By Juliet Little, PGA/LPGA
When I was ten years old, my father wanted to teach me how to play golf. I had played every popular sport as a kid, but before the days of Tiger Woods and the golf fitness movement, I thought golf was boring and just for old guys dressed in weird clothes. I remember my dad telling me that if I was ever going to be in the corporate world, I’d need to learn how to play golf. As a ten-year-old, I had no clue what he was talking about or the importance of it. But now, as a PGA/LPGA Teaching Professional, never being interested in a career in the “corporate world,” I’m in a position to help those corporate players, particularly women, grow their game and experience everything that golf has to offer.
I have been fortunate in my career to work at reputable country clubs, and have been a PGA and LPGA Professional for many years. But being a female in this business has its challenges. I am a proud wife and mother of two sons, and juggling a career and the demands of home life is complicated. Because of this, I recently decided to become self-employed and create my own teaching business – LittleGolfPro. This has given me the ability to have a more unconventional, yet more fun, schedule – traveling, teaching and promoting the game through organizations, events, outings and clinics.
As I know all too well, having a full-time job, being a full-time parent and trying to find time for yourself is difficult. Since COVID, more people have found more time to play golf, go to the driving range or simply putt in their homes. Now that many workers are heading back to the office, there are more corporate outings and events being planned.
Most women now want to be included when the opportunity to play golf is presented. I think it’s almost expected for men in corporate America to know how to play golf. But for women to be able to play is an added bonus, and it sets them apart from others who do not. In the past couple of years, I’ve asked my new female students why they want to learn, and more often than not it’s because there is a work function or outing upcoming. To be a corporate female who can take clients out on the course is an amazing ability to have.
Keeping a healthy work/life balance is extremely important, and I love being a part of any event that echoes this sentiment and has this as their main focus. One of my favorite events I look forward to every year is the PGA Women’s Clinics. It is a day to see fellow female professionals and the participants who come back every year to enjoy this amazing day and be surrounded by strong women, take time for themselves to learn, feel empowered and enjoy the game of golf.
The PGA Women’s Clinics, hosted by 27-time LPGA Tour Champion Jane Blalock, is a nationwide series of full-day golf clinics produced in partnership with the PGA of America and led by top-level female PGA and LPGA coaches. These clinics are hosted at various sites throughout the year, and are designed for any female who wants to learn the game. All skill levels are welcome, with roughly 33 percent of participants having never played golf before. The day includes instruction by a personal coach, basic and core skills through a clinic-style format, on-course playing lesson with rules and etiquette, breakfast, lunch and networking reception that includes remarks from executive women and a professional swing exhibition with a Q&A. Events like these are great for women who want to be immersed in a full day of golf, surrounded by amazing women who enjoy the game and want to get better. It is truly an unforgettable day of forging new relationships, and an added bonus for corporate women who want to treat their clients to a women-only golf day. Check it out here – https://www.pgawomensclinics.com/.
My philosophy is to constantly promote the game and foster the journey for women. Not just those who have corporate positions, but any woman who wants to play golf. Nurturing the learning process for those who want to learn the game on their own time, in their own way and for their own reasons is what gives me joy as a teacher. I love listening to stories of how my students were introduced to the game and the reasons why they want to learn and play. Most who I meet through events like the PGA Women’s Clinics have the same reason for participating. Some already play golf, but want to get better – others learn because it has become a family activity. But most have never played golf and have already been invited to, or wish to participate in, an upcoming work event. They want to learn and avoid the fear of embarrassment amongst their peers.
Participating in a women’s golf day event like the PGA Women’s Clinics is a great kick-start to getting the ball rolling. If you are a beginner and can learn the nuances of the game, some general rules, the clubs and pace of play, I guarantee you’ll feel a little more confident the next time you have the opportunity to play.
Juliet Little is a PGA and LPGA Teaching Professional, and the Director of Instruction for her business, LittleGolfPro. She is the recipient of the 2022 New Jersey PGA Section Player Development Award, and has been nominated for several other PGA and LPGA awards. To follow Juliet, visit www.instagram.com/littlegolfpro.