years. The 72-hole, stroke-play tournament will feature 72 two-player teams competing in both foursomes and four-ball with a $2 million purse.

 

“We are so thrilled to bring this event to the region to further showcase all that the Great Lakes Bay area has to offer,” said Jim Fitterling, chief executive officer-elect of Dow. “The impact of this event will extend far beyond the golf course, as this unique partnership offers a great platform to build our community and explore the intersections between golf, our business, and life, especially in the areas of careers and inclusion.”

 

 

 


 

 

 

UPDATE #3 - BUICK SPONSORS SHANGAI TOURNAMENT.  The October 18-20, 2019  tournament -- the first LPGA event in Shanghai, China -- now has a name and a sponsor. (A tournament in Shanghai has been on the 2018 LPGA calendar with no name or sponsor.) Buick's five-year sponsorship confirms the LPGA's commitment to the countries of Asia and its market position as a "global tour". Congratulations to Commissioner Mike Whan and the LPGA marketing team for their dedication and hard work. And thanks to Buick! (My first car just happens to have been a Buick)

 

 

 


 

 

 

UPDATE #2: "LEADERS TOP 10" -- The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) announced March 12 that LEADERS Cosmetics, a global leader in facial masks and skincare products, has extended its relationship with the LPGA through 2020, and its designation has been broadened to Official Cosmetics Partner.

 

 

 

As part of this expanded relationship, a ‘LEADERS Top 10’ competition has been launched, with the LPGA player who records the most top-10 finishes at the end of the season taking home a $100,000 bonus. [ARIYA JUTANUGARN WON THE KINGSMILL SUNDAY MAY 20 - SO SHE IS IN THE RUNNING FOR THE "TOP 10" BONUS]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

NEWS UPDATE #1 -- TURNER FAMILY LEADERSHIP AWARDS: June 12-13, 2018 -- For the second year the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Foundation will partner with the Turner Family Foundation of the Twin Cities (St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota) to continue to develop the next generation of female leaders when the first of five LPGA Leadership Academies on the 2018 schedule is held next month. Women's leadership programs are in the news for all the right reasons: Our personal values are established when we are young.

 

 

 

I grew up in St. Paul and went to the University of Minnesota. (One of the great LPGA Founders, Patty Berg, was born in Minnesota.) I will be going back to St. Paul next week to award the first student award under a scholarship my family and I recently established at my high school: St. Paul Central -- the oldest high school in the state and the high school that has graduated more Rhodes Scholars than any other high school in the country. I think the school taught "leadership" -- we just didn't know it at the time . Many thanks to the Turner Family for continuing our Twin Cities traditions. Congratulations to the award recipients.

 

 

 

For more about leadership see an article I wrote  (It's a real favorite!) ... "Why Women Golfers Must Be Leaders -- and It's Not About Hitting the Ball" at   https://www.womensgolf.com/women-golfers-leaders/

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[       ]  LPGA BREAKING NEWS:  New Team Format on the LPGA Tour in 2019.

 

 

 

THE GREAT LAKES BAY INVITATIONAL is innovative in that 144 LPGA golfers playing as two-person teams (72 teams) with a $2 million purse. -- will be the first "official team competition."

 

 

 

Hmmm? Isn't the International Crown a team competition-- and isn't the Solheim Cup a team competition? Yes! But the difference is important. In the UL Internaitonal Crown, there are 32 LPGA Tour players and in the Solheim, only 12 on Team USA (and some on Team Europe). In contrast, the Great Lakes Bay Invitational will include 144 LPGA players in the field over 4 days of play and that has never been done. (It will make my History of Women's Golf Timeline at http://nancyberkley.com/774892.html

 

 

 

I hear your next question: Won't 144 players take forever? Not really because the tournament will use both Foursome and Fourball formats. The Foursome format is alternate shot -- that's quick. The Fourball does have all each two-person team playing the hole, but it is the "better-ball" score of the twosome; and it is not unusual for only one team member to be playing out the hole if the other is really in trouble -- and that speeds things up -- and makes it exciting. See an article I wrote about the formats at:https://www.womensgolf.com/foursomes-fourball/

 

 

 

This will be the second innovative format on the LPGA 2019 schedule. The first in January is a mixed women/men/celebrity format -- details still to be announced

 

 

 

-------------

 

 

 

MY OPINION:  And in another article about the new DOW Chemical Team event, LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan explained background for the new LPGA Team event and why he is not pushing for a womens/mens event..  According to Global Golf Post... "[Mike Whan] also still preaches the virtues of a future mixed-team tournament where, in Whan’s words, “fans can see Lexi Thompson and Bubba Watson partnering and reading putts for each other. That’ll be great.”“

 

 

 


But if I know the Commissioner, and I think I do, he won't launch a mixed team event until he knows he's got it right. In interviews he has always told me the product of the LPGA Tour is "the LPGA player." Everything the LPGA does must be to make the LPGA player look better than ever. He won't take a short-cut that short-changes the LPGA players. That's my opinion.

 

 

 

_____________

 

 

 

SHORT GEOGRAPHY LESSON:  ABOUT THE GREAT LAKES  IN THE U.S. -- site of the first LPGA "Team" Event.

 

 

 

The new 2019 LPGA Tour "team" event -- the Great Lakes Bay Team Invitational sponsored by DOW Chemical -- is located at the Midland Country Club near the shore of Lake Huron one of the five "Great Lakes" in northern United States. The Great Lakes is the largest group of fresh water lakes on our earth (thank you, Wikipedia). I grew up in Minnesota and often visited Lake Superior, the lake farthest west. Heading east is Lake Michigan (Chicago is on Lake Michigan), Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. A river system connected Lake Ontario out to the Atlantic Ocean. Early settlers from Europe entered the US from the Atlantic Ocean using the Great Lakes and rivers to settlements in northern United States. The Great Lakes border Canada. Michigan - where the DOW  has an amazing number of golfers and fans... especially since those beautiful links are covered with snow for much of the year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

 

SOLHEIM CUP SEPTEMBER 2019 GETS BIG NEW SPONSOR: JOHN DEERE COMPANY .  

 

 

 

John Deere, one of the world’s leading golf course equipment suppliers, is confirmed as the latest big name partner to commit to The Solheim Cup at Gleneagles, Scotland, September 9th – 15th, 2019. 

