Texas Golf Association, Since 1906
Texas Golf Association, Since 1906



Golf with Texas Women
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Texans at U.S. Women's Amateur (Viewed: 229)
Posted by Stacy Dennis on August 9, 2017 @ 1:00 pm

The best women amateur golfers in the world are in San Diego this week playing in the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship.  Texas is among the best represnted states with 12 Texans in the starting field and eight making the cut into match play.

  • Lindsey McCurdy, Liberty Hill
  • Kristen Gillman, Austin
  • Cheyenne Knight, Aledo
  • Hailey Jones, Dallas
  • Gurlene Kaur, Houston
  • Hailee Cooper, Montgomery
  • Julie Houston, Allen
  • Erin Fahey, Austin
  • Annika Clark, Highlands
  • Maggie Beth Byers, San Antonio
  • Hanna Alberto, Kingwood
  • Julia Gregg, Farers Branch
In an interesting twist, of the eight Texans in today's Round of 64, four of them play each other!  Knight and Kaur play in the 11:10 match and Gillman and Cooper face off at 12:20.  

Stay up to date and follow full championship coverage  HERE.

Texans have a long history of success at the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship.  Five Texans have claimed the title a total of seven times.  In addition to Kristen Gillman who continues her effort this week to add a match to her 2014 title, Betty Jameson, "Babe" Didrickson Zaharias, Mary Lou Dill and recent Texas Golf Hall of Fame inductee Kelli Kuehne have brought the national championship to Texas.

To all of the great players in the Championship, Texas wishes you good luck and good golf.  To the Texans in the field, we wish for an especially good week for y'all.

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Future of Golf on Display (Viewed: 469)
Posted by Stacy Dennis on August 3, 2017 @ 12:00 pm

The future of women's golf was on full display yesterday in Austin, Texas.  36 girls and young women representing LPGA / USGA Girls Golf Chapters from Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Longview and Waco participated in the Texas Challenge at Harvey Penick Golf Campus.  There were young girls who were just getting started in golf and high school seniors who have committed to play collegiate golf.  You can find a complete recap of the event HERE.

Here are a few of my favorite stories and observations from the day:

  1. During registration, one of the moms came up to register her daughter.  I was hanging up the scoreboards, and happened to be there, so I helped her as best I could until the qualified people were available.  I asked her if her daughter had been to the Texas Challenge before, and she said, "Oh yes!  She's been coming since she first got involved in Girls Golf".  I asked her how long ago that was and how she'd been doing, and she responded by tellng me that her daughter started when she was in the youngest age group and this would be her last time at our event.  She will graduate next year and has committed to playing collegiate golf at the University of Texas at Arlington.

  2. I was fortunate enough to be assigned to go along with a group in "The Babe" Division.  These golfers compete in a scramble format, and this division was intended to appeal to some of the kids in each chapter that might be newer to the game or not quite ready for "full-on" competitive golf.  On the ride out to our hole, I got the complete golfing life story of the two 11-year olds in my cart.  They learned golf from their dads and grand-dads.  One of the brothers played golf.  The other was very proud to show me and share that she was using a glove that her brother and cousins had both used when they were smaller and learning to play.  As they teed off on their first hole, Kennedy hit her orange ball right down the middle.  It didn't go all that far, but put her team in a good position.  Walking back to her partner, I could overhear her strategy discussion.  She said, "I hit a bright one so it is easy to see."

  3. As precious as they were, it wasn't all just cuteness in my group, however.  I saw four girls under the age of 13 who all had solid golf swings, understood what they were supposed to be doing on each shot and truly gave their best effort each time.  They worked together with their partners, they were exceptionally good sports, and they hit some really good shots.  Five or six years from now, I will not be surprised when they tell me they are graduating from high school and our program, and are going on to play collegiate golf.
Even if it's not collegiate golf these girls end up pursuing, they will make a genuine contribution to their community.  It was such an honor and a complete pleasure to spend an afternoon with such great kids.  If anyone ever wonders about the "state of the game" or about "kids these days", I can tell you that we are in very good hands.  I had a front-row seat to where women's golf is going for at least the next couple of decades, it is very exciting!

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Texas Golf Progression (Viewed: 220)
Posted by Stacy Dennis on July 27, 2017 @ 8:00 am

For those of you who follow women’s golf in Texas, you will have seen that last week was the 96th playing of the WTGA State Amateur Championship.  (For those of you who missed it, you can get caught up HERE)  This week, the Legends Junior Tour is hosting the Texas State Junior Championship.  Next week, we head to Austin to host the Texas Challenge – a special junior golf event conducted in coordination with LPGA / USGA Girls Golf sites and our own Winners’ Program.  This three-week stretch paints a compelling picture of women’s golf in Texas.  Here are a few stories from different points along the road.

