The IX: Golf Thursday with Carly Grenfell, February 14, 2019

Evolving the game—Interview with FOREher Sports co-founder—Must-click links in women's golf

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Growing and Evolving the Game of Golf

How do we grow the game? It’s the million dollar question, really.

Over the last week, there’s been some noticeable buzz offering up some suggestions that are really interesting. But it seems to come down to two themes: 1) collaboration and 2) an experience. The idea of creating a combined PGA and LPGA event sounds like a great one to me. Think about how much discussion was going on about the Vic Open all of last week: about the equal pay, about playing from the same tees and about having the men and the women on an equal pedestal.

Golf Channel’s Gary William’s hosted a segment on Golf Channel where he said the PGA Championship and the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship should be played back-to-back weeks on the same course.

Perhaps it would be a nightmare for the grounds crew to keep the course in pristine condition with such a quick turnaround and a lot of action, but outside of that, I love the idea. It has been done in the past, but nothing has really stuck to this point. It’s hard to wonder exactly why that is. But a co-ed event may just bring a level of fun and freshness that golf needs to attract new fans.


This Week in Women’s Golf

The Australia swing on the LPGA continues at the Australian Open this week!

See who’s off to a strong start at the Australian Open after Round 1.

Lizette Salas recently opened up about how golf basically saved her life.

FOREher Sports went live with their beginner golf skills series!

The LPGA and KLPGA are in talks over a new tournament in South Korea.

PGA of America President Suzy Whaley will captain the U.S. Women’s PGA Cup team.

A 17-year-old golfer, Yealimi Noh, made it official that she’ll turn professional.

This is a really fascinating look at the LPGA by the numbers - ages, starts & more.

There’s been quite a bit of discussion about changes to golf rules in 2019 already.

Karrie Webb is backing a campaign to aid the flooded golf clubs in north Queensland.

Major golf companies are getting in on the LPGA’s #InviteHer Campaign.

There’s some chatter about a co-ed LPGA TOUR, PGA event.


Tweet of the Week


Five at the IX: Tisha Alyn Abrea

While we’re on the topic of growing golf, we spoke to the co-founder of FOREher Sports who aims to do exactly that with this new initiative. Tisha Alyn Abrea was a Division I golfer, competed professionally for awhile, has been on Golf Channel’s Shotmakers and is now a well-known golf personality and influencer. We asked her about how she’s bringing golf and fun together, what this endeavor will offer to consumers and her take on what needs to be done to grow the game.

Carly Grenfell: Why did you choose to pursue golf and make a career out of it?

Tisha Alyn Abrea: I can’t even recall a day that I wasn’t a golfer. I’ve been golfing since I was three and competing since I was seven. It was initially a sport that brought me and my dad together but I eventually fell in love with it. Because I had put so much time and effort into the sport, I just didn’t see any other way to live. I also learned to love it especially. I just don’t know life without it and can’t imagine life without it. Bringing my other talents into the game is just another way for me to show people how fun golf can be. That’s essentially my motto—is to show people how fun golf really is.

Carly Grenfell: Do you have any plans to compete professionally again?

Tisha Alyn Abrea: I would like to play in a few more events for fun, not necessarily for the cut throat purpose of it. I used to be extremely intense when I competed, but I would love to go back in and compete again, but not for the goals of shooting for the LPGA Tour. I’m friends with a bunch of those girls and I don’t think that’s my calling anymore.

Carly Grenfell: What would your piece of advice be to women or girls in golf who need to ‘find their fun’ again in the sport?

Tisha Alyn Abrea: It’s different for everybody and I would go through some terrible lows, I think it’s very important to ask yourself and do a check-in with yourself about what brought you into the game itself. And what brought me into the game was a means of bonding between my dad and I, but I also loved the people I met. I loved the feeling of competition. I loved everything about that. Even through the toughest of times, I had to root myself back to that and remind myself of that.

Carly Grenfell: Golf has opened up a handful of opportunities for you, with the latest being the launch of FOREher Sports. Would love for you to tell us more about it.

Tisha Alyn Abrea: We soft launched in the middle of September. This endeavor is led by myself and my best friend, Nikki B (Nicolette Bondura). Her and I spearheaded this movement and we just both felt we really aligned in what we wanted to build in the women’s golf space. As our motto has always been, we encourage women on and off the course to connect and just use golf as a lifestyle for themself. For the new year, we have a ton of things in store. We have online courses that we are building out, we have events where we plan to activate to get women together and more involved, we have social takeovers coming for both LPGA and PGA TOUR events so we can promote women’s golf where ever we are, and partnerships that are in the process now. The goals are to showcase the women on tour and provide more love; help them any way we can—but also to bring new women into the game.

Carly Grenfell: What’s ‘one big thing’ we can do to grow and evolve the game of golf?

Tisha Alyn Abrea: In a leading household, the woman is the consumer and the buyer. If you’re able to get women involved in the game, you are growing in sales; you are growing in tickets. Who’s going to buy the most clothes? The woman is. Who’s going to buy the tickets? The woman is. There needs to be more unity in golf. With what we have, we can all grow tremendously. But there just needs to be a closer connection between the men and women. From there, I feel like we can make a huge impact and make golf way more popular.


Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson AP Women's Soccer
Tuesdays: Tennis
By Lindsay Gibbs, @Linzsports ThinkProgress
Wednesdays: Basketball
By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal High Post Hoops
Thursdays: Golf
By Carly Grenfell, @Carlygren PGA.com
Fridays: Hockey
By: Erica Ayala, @ELindsay08 NWHL Broadcaster