 

 

 

There are TWO "international" competitive events on the LPGA Tour in alternate years:  The Solheim Cup and the UL International Crown.  They are "team" events (country vs country) and I write and report on both.  They are expensive events to stage and produce and sponsors are important.  Thanks to the John Deere company for stepping up as sponsor early. 

 

 

 

The 2018 UL International Crown October 4-7, 2018 (an LPGA Tour sponsored event - eight countries with 4-person teams compete in different match play formats) is still relatively new on the LPGA Tour.   To see what 8 countries are likely to compete for the 2018 Crown see http://www.lpga.com/tournaments/2018-ul-international-crown-team-standings  (currently: Korea, US, England, Japan, Australia, Thailand, Sweden, Chinese Taipai).  Also see an article I wrote about the 2016 Crown at https://www.womensgolf.com/lpga-international-crown-rio-olympics/.  

 




 

 

In 2019 - September 9-15, the Solheim Cup --  Team USA vs. Team Europe -- will be held in Scotland.   I have attended and written about Solheim Cup 2015 (in Germany), 2017 (in Des Moines, Iowa) and look forward to 2019 in Scotland. This is a really big, great tournament with a long history.  The Captains for each team have already been selected:  Juli Inkster for Team USA and Catriona Matthew for Team Europe.  See the home site for the tournament at http://solheimcup2019.com/.  Here is one article I wrote about Solheim 2017 that explains the format https://www.womensgolf.com/solheim-cup-2017/.  And one of my favorite articles is about Louise Solheim, who along with her husband established the PING golf company and who have generously funded the Solheim Cup -- see https://www.womensgolf.com/louise-solheim/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And almost forgot the Olympics which now includes golf will be held in summer 2020 summer in Tokyo, Japan  (at a course about an hour south of Tokyo).  For some background see my article about the return of golf to the Olympics at https://www.womensgolf.com/olympics/

 

 

 

It's easy to understand why the new marketing message of the LPGA Tour is "A Global Tour Like No Other."  LPGA Tour players will be in all the international events and many also play on European, Asian, and Australian tours that will represent their countries in the Olympics.   A good time to learn world geography! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

 

VOLUNTEER OF AMERICA TEXAS CLASSIC -- May 3 to May 6 (outshttps://www.womensgolf.com/solheim-cup-2017/ide Dallas, Texas at the Old American Golf Club) --  What is the sponsor selling?  Why advertise to golfers?

 

 

 

In an interview with LPGA Commissioner last November I asked him why a "volunteer" organization would sponsor an LPGA Tournament.  There is no product to buy. It's not about "profits".  The Commissioner didn't waste a minute answering my question.  He explained that the TV audience for women's golf had the most important ingredient to offer:  Time! 

 

 

 

Now it all made sense to me.  Although more young golfers are coming into the game -- and more millennials -- the TV fans for golf are "probably" not out coaching little league teams or taking kids to parks.  The TV audience probably (not gathered statistics yet) includes many viewers who are retired or partially retired -- and have time!  There are some other factors at work in our society that also promote volunteer-ism and "giving back".  

 

 

 

Interestingly, this is the only event on the LPGA Tour that promotes the role of volunteers. (You can't buy this sponsor's product in a store!) I will have more to say about Volunteers of America because it has an importat history and seems to be able to produce some of the best spots about women's golf of any sponsor.

 

 

 

The short pieces are intimate and dramatic insights into the mind of serious women golfers; Don't leave your TV to go to the kitchen when these spots come on! Let me know if you agree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STACY LEWIS announces she is having a baby.  And her sponsor KPMG responds with great news.  Below is a copy of my Facebook post.

 

 

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO STACY AND HER HUSBAND.

 

 

 

KPMG, THANK YOU!. On behalf of all working moms for launching "LPGA FAMILY LEAVE" for KPMG-sponsored players and leading the way. Mothers are great golfers....Nancy Lopez. Julie Inkster, Christie Kerr -- . And team Europe 2019 Solheim Captain Catriona Matthew to name just a few. Perfect role for Stacy in the announcers booth over the next month's. @KPMG. #whatareyoushootingfor.

 

 

 

Here is a portion from an article for GOLFWEEK magazine written by star supporter Beth Ann Nichols:

 

 

 

"As Lewis began to tell friends, family and sponsors the happy news, she got an unexpected follow-up phone call from KPMG. The way most sponsorship contracts are written, Lewis said, players get paid based in part on the number of tournaments they compete in. For example, if she had to play in a minimum number of 20 events and played in only 10, she’d get half the pay.

 

 

 

“(KPMG) called me a couple days later and said they wanted to pay me for the whole contract, regardless of the number of tournaments I played in,” said Lewis. “They see me as a member of their team and their family and they wanted to treat me like any other female in their organization that has a baby. Which I was pretty blown away by, shocked to get that phone call really.”

 

 

 

To read the entire GOLFWEEK article go to

 

 

 

https://golfweek.com/2018/04/26/stacy-lewis-pregnant-with-1st-child-sponsor-shows-unexpected-support/

 

 

 

KPMG, a leading worldwide accounting firm, is a strong supporter of women's golf and sponsor a "major" tournament on the LPGA Tour:  the KPMG Women's PGA Championship. June 28-July 1.  At this tournament, the final four players for each of the 8 teams competing in the UL International Crown will be announced based on the current Rolex Rankings.

 

 

 

P.S. Just to note that the next President of the PGA of America will be Suzy Whaley -- the first female president of The PGA.... and the mother of two talented daughters (golfers, of course!).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For another article about the impact of the KPMG decision see the Business Insider at:

 

 

 

http://www.businessinsider.com/stacy-lewis-kpmg-lpga-sponsor-maternity-leave-2018-4

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HAVE YOU NOTICED?  More Women's Product-Sponsors on the LPGA Tour

 

 

 

There are more sponsors of the LPGA Tour that make and sell products specifically for women? The LPGA has had a long sponsorship-history with Pure Silk shaving cream for women (and Barbasol shaving cream for men.). But read on...

 

 

 

The current LPGA event in San Francisco is sponsored by MEDIHEAL which sells a cosmetic face-mask product to improve the look, feel and health of our complexions. Next season, another skin care manufacturer LEADERS (also a face-mask product) will sponsor a first-time women/men/celebrity event in January. Both MEDIHEAL and LEADERS ares successful Korean-based cosmetic manufacturers that sell their products all over the world. . (Before writing this post, I spent some time interviewing an esthetician to understand the face-mask products and learned about their increased popularity in the U.S..)