Texas Challenge (August 2) – 36 girls representing 5 chapters of LPGA / USGA Girls Golf will compete in two divisions at Harvey Penick Golf Campus.  Each chapter will send a best-ball team in two age groups to compete in the Toni Wiesner Division.  Each chapter will also send two additional girls to play in The Babe Division on a scramble team.  These kids will keep developing golf skills, learn how compete, and learn how to be well-rounded young women in these programs.  Next week you will find a recap of the event here.

96th WTGA State Amateur Championship – Maddie McCrary from Wylie won the most prestigious title in Texas last week. McCrary played junior golf and high school golf in Texas and is now a Senior at Oklahoma State University.  With her win, McCrary improved 16 places in the World Amateur Golf Rankings and is now ranked as the 75th Amateur in the World.  For the first time in recent memory, the Championship Flight featured exclusively collegiate and high school players.  (Don’t sleep on the Mid-Ams and Seniors, though.  They’ll be back next year!)  These 32 young women play competitive golf at the highest levels at schools in Texas and universities all over America.  After spending a week in their company, be assured that Texas is well represented by these young women.

LPGA Q-School (Begins August 21) – Aside from the incredible golf, the highlight of State Am week might have happened at the scoreboard.  After losing an extremely competitive first round match against Julie Houston in extra holes, Baylor Senior Maggie Beth Byers approached the TGA staff.  She told us that this would be her last State Amateur Championship.  Her voice was full of emotion as she explained that she was turning pro and would enter the LPGA Q-school in August.  It was so gratifying to hear her tell how much her Texas amateur experience had meant to her and to see the mix of appreciation for where she’s been and excitement for what’s ahead.  We assured Byers on behalf of all of the staff, volunteers, committee members, competitors, former players and on and on, that Texas would always root for her and she would always be one of “ours”.  There are plenty of "our girls" entering Q-school, playing on the Cactus, Symetra and LPGA tours and we pulling for them on every shot!

There are so many great things about golf.  One of the best, however, is that there are so many ways to connect with the game.  Whether you are an 8-year old, a world-class amateur, a 50-year old beginner, a member of your club’s 9-hole league, or a seasoned veteran, golf has something for you.  If you have trouble finding it, or want help getting started, let me know!  There are other women doing the same thing, and even the ones doing golf differently are just at a different point on the same road. 

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Big Week for Women's Golf (Viewed: 227)
Posted by Stacy Dennis on July 10, 2017 @ 8:00 am

LPGA Founders and U.S. Women's Open Champions Betty Jameson (L) and Babe Didrickson Zaharias (R) flank fellow Texans Lesbia Lobo and Betty Dodd in the early days on the LPGA tour.

You will have heard of the “stars aligning” to create special events.  This week is example of just such an occasion for the world of women’s golf.  Today (July 10) is the opening round of the inaugural Senior LPGA Championship.  This new event features a field of 81 players over the age of 45 including current LPGA players, Hall of Fame members and multiple major champions.  The confirmed field of competitors currently includes all-time greats Pat Bradley, Laura Davies, Betsy King, Liselotte Neumann and more.  The 54-hole championship will conclude on Wednesday, July 12 and will be televised on the Golf Channel.  “This is a landmark event for the LPGA because it provides a larger platform to celebrate the legends of the game,” said Mike Whan, LPGA Commissioner.  For complete tournament information, CLICK HERE.

Speaking of “legends of the game”, after the first ever Senior LPGA Championship trophy is presented on July 12, women’s golf fans in Houston may take advantage of another exceptional opportunity.  Deb Vangellow, the President of the LPGA Teaching and Club Pro Division is hosting a special screening of The Founders at the Greenway Grand Palace Stadium Theaters in Houston.  The Founders tells the story of the thirteen amateur women golfers that formed the LPGA Tour.  Their work not only paved the way for the modern global LPGA tour, but established the template for all professional women’s sports organizations.  For information about The Founders and to find a screening near you, CLICK HERE

 
And since we’re talking about the modern LPGA tour, we should also talk about the U.S. Women’s Open that begins the morning after we’ve celebrated the tour’s Founders.  On Thursday, July 13, Texan Brittany Lang will tee it up against the world’s best players and attempt to defend her title.  When talking about her 2016 victory, Lang said, “I like all of our majors, but I really love the U.S. Women’s Open…I was pretty sure that I was going to win one of these someday.”  All of Texas will be pulling for her or the five other Texans in the field to keep the trophy in the Lone Star State for at least one more year.  For complete tournament coverage, CLICK HERE
 
 

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Women's Golf Day a Huge Success at Brookhaven Country Club (Viewed: 315)
Posted by Mark Button on July 5, 2017 @ 8:00 am

Last month more than 700 venues in 46 countries around the world celebrated International Women’s Golf Day with instructional clinics, social get-togethers and networking opportunities. Now in its second year, nearly 30,000 women took part in the June 6 global initiative. The annual one-day, four-hour event provides women and girls chances to try golf for the first time in a fun, non-intimidating environment alongside existing golfers.
 
Brookhaven Country Club in Farmers Branch was one of 50 Texas clubs to join in the festivities. The longtime TGA Member Club also took advantage of the opportunity to grow the game, as well as strengthen their membership.
 
In preparation for the Women’s Golf Day event at Brookhaven, PGA Director of Golf Brad McCollum reached out to the Dallas chapter of the Executive Women’s Golf Association, as well as Brookhaven’s women’s golf groups, tennis groups and social members to invite them to attend.
 
“We used it as an opportunity to share golf,” McCollum said, “Our hope was to grow the game of golf and expand our reach within our membership here at Brookhaven.”
 
Almost 40 women attended the Women’s Golf Day event, up from only six who participated in 2016. Brookhaven’s success should be a lesson and an example to other clubs on what can happen with some progressive thinking.
 
“We definitely expanded our reach,” McCollum said. “We even had a few from outside our club join us for the event, so we could share our Brookhaven Experience and the game of golf.”
 
Like so many public courses, private clubs and practice facilities around the world did, Brookhaven conducted a low-key affair that focused on basic instruction and networking. The top priority was for the attending women to have fun and leave with a feeling of camaraderie that the game naturally encourages. After a 45-minute clinic, McCollum turned loose the attendees on a nine-hole putting contest at the club’s putt-putt facility.
 
“Our putt-putt course is a fabulous amenity for our facility,” he said. “They had to keep score and play the course in the correct sequence, holes one through nine. Those are important parts of the game, and we wanted them to experience this aspect of the game of golf.”
 
The final hour of the event saw the women socializing around a fire pit. Everyone left with a prize, whether it was won through a game, a raffle or a hole-in-one on the putt-putt course. The event was free, and McCollum said it was a huge success.
 
“We’re very much a family club, and this just helped us strengthen our connection with Brookhaven families,” he said. “The Women’s Golf Day event helped drive home the message that both spouses can play golf, which ties directly to what sets Brookhaven apart... we are all about getting the entire family involved.”
 
Brookhaven’s positive experience was a microcosm of the big picture goals for the worldwide event.
 
At locations from Johannesburg, South Africa, and Oslo, Norway, to Hong Kong, China, and Pattaya City, Thailand, Women’s Golf Day enjoyed a 68 percent participation increase compared to the 2016 event.
 
The event also gained massive engagement on social media platforms fueled by the #womensgolfday campaign. Women’s Golf Day Founder Elisa Gaudet reported 99 percent organic growth across all social media channels. The dedicated hashtag received more than 15 million impressions to nearly 10 million uses on Twitter and Instagram.
 
“We’ve discovered that female business professionals who take up the game of golf soon recognize the value it brings when it comes to customer engagement and future business development,” Gaudet said. “It’s important that women have a positive experience when playing golf, regardless of their level of experience. Women’s Golf Day caters to all levels and imparts camaraderie.”
 
Gaudet said she was thrilled with the rapid expansion, but not surprised by the worldwide interest.
 
“I’m elated and proud that this one-day international event has introduced thousands of new female golfers to the sport and impassioned existing golfers while transcending language, culture, religion and race to celebrate golf, women, and community,” Gaudet said. “It is also important for the golf industry to understand women make up 85 percent of all consumer purchases and the important role they play as economic influencers for the family. The big ticket items for the golf industry are home purchases in golf communities, country club memberships and golf vacations. Women have a definitive say in the making of those decisions.”
 
Partners and supporting organizations of the transnational event include the International Golf Federation, World Golf Foundation, LPGA, LET, European Tour Properties, TPC, NGCOA, EGCOA, ClubCorp, Billy Casper Golf, PGA TOUR Superstore, Ahead, EWGA, WIGI, International Council of Nurses, All Square, Expert Golf and Troon International.
 
“In my 37 years in the golf industry, I have seen very few initiatives so effectively generate interest and enthusiasm among women and girls as Women’s Golf Day has these past two years,” said Steve Mona, CEO of the World Golf Foundation. “It has rapidly become a global movement, where women are coming together, not only to take up our sport, but to network and enjoy the social benefits associated with our game.”
 
For more information about the WGD global initiative, click here.

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