Will a woman’s touch help the game?
Nearly always bastions of men, two of golf’s leading organizations are finally showing signs they are entering the new millennia with a new perspective… the kind that comes from women.
On Saturday, the PGA of America elected its first-ever female officer. Suzy Whaley, 48, was voted in as secretary, which sets her up to become the organization’s first female president in 2018. Whaley is perhaps best know as the first woman since Babe Zaharias for qualifying to play in a PGA Tour event, the 2003 Greater Hartford Open, by virtue of winning the 2002 Connecticut PGA Championship.
Also last weekend, the Colorado PGA elected as its president Leslie Core-Drevecky, the first female to lead the section. The head PGA professional at Murphy Creek Golf Course since 2000, Core-Drevecky’s accomplishments include twice named the section’s public course merchandiser of the year (2001 and ’02) and twice earning the CPGA’s Horton Smith Award for developing and improving educational opportunities for PGA professionals (2009 and ’10).
Both announcements come on the heels that Denver resident Christie Austin—a former United States Golf Association executive committee member and the first woman to chair the powerful USGA Rules of Golf Committee—will be inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame.
All three have worked tirelessly in golf, and their achievements should be admired—especially since the last woman to attain such impressive status was Colorado’s own Judy Bell, who in 1996 served as head of the USGA, the first female to hold a senior position in American golf.
Well, all I can say is, it’s high time women ascended to leadership positions in golf. This is, after all, 2014, the year the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews finally allowed female members for the first time in its 260-year history.
Moreover, the game is at a tenuous threshold, what with the industry failing to retain female players and the stink surrounding PGA of America president Ted Bishop’s allegedly “sexist” statements—for which he was summarily fired.
To be sure, the economy has played a large part in preventing the game’s growth. But so have of mired-in-concrete male conformists who have kept the game they love the game they love—one that’s played with their buddies and squared up over beers in the men’s grill.
We’re encouraged by his long-overdue wave of feminism, and we look forward to some forward thinking from golf’s newest leaders. Please give them your full support—for the good of the game.
Chris Duthie is a contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer, the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via www.coloradoavidgolfer.com.