 

 

 

To see MEDIHEAL and LEADERS come on board as sponsors of the LPGA suggests that more women are watching more LPGA Tour golf.-- all over the globe The recent announcement that UBS and Prudential Securities will be sponsoring programs for working women to learn the game adds to the good news. And so much more to come this season -- the US Women's Open, the KPMG Women's Championship, the UL International Crown and the grand finale Race to the CME Globe in November. I'm already thinking 2020 Olympics in Tokyo! (this will also be posted on Nancy's Blog at http://nancyberkley.com/nancy-s-blog.html. 

 

 

 

This blog post first appeared on my Facebook Page -- Follow me on Facebook and Twitter -- go to Home Page for click-on icons.

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHY WE WILL BE SEEING MORE GREAT WOMEN GOLFERS FROM THE U.S.

 

 

 

As I read about this wonderful new young woman golfer, Alexa Pano, (from Coral Gables, Florida) I am reminded of Lexi Thompson at a similar age.  

 

 

 

Read the Global Golf Post article at http://read.nxtbook.com/global_golf_post/local/20180423_fsga/index.html#alexa_pano_feature

 

 

 

But this article (long but worth every paragraph) suggests that it's not just one American girl but a significant trend among talented US girls taking up golf. The numbers of young golfers (from the National Golf Foundation) confirm this especially because the NGF now includes girls and women who play less than a full nine or 18 holes -- what beginners do!

 

 

 

The new measurements suggest that golf is a growing sport in the US and with the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf, support from Annika, TopGolf and new golf ranges, there is really nothing to stop the trend. [I always remind readers, that these are the children of the children who went to school in the US after Title IX was enacted and girls were provided comparable opportunities to play sports.]

 

 

 

With the upcoming release from the NGF about the numbers of golfers, I expect that this trend will be statistically confirmed.  I have written several articles about the girls golf.  See "Is Junior Golf Really Good for Kids?" at https://www.womensgolf.com/is-junior-golf-good-for-kids/

 

 

 

And there is a new program for children ages 2 to 5 .  http://littlegolftrain.com/.  The Little Golf Train is taught by certified instructors in a program developed by Dr. Patricia Donnelly.  Here is the Little Golf T.R.A.I.N.™ Mission Statement:  "To provide children ages 2-5 with a research-based, holistic, early-learning environment and introduce them to the fundamentals of golf and accompanying life skills. To foster a love of the game of golf through a developmentally appropriate curriculum rooted in evidence-based research. To provide golf professionals with turn-key resources to help build a safe, fun and effective early-learning environment for children ages 2-5." 

 

 

 

And look at the wonderful programs (with sites all over the United States) at :  http://www.uskidsgolf.com/  AND at the LPGA/USGA Girls Golf Program at many sites all over the country  https://www.girlsgolf.org/ And the PGA of America has introduced a league program that merges teaching and competition see https://www.pgajrleague.com/.  And one of the first junior programs introduced years ago is still growing and thriving:  The First Tee at  https://thefirsttee.org.

 

 

 

Your young golfer may not win a gold medal at the Olympics, or play in the Solheim Cup, or win a USGA tournament, or top the leaderboard at an LPGA Tour event.  But she will learn a game that teaches not only golf-skills, but also life-skills.  And nothing is really more important than that in the end.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHERE IS THE LPGA TOUR PLAYING NEXT?  EASY-TO-DO ADVICE FOR WOMEN GOLFERS 

 

 

 

One way the number of women's golfers (and girls also) will grow is by watching more of the LPGA Tour on television.  There is more TV coverage than!  Just watching a few holes and listening to the announcers is a lesson in itself.  Many golfers are encouraged to try the game from watching the professionals.  The really good news is that there are many more programs for new golfers than ever. 

 

 

 

STEP ONE:  Go to the LPGA website (www.lpga.com and then go to the Tournaments tab and download the schedule.  http://www.lpga.com/tournaments/download-lpga-schedule

 

 

 

STEP TWO:  Print the schedule out and put it up on the women's locker room bulletin board and on your club's main bulletin board. and certainly in the Pro Shop (women are the best customers!)..

 

 

 

STEP THREE:  I suggest you "CHECK OFF" the tournaments played so women can easily see what's next.

 

 

 

STEP FOUR:  If your golf shop only shows men's golf tournaments on the shop TV, teach them how to record an LPGA tournament and replay it in the pro shop.  [If your proshop is not showing women's golf tournaments on the TV, better read "ADVICE FOR WOMEN GOLFERS (my all-time favorite article)   https://www.womensgolf.com/women-golfers-leaders/

 

 

 

STEP FIVE:  If you have a really good golf professional at your club or a great Women's Golf Committee Chairperson, suggest this tournament format:  Pick a Pro for Your Partner.   Have your pro select about twenty-plus of the top pros who will be in the field of an upcoming tournament; members should try to each pick a different pro as their partner.  The Winner will be announced after the tournament:  Net score of your member plus score of the pro she picked.   And then print out the final Leaderboard from the lpga.com site and your member who was smart enough (or lucky enough) to be her partner.  What this simple fun tournament teaches is how to use the LPGA website and how to get to know the LPGA players and to watch the LPGA Tour on TV (live or record ed).  

 




 


 WHERE ARE THE ROLEX WORLD RANKINGS (HOW DO I USE THEM?)

 

 

 

AND WHERE IS THE UPDATE ON THE UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN???

 

 

 

Check out the Rolex Women's Golf Rankings at the Official Rolex Website
http://www.rolexrankings.com/en/rankings/?help.

 

 

 

I like this page of the Rankings because it shows which players moved up and which moved down. At bottom of page use the scroll button to page 2 and notice that Azahara Munoz of Spain moved up 15 places after the last tournament!!

 

 

 

She could help Spain move into the UL International Crown. This is also a good page to search by "country".

 

 

 

To see the leaders in any country, put the name (abbreviation) of the country you want to see -- and there are all the golfers ranked. So much to see on this site!! [The Rolex Rankings are also used to determine the two players from 30 countries that will compete in the 2020 Olympic golf competition in Tokyo. ]

 

 

 

TO SEE THE STANDINGS FOR THE UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN -- GO TO  www.lpga.com and Tournaments tab and "Standings for UL Crown  -- or click on http://www.lpga.com/tournaments/2018-ul-international-crown-team-standings.  

 

 

 

Now that the previous LOTTE Championship sponsored by Hershey is over and the Rolex Rankings have been updated, the eight countries (with 4-person teams) are: Korea, US, Japan, England, Australia, Thailand, Sweden, and Chinese Taipei. See the current top 4 players from the countries using the Rolex Rankings page. Who will join me Oct 4-7 in Incheon, Korea for this great tournament?  ALL THIS COULD CHANGE AFTER THE LA OPEN.... stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BREAKING NEWS - April 11, 2018:  LPGA TOUR ANNOUNCES A NEW AMATEUR TOURNAMENT AND QUALIFICATION FOR THE LPGA TOUR -- "THE Q SERIES"

 

 

 

WOMENS AMATEUR GOLF IN THE NEWS...AGAIN! Last week before the Masters began, the Masters Chairman announced the 2019 Augusta National Women's Amateur Championship with 72 women golfers -- 30 of which would play the final round on "THE" hallowed Masters Course on Saturday before the Masters begins and before the Drive, Chip and Putt finals on Sunday. It is not clear to what extent and when Mike Whan LPGA Commissioner was informed of the new Masters women's amateur.

 

 

 

A major issue emerged: The first major of the LPGA season in 2019 is the ANA Inspiration in Palm Springs and it concludes on the Sunday before Masters week. Amateur women golfers might have to decide whether or not to play in the ANA Inspiration or qualify for the new Masters Women's Amateur. Didn't seem fair to women! (But the Masters is generally arrogant -- it now has 4 women members! Hardly a commitment to women's golf and golfers! )

 

 

 

I predicted in another Facebook post that Mike Whan -- who in my interviews with him is always motivated by an overall. thoughtful strategy for the LPGA Tour and women's golf -- would meet with his Board and carefully decide how to deal with the Masters conflict.  I was right!

 

 

 

Today, April 11, (a week after the Master's announcement of a women's amateur event), the Commissioner went further and announced a new amateur tournament later this year (yes, this fall) -- the "Q-Series" that would make it easier (actually double the number) for amateurs to qualify for the LPGA Tour.  The new LPGA amateur Q-Series tournament will be played on two great courses at Pinehurst   (famous designs by architect Donald Ross)  see https://www.homeofgolf.com/

 

 

 

And from today's announcement: Quote from Commissioner Mike Whan: 
"What I like most about the Q-Series is that it will be a true test for how players will qualify for the LPGA tour," said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan. "The playing status earned by competitors at Q-Series will be a direct reflection of eight rounds of head-to-head competition on a demanding test at Pinehurst Resort."

 

 

 

There was no mention of postponing the ANA Inspiration to accommodate The Masters.  

 

 

 

____________________________________

 

 

 

To read more about the new LPGA Q-Series - see a good summary at

 

 

 

https://www.golfchannel.com/article/golf-central-blog/lpga-unveils-new-q-series-debut-pinehurst/

 

 

 

______________________________________

 

 

 

ABOUT "AMATEUR" STATUS AND ROLE OF THE USGA 

 

 

 

The United States Golf Association (the USGA)  sets the rules for "amateur status".  I confirmed with the LPGA that the LPGA follows the USGA rules for amateur status.   To see the USGA rules of Amateur Status see:  http://www.usga.org/rules/rules-of-amateur-status.html#!rule-01The USGA is a great supporter of amateur golf.  Last year, the USGA introduced a US Women's Amateur with a schedule of qualifying rounds at sites all over the world.   There is also a "four-ball" tournament for women's amateurs.  And most importantly, the US Women's Open is open to amateurs who qualify at qualifying sites all over the world.  (Many LPGA Tournaments also allow a certain number of women amateur golfers to play in LPGA Tournaments (provided they waive any prize money).  

 

 

 

___________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MORE...  about amateur womens golf and marketing women's golf.... 

 

 

 

https://www.nytimes.com/…/augusta-national-womens-tournamen…

 

 

 

https://www.golfchannel.com/…/augusta-national-creates-wom…/

 

 

 

https://golfweek.com/…/augusta-national-womens-amateur-cha…/

 

 

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/946cb9da-3825-11e8-acd5-35…

 

 

 

Just to refresh the opportunities open to female amateur golfers conducted by the USGA, see http://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/schedule.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





 

LPGA and Executive Women's Golf Association (EWGA) to Unite in Strategic Alliance to Grow the Women's Game | LPGA | Ladies Professional Golf Association

 

March 27, 2018.  The EWGA -- Executive Women's Golf Association. -- was established in Florida in 1991. Women were entering the workplace and academia in greater numbers than ever before. Generally, women in the U.S.faced a work environment dominated by men. Golf was a favorite sport among the male employees and many corporations and law firms held golf outings. (I was the only woman in my law firm's golf outing). Enter the Executive Women's Golf Association introducing the game to a "network" of many thousands of "executive" working women. But times change. Today golf must attract young girls and young mothers, working women and non-working women ...new golfers and recreational and experienced golfers.

 

The "umbrella" of women's golf must be huge! Every time I interview Commissioner Mike Whan -- as recently as last November at the CME---- I ask him: Why can't I have an "I SUPPORT THE LPGA tag on my golf bag. (I have one for the USGA) Last interview he suggested he was working on it. i welcome the new LPGA -,WOMEN. WHO PLAY. I want the first bag tag! It's been an honor to be on the Women's Committee of the World Golf Foundation and to support and celebrate this new strategic alliance. It will make my History of Women's Golf Timeline at http://nancyberkley.com/774892.html.

 

LPGA and Executive Women's Golf Association to Unite in Strategic Alliance to Grow the Women's Game | LPGA | Ladies Professional Golf Association

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


INBEE PARK RETURNS TO LPGA TOUR FOR THE HSBC WOMEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP IN SINGAPORE

 

Recovering from thumb and back injuries, Inbee returns.  She is one of my favorite golfers to watch -- a swing that looks slow and short but has the distance..... always looks like magic to me!  See  http://www.lpga.com/news/2018-inbee-park-makes-season-debut-in-singapore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Honda Thailand LPGA Tournament -- Lexi Thompson Rules Issue, Second Round February 23, 2018

 

What is a "local rule"; How do you know if there are local rules; What is the penalty if violate a local rule?

 

ABOUT the "LOCAL RULE" rule. About Lexi Thompson 2nd round penalty at the Honda Thailand LPGA tournament. (this is long and will also posted on www.nancyberkley.com). The time difference between Thailand and US is about 12 hours so the final round of the match is just about to begin as this note is published!

 

I have the current USGA Rules of Golf in front of me... over 200 pages small print. A tricky rule is if a course declares a "local rule" (Rule 33-8) -- one that does not conform to the official rule and is usually specific to the course and the competition. "Local Rules" are not printed in the Rules of Golf -- only the ability to declare a "local rule" under Rule 33-8.

 

BUT HOW DO YOU KNOW IF THERE IS A LOCAL RULE -- THAT'S THE ISSUE! When a course makes a local rule for a tournament it notifies the players of the local rule. In non-professional competition, there might be a posting on a bulletin board and an announcement or notice handed out to each player. For instance if a temporary fence has been put up as part of some construction project, a "local rule" might allow "relief" from that fence without penalty.

 

But without that local rule, a player up against an immovable obstruction with no possible way to make a shot, could take one-shot penalty and re-drop the ball. Or, a player might take a putter to hit that shot away from the immovable obstruction without incurring a penalty.

 

In the second round of the Honda Thailand LPGA, a local rule was established and notice was given to each caddy on a piece of paper at the beginning of the round. (The caddy and and golfer are "one" -- and the golfer is assumed to know the information the caddy received and vice-versa.)

 

The local rule in the 2nd round of the Honda Thailand LPGA tournament was that advertisement-signs on the course were declared to be "immovable obstructions" so the ball had to be played where it lay -- and if a shot was not possible, then the player had to replace it and take a one-shot penalty . By definition an "obstruction" is something artificial. (a tree is not an obstruction.)

 

Lexi was not aware of the "local rule" and moved the sign and then hit her shot. She did not know she had violated the local rule and went on to finish her round and submit her scorecard. AFTER the round, the rule violation was "discovered" and she received a two-shot penalty. BUT -- she did not receive another 2-stroke penalty for submitting an incorrect scorecard which happened last season at the ANA Inspiration when a TV-viewer called in a penalty. Last season the USGA revised the rules to prohibit call-in viewers and no longer applies another 2-shot penalty when a player was not aware of a rules violation.

 

None of this rule-technicality should dissuade any golfer from playing golf. Golf is my passion and most of the time the rules make sense in competitions. For recreational golfers like myself, when I play in serious championship matches, I always bring my USGA Rules of Golf and never leave a hole with a rules question until I have a professional come out and make an official decision. Once you move on to the next hole, whatever you did cannot be changed.

February 2018:  The PGA of America annnounced a new special 2019 "International" Women's Tournament -- the 2019 Women's PGA Cup -- for it's female PGA Professionals (probably amateurs - but may be some exceptions). The link below includes a nice video from Suzy Whaley, the next President of The PGA.   

 

 

The following countries are tentatively committed to play in the 2019 Women’s PGA Cup: Australia, Canada, Great Britain & Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden and the United States.

The site of the inaugural competition will be announced at a later date.  

This PGA of America tournament format is similar in some ways to the LPGA Tour UL International Crown tournament with eight-country-teams -- each with four players.  The 2018 UL International Crown will be played in Incheon, Korea the first weekend in October. 

See this link:  https://www.pga.com/pga-of-america/golf-buzz/pga-of-america-launch-womens-pga-cup-in-2019

 

 

WHAT'S THIS ABOUT?  -- SLOW PLAY -- "BEING PUT ON THE CLOCK" LPGA -- ANA INSPIRATION THIRD ROUND - Mission Hills, Palm Springs, California.

 

The top two players in the third round were paired:  Sweden's Pernilla Lindberg and Korea's Sung Hyun Park.  They were "Put on the Clock" and Park's game faltered as she tried to speed up.  Here's my opinion about the issue:

What is "Being Put on the Clock" all about? The LPGA has rules about "slow play" -- (so does the PGA Tour, but they differ) -- the LPGA rules were made a little tougher about six years ago.

 

In order for a group to be put “on the clock”, the group must be in violation of two rules: (1) They have violated “time par” which is the amount of time allocated to the play of each hole; this is customized for each course and takes into account playing conditions, and (2) the group must be “out of position”, that is there is too much space between them and the group in front of them. Even though only one player in a group may be the "slow" player, the whole group is "on the clock".

 

In today's Round 3 of the ANA Inspiration tournament, the two-some of Pernilla Lindberg (Sweden) and Sung Hyun Park (Korea) were first warned about being slow and then were "put on the clock". Although I watched the match, I will have to back and replay it to see who actually was "slower." Once "put on the clock", Park lost her rhythm and did not play as well. Lindberg did not seem affected by the slow play warning and played the final holes very well to take the lead. Why the difference? In my opinion, Lindberg was the more experienced tournament player and knew how to speed up. And Lindberg from Sweden is also an excellent skier who has probably speeded down many trails. Park is less experienced in tournament golf and just had a harder time adjusting to a faster routine. Park also does not have a coach -- she relies on her own innate talent. Perhaps a coach would have helped her learn and practice playing faster. The final match on Sunday April 1 will be one to watch! 

 

 

BRAND MARKETING  #101 -- the NIKE Lesson

Strong television ratings for the 2018 Masters owe it to Tiger Woods and the strength of the "Tiger Brand". Modern-brand "celebrity" marketing was invented and popularized by NIKE -- beginning with basketball's Michael Jordan. The great LPGA Tour player, Lorena Ochoa, now has brand status as a new line in Mattel's famous Barbie Doll Collection. As a result, I would expect to see more Latina-American golfers in the LPGA/USGA Girls Golf programs and then on more women's amateur and professional golf tours.

 

Commissioner Mike Whan has announced a new 2019 LPGA Tour event next January that includes women, men and celebrities. That's how great personal brands are built. The game of golf needs more of them!

 

P.S. I wrote this post before I read the Wall Street Journal April 9, 2018 article "Nike Needs to Run After Women." The new Nike skort worn by Michelle Wie this season with longer ruffled back is a great and welcome new design.

