Working at a golf Web site, I get to meet quite a few golