The LPGA stands for Ladies Professional Golf Association and it was founded in 1950. The LPGA is still going strong today as a non-profit organization. The Grand Rapids stop of the LPGA tour is sponsored by Meijer and Kraft, and money raised through Simply Give will be given to local food pantries.
This year, the First Tee of West Michigan program asked me as well as two other First Tee participants to be Junior Course Reporters at the Meijer LPGA Classic. Our first story was at a special Media Day event in June. We each got to ask Brittany Lang a question! Unfortunately, Austin Ernst was also scheduled but her flight was cancelled and she couldn’t make it to the press conference. Meeting Brittany Lang was very cool. She followed her dreams of joining the LPGA. Brittany is funny and kind, but also persistent.
She’s played the Solheim Cup three times. Brittany gets help from her brother Luke Lang, who is also her caddy. She told me that Luke “believe’s in me more than I believe in myself.” I was happy to meet her and glad that Brittany made it to the Meijer LPGA Classic Media Day.
On Tuesday July 21, I was a little nervous about the player press conferences at Blythefield Country Club, but luckily another First Tee reporter, Alex, was there and he had interviewed some players already. (Alex, Sophia and I were at the press conferences for Mirim Lee and on Wednesday for Liz Nagel, Inbee Park, and Morgan Pressel). After I watched Alex finish his interview I went with him to begin my interviews. The first golfer who was heading toward the driving range was Katy Harris. We told her we were reporters from the First Tee of West Michigan and asked her if we could ask her some questions. I asked her “What club do you think you need to improve on the most?” Katy told me, “My irons.” We said thank you and good luck, then left. That was how most our interviews went. One of the most interesting interviews was with “Q” Kyu-Jung Baek from Korea. She didn’t speak English but had her caddy translate into Korean for her. She told me she started playing professionally in Korea in the KLPGA, but this year is her rookie year in the LPGA!
Thursday I went to the #Swing Like A Girl golf clinic at Boulder Creek and met pro golfer Allison Duncan who helped us with our Photo Finish swings. She said I had a good finish! Here’s a photo of Allison Duncan my friend Abby.
I think the best part about being a First Tee Course Reporter was I felt like I was part of the LPGA, and it was exciting to walk around and be in the middle of the professional women golfers. We got to go behind the scenes! There was a lot of energy and everyone seemed happy to be playing. It made me realize that the players in the LPGA practice what First Tee teaches me, that perseverance and confidence will help me be a better player. I’m not sure I will ever be listed in the Player Guide, but it would be really cool if I was!