 

KIA CLASSIC (March 22-25_ -- I WAS FOLLOWING LIZETTE SALAS... AND NANCY LOPEZ

 

TO BE HONEST: I was following Lizette Salas at the LPGA Tour Kia Classic at Carlsbad.   It was forty years ago in 1978 that Nancy Lopez made history winning five tournaments in a row. I remember the impact on women's golf of Nancy Lopez and her Latina heritage. And then in 2017, I was lucky to sit next to Azucena Maldonado in the media room of the Solheim Cup. She was following Lizette on Team USA. I learned that in 2008, Azucena had established the Latina Golfers Association and I knew our paths would cross again.

 

Today, I caught up with Azucena during the final round of the Kia Classic -- Lizette was very close to victory. I asked Azucena to bring me up to date on the Latina Golfers Association.

 

FROM AZUCENA MALDONADO, Founder of the Latina Golfers Association:
"It’s a new dawn and today young Latinas look to Lizette as the evolving face of golf in the United States and she gives them hope that it won’t take that many years to see more Lizette’s playing professional golf. In fact the pipeline is going strong with Lee Lopez now on the tour and many U.S. Latinas playing collegiate golf ready to start the quest to earn their LPGA tour card. As the founder fo the Latina Golfers Association I love to shine a light on Lizette and the Salas family. She is a role model for our community and works with us to grow the game of golf. Lizette works fervently to realize her dream to be the best woman golfer in the world and she works as diligently to encourage girls and women to learn to golf to enhance their lives. Lisette is living the American Dream and she wants other girls to do the same - by learning how to play golf!"

 

LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan has worked hard to achieve a "global Tour." But worth noting that a "global heritage" -- one that Lizette embraces as a Latina -- enhances the global character of the LPGA Tour. Not just about where you live, but where your heart lives also. 

 

USGA NEW RULES OF GOLF OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCED

TO GO INTO EFFECT JANUARY 1, 2019. 

See http://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules-hub/rules-modernization/major-changes/major-changes.html

 

"The following are the main changes to the Rules of Golf taking effect January 1, 2019 that are expected to have the most impact on the game and to be of most interest to golfers. The items covered on this page are organized into eight categories, and within each individual item, you will find the main reasons for the change. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us any time.

 

Ball at Rest  |  Ball in Motion  |  Taking Relief  |  Areas of the Course    

Equipment  |  Playing a Ball  |  When to Play During a Round  |  Player Behavior

 

The new rules are very well explained on the USGA site with both text and videos.  I recently reminded my caddy that he could not touch the green with the flagstick to show me the line of my putt, BUT after next January 1, that will not be a penalty.  That special drop technique (arm out straight at shoulder height) will also be gone and replaced with a new more relaxed "drop rule".  And, several new rules about bunkers -- players will be able to remove loose objects (like a leaf) in a bunker.  

In the interest of speeding up play, one of the most important new rules is this one:  "It is recommended that you play “ready golf” and make each stroke in no more than 40 seconds."  No more conversations about who is farther from the flagstick!

 

The new rules should "relax" the game and speed it up.  

FROM THE FOUNDERS CUP -- SATURDAY MARCH 17 --ROUND 3 --MEDIA CENTER INTERVIEWS:

Excerpts from just two players in the LPGA Media Center Interviews because of their historical significance -- chance to share some history. This is a very long post on Facebook -- read it here also on http://nancyberkley.com/nancy-s-blog.html

 

Q. TO INBEE PARK: Phenomenal start to the round; 6-under through five holes. You shot a 29 on the front nine. Were you ever thinking about that magic number that would come into play in shooting a 59 today?

INBEE PARK: Yes, for a little bit I think after the front nine. I got off to really good start with a shot eagle on the front and everything seemed to be in. On the back nine it was a little bit different, a little bit more boring golf.

 

NANCY'S NOTES: What is that "magic number" all about?  The magic number if 54 -- the score if a player "birdied" every hole. The closest anyone has come is Annika Sorenstam with a score of 59. Enjoy this utube video of Annika talking about that 59 round https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNGvp8JiJXE. The golf instructor team of Lynn Marriott & Pia Nilsson have written about "Vision 54" https://www.vision54.com/ and reference it in their new book "Be A Player".

 

Q. TO INBEE PARK: And your putting, obviously one of the best putters of all-time. You changed your putter. Can you tell us 
about that?
INBEE PARK: Yes, I changed to a little bit more Anser style of putter this week, because I think I was getting too used to the mallet style putter doesn't really shows mistakes. I wanted to see which way I was missing, what my stroke was doing wrong. With Anser style you can tell much better. I wanted to see my misses and good putts and bad putts. That's why I kind of change it before going to ANA, so I can kind of see my mistakes and see which putts are the good putts.

 

NANCY'S NOTES: The reference to an "Anser" style putter goes back to Karsten Solheim and his "invention" of the Anser blade-type putter that made a "Ping" sound when hit. And that's the beginning of PING golf. I had the honor to write about the PING family and the role of Louise Solheim (who gave the putter its name). She was a "founder" and with Karsten originated the Solheim Cup. See https://www.womensgolf.com/louise-solheim/

 

Q. TO LAURIE DAVIES: Q. The think the folks in the media center were saying it's the lowest round you've had on the LPGA since '06. Where did that come from?
LAURA DAVIES: Well, my putting is improved no end, and my ball striking has always been pretty solid. My putting has been letting me down for the last four, five, six, years. I changed to the claw grip in Arkansas last year, so that was sort of July last year. And I've started to hole some putts.

 

NANCY'S FINAL NOTE:  CHECK MY PUTTER AND PUTTING STROKE.

FROM THE FOUNDERS CUP - FRIDAY MARCH 16 -- MEDIA CENTER -- NOTES FROM THE PLAYERS:

After every round on the LPGA Tour (with few exceptions), the players come to the media center and answer questions from reporters.  The text of the Q&A are distributed and even though I am not in Arizona, I can review the press releases.  The media center at LPGA events is amazing!

I read the comments from Friday’s rounds and have selected just two players’ comments to share.  One from Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn and another from U.S. Brittany Lincicome.  Golf is a very “personal” game.  (Two more rounds to go!  Remember there is life TV coverage in most areas -- tape the coverage.) 

