The golfing world is still reeling from the adventures at The Masters last weekend! Everyone is still talking about the back nine at Augusta, but most golfing pundits realize that the green jacket is won or lost on the last nine holes on Sunday. During all the hype, the other tours took a back seat, but it is now time for them to claim their position in the limelight!
I am a fan of the LPGA. The excitement of the women’s professional golf might not seem to have the same draw as other tours, but I believe they have their own superstars and are sometimes overshadowed for no reason. I am not sure where you stand, but the LPGA is worth watching, especially for amateurs trying to lower their golf scores.
The LPGA’s list of superstars begins with Lydia Ko. Turning pro in 2013, she has dominated women’s golf for three years. Yes, other players have fought and claimed the number one world ranking, but she continues to regain her title as the number one player in the world. I mentioned a few years back that Ko was going to take the LPGA by storm and she has not disappointed.
Other players such as Lexi Thompson, Ha Na Jang, Charley Hull, and Michelle Wie all garner attention when they tee it up. The list of players gaining recognition is long, however all the players on the LPGA Tour help build the positive image of women’s golf.
Two players who deserve special recognition are Brooke Henderson and Alena Sharp. Both are playing in the Lotte Championship in Hawaii. Brooke is a young, fast rising superstar who is continues to rise in the Rolex standings. She is vying for the win, but as a minimum Brooke is trying for her 7th top 10 finish in a row! Alena is a journeywoman who, for the past 11 years, has consistently improved her standing within the LPGA. Both of these players are Canadian and are contributing to the growth of women’s golf. I wish them both luck as they vie to win this weekend.
I enjoy watching the LPGA on TV. I find many parallels to their game and my own. Of course, they are a level far beyond my amateur status, yet the stats may shine a little light on my comparison:
- Driving distance – Only 10 players on the LPGA Tour average over 270 yards with their drive. 90 players average their drives between 250-270 yards. The latter is where my game is depending on the day.
- Scoring average – 70 players average below par (using 72 as par). With the best being Lydia Ko at 68.625. My scoring average over 60+ games was around 77. Not quite the same results as the women on the LPGA. But, my opportunities to score low are similar; I do not execute all my shots like the professionals.
- Greens in regulation – The top players have an 80+ GIR percentage. Most of the players are above 60%. I would suggest my GIR is between 50 and 60%, but to be fair I am not entirely sure, but I will be tracking that stat this year.
- Putting Average – 60 players have an average of under 30 putts per round. I strive for 27 putts per round, but my average would likely be around or slightly above 30. Not much higher, but 30 would be a realistic assessment of my putting ability.
So why the comparison? It is not my ego talking by comparing my game to that of professional golfers, but to point out that most amateurs will learn as much, if not more, from watching the LPGA. Here is what I draw from watching the Women’s Tour:
- Amateurs hit the ball about the same distance or farther off the tee.
- Amateurs have the same distances hitting the ball into the green.
- Amateurs use similar clubs as the LPGA professionals from the same distance.
- Amateurs play similar length courses as the LPGA; approximately 6500 yards.
I could continue to make similarities, but I think you get the point. The LPGA professionals seem to have comparable stats, but their scores are so much lower. We can point to many reasons for the disparities, however by watching the women play, I can relate better to what shots they play and the manner at which they play them. I can relate to their playing locations and their decision-making process. Obviously, the women’s shot execution is far superior than amateurs, but we can still learn a great deal by watching them play!
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links…..TODAY!