 

TO ARIYA JUTANUGARN

Q. How are you able to not focus on being in the lead and winning? How do you keep that out of your mind?

ARIYA JUTANUGARN: It's very tough for me. It's hard. Before, every putt we just want to make it, but I know that when I'm thinking about make it I'm not going to make it. I have to thinking about like what my coach said.

 

Q. What are you thinking about? The stroke?

ARIYA JUTANUGARN: Just make sure I have to finish my stroke before I look at the hole or at my ball.

 

There is quite a difference between Arriya’s statements:  “Do not look at the hole” and “Finish the stroke”. 

Someone once told me that our brains don’t really understand “not” and negatives.  “Thinking positive” is good advice for golf.

 

TO BRITTANY LINCICOME

Q. How much have you worked on your putting and how big a deal is it?

BRITTANY LINCICOME: Zero. I mean, I just go and when I'm home I play a bunch, but I never go to the putting green. I haven't even seen the putting green this week other than my five, ten minutes before I go to the tee.

I played with Angela Stanford this week, and she was like, How do you do it? I hate you. You never have to practice. You're just like a natural. Just go out and play.

Just super lucky, because if I had to practice -- like I cannot wait to go take a nap right now. (Laughter.)

 

 

 

BREAKING NEWS:  New tournament and sponsor for LPGA TOUR 2019. Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions -- Men, Women, Celebrities, Amateurs -- What more do you need?  Fans!!! 

See  http://www.lpga.com/news/diamond-resorts-tournament-of-champions-to-kick-off-2019-lpga-season   

Can you believe that the LPGA Tour has already announced a new tournament for next year?  [information recently also posted on my Facebook page - click Facebook icon above to also check out the other postings):

 

To say that LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan thinks ahead is the understatement of the season! The Commissioner just announced  the first -- and new format -- tournament to launch the 2019 season next January. The tournament will include the best of the best LPGA Tour players and celebrities and some amateurs.

 

It reminds me of a 2010 tournament sponsored by Golf Digest -- the Golf Digest US Open Challenge -- that had an online contest about who would be the amateur to play with a group of celebrities at famous Pebble Beach - playing from the 7,040-yard tournament tees.  Peggy Ferrence, an amateur golfer from New Jersey, won the on-line vote and the only woman beating several other male golfers for the opportunity.  That celebrity Pebble Beach tournament was an opening event for the USGA's 2010 US Open.  Peggy's goal was to break 100 on the course, but the prevailing winds that day and the long grasses proved a formidable challenge for both Peggy and the celebrities.

 

Here's an article about that famous tournament where famous/popular golfers were caddies for the celebrity foursome.

http://www.usga.org/articles/2010/06/foursome-finds-pebble-to-be-a-tough-roll-2147487124.html

 

Mike Whan, in my interview with him at the CME Globe, last November mentioned some "new" tournaments for 2019. I was hoping for a good, mixed LPGA Tour and PGA Tour "team" event.  But will have to wait a little longer for that -- I know the Commissioner is thinking about it. 

The 2010 Golf Digest event, in my opinion, met mixed reviews.  It is a sponsor's opportunity to feature a new resort to a large TV audience, but it will be challenging to market to golfers.  But -- then again -- marketing is the specialty of the Commissioner. 

 

This tournament must be successfull so I will stay close to it in the planning stage.  My advice:  (although not requested) is that perhaps the Commissioner can include some of the PGA Tour players.  In the Golf Digest 2010 tournament discussed above, Peggy Ference played from the same 7000 yard tees as the men in her foursome.  My advice would be to have different players playing from different tees (that's the backbone of the US Handicap System and an opportunity to educate golfers about the Handicap System).  PGA Tour events are usually at least 600 yards longer than LPGA Tour events; so, let's see how Mike Whan handles the dilemma of "women's tees) and "amateurs' shorter tees".   And wouldn't it be interesting to have one of the top teens in the mix.  (Lexi Thompson at 15 could have scored better than some Tour players.)  I will stay tuned to how the new Diamond Resort Tournament of Champions develops.  I'm putting the tournament on my schedule for next January -- just a few hours drive north for me.

 

 

Women's Forums now part of more LPGA Tour Events...starting with the Bank of Hope Founders Cup 

 

At the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, March 15-18, in Phoenix, Arizona, the LPGA Tour holds its first (of the the 2018) season women's lunch and forum for about 100 women from the area. Forums and luncheons for women held in conjunction with a LPGA Tournament are a growing trend.

The Bank of Hope forum will feature a putting lesson from the great LPGA players, Nancy Lopez and Betsy King along with instructors from the famed "Vision 54" teaching program.  As explained by Tracy Hupko, Sales and Marketing Manager LPGA Bank of Hope Founders Cup, "Each year our 'What’s Fore Lunch' events grow and bring new faces to the game of golf. The luncheons carve out a small piece of the day to give business woman a chance to network and learn about golf or improve their game, without cutting into their family time.” What I also liked about the Bank of Hope forum is that LPGA Girls Golf participants are invited to the forum to witness for themselves how golf and leadership work together.

 

About one-third of the 2018 LPGA Tour events are reaching out to the local women golfers with special programming. I will be writing more about those forums as a new and positive trend building both women golfers and fans.  

It's a new world for business women (still not perfect), but like to share my story.  When I was a lawyer with a New York City big, law firm, they announced their annual golf outing and dinner -- for all employees.  I signed up for the golf tournament, of course!  A partner called me aside to tell me that I was the only woman playing golf.  He was perplexed because there was a long drive contest, and he recognized that one woman against all those men in a long drive contest didn't sound quite fair.  So he asked for my suggestion.  It was an easy answer!  I said, "I guess I will probably win the longest women's drive contest."  And, I did!  And I received a lovely sweater at the prize ceremony.  In a small way, all women golfers have an opportunity to level the playing field -- the fairway -- to make the game of golf more welcoming for all women and girls.

 

 

European Tours organize 2018 mixed men/women events and lead the way.  It's a busy summer!  (posted on Nancy Facebook page -- March 9, 2018)

 

MARK SUMMER GOLF CALENDAR: The European golf associations -- the Ladies European Tour (the LET) and the men's European Tour are playing TWO mixed women/men tournaments in 2018. Some women golfers are members of the the LET and the LPGA Tours. (hmmm?.. the PGA Tour and the LPGA Tour just can't get their schedules in sync according to conversations I have had with LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan, who has "hinted" that thinking about a co-ed format.).

 

The first men/swomen European event in May -- GolfSixes -- is a short event and will be played over two days May 5 and 6 at the Centurion Club in England (north of London). See http://www.bbc.com/sport/golf/43205185

 

The second mixed event -- described as "revolutionary" -- August 8-12 is in Gleneagles, Scotland and will feature a 50/50 gender split in the field with male and female professionals competing for equal prize money in both a Men’s and Women’s Team match play Championship as well as an 18-hole foursomes stroke play Mixed Team Championship. Click the box below for more about this new event.

 

the LPGA Tour's "Major" Ricoh Women's British Open is August 2-5 in Lancashire, England. A few days later, the European Mixed Golf Team Championship August 8-12 (describe above) follows And then.... the LPGA Tour plays August 16-19 back in the US in Indianapolis, Indiana at the Indy Women in Tech Championship sponsored by Guggenheim -- at the Indianapolis raceway. Wow -- a busy August!

And almost forgot.... the MENS RYDER CUP -- TEAM USA vs TEAM EUROPE will be played September 25-30 at Le Golf National in Paris France. And then October 4-7, the LPGA Tour gathers in Incheon, Korea for the UL International Crown. Two great team country-vs-country events this summer.

 

 

Lorena Ochoa, LPGA Tour player and member of Golf Hall of Fame added to Barbie collection of "Shero" dolls created to inspire the next generation of girls.... and my background with Barbie.  Announcement in honor of -- International Women's Day, March 8, 2018. (posted March 8, 2018)

I bring some history to Mattel and girls golf.  In 2008, I was a consultant to Mattel involving the launch of "Barbie" branded girls-golf clubs.  As a test, they were introduced at the PGA Merchandise Show in 2008 where I met with the Mattel executives on this project.

 

The company determined, however, that Barbie golf clubs were not an appropriate extention of Mattel's brand.  I became intrigued with the line of "famous" Barbies and suggested that Nancy Lopez should be included in their famous-women-doll-collection.  That never happened. (see photo below)

Interestingly, back in 1992, Mattel introduced "Golf Date Barbie" which I could not resist buying for its history.(see the photo below).

So here we are -- twenty-six years later -- and Mattel has returned to women's golf.  Their selection of Lorena Ochoa as one of the "Sheros" collection (that's Mattel translation of "she-heroes") is a perfect choice.  And isn't it interesting and important that women have moved beyond just being a "date" to being an "inspiration" to girls about what they can achieve?  

I considered Mattel's recognition of Lorena Ochoa important and symbolic of changing attitudes that I have added it to the HISTORY TIMELINE -- see tab on left) Enjoy this photo history.

 

Left (1992 Mattel introduces "Golf Date" Barbie),

Middle (2008 Mattel tests Barbie branded golf clubs -- but rejects concept)

Right (2018) Lorena Ocheo, LPGA Tour & World Golf Hall of Fame member) becomes one of Mattel's inspirational Sheros collection added on March 3, 2018 -- International Women's Day.   Adding my personal "Thank You" to Mattel and reminding all readers that the fastest growing segment of golfers in the US today are girls.  I hope that when girls receive the Lorena Ocheo new Barbie it includes information about the history of golf and the role that Lorena played in demonstrating the global appeal of woomen's golf along with a reminder that all over the world there are opportunities for girls to learn the game at very young ages.  For more about girls golf see  https://www.girlsgolf.org/

 

LPGA release:  "Korea to be Site of the First LPGA International Property Outside the U.S. -- Going Global"  (posted March 6, 2018)

In every interview I have had with the Commissioner he has never wavered from his vision of a global LPGA.  See one of several interviews with the Commissioner at https://www.womensgolf.com/mike-whan-nancy-berkley/ 

 

But this most recent announcement in my opinion is the most important. See  http://www.lpga.com/news/2018-korea-to-be-site-of-first-lpga-international-property-outside-us

Some background: When Mike Whan officially became LPGA Commissioner in January 2010 -- just eight years ago, he inherited the LPGA's fragmented marketing strategy.  As an example:  In spite of the number of non-U.S. players on the Tour, the previous LPGA Commissioner wanted all players to learn and speak in English.   Along comes Mike Whan with a strong marketing background that included working for Proctor & Gamble, one of the largest international corporations in the world.  The Commissioner wasted little time in re-branding the "international" quality of the LPGA Tour and schedule more LPGA Tour events outside of the United States.  The new strategy had its critics, but Whan pursued his marketing vision.  In this current 2018 LPGA Tournament season, almost half of all tournaments are played outside the United States.  

 

What always impresses me in my conversations with "the Commish" is the clarity and consistency of his strategy.  Here's a Q&A from the interview referenced above a few years after he became Commissioner:

 

Q Nancy: Let’s clarify that answer: In your opinion the LPGA brand is NOT about growing the number of female recreational golfers – the six-plus million golfers in the U.S. (20% of all golfers in the U.S.) or recreational golfers around the world. Is that what you are saying?
A.MikeWhan:  Yes. Honestly, I don’t spend a lot of my time trying to figure out how to get more recreational golfers – other than giving women golfers a showcase for watching the best women golfers in the world. I know that in most other sports, it’s all about fans. But the LPGA is different. We focus on our sponsors. Our LPGA golfers connect with our sponsors like no other sports figures. 

 

Back to the Press Release at the beginning of this blog topic:  The LPGA is establishing a second International headquarters half way around the world from Daytona Beach, Florida -- along the southern coast of Korea in the city of Busan.  Why? 

 

The final paragraph in the LPGA Press Release (cited above) from Mike Whan answers the question: 

 

"I really felt the beauty and vibrancy of the city when I visited Busan for the first time last year, and the launch of LPGA International Busan will make it an even more special place to visit," said LPGA Commissioner Whan. "This is a special occasion for the LPGA with the first LPGA International brand besides our headquarters, and it will play a significant role in our global business in the future."  

________________________________

 

I expect some comments and reactions from the golf industry writers and observers and from other women's world golf tours -- such as the LET (Ladies European Tour) and world tours in Australia and Japan.  How does a stronger global LPGA affect them?     

 

ABOUT NANCY

 

Always my final message:  "Be Happy, Be Healthy, Live Longer, Play Golf" -- Nancy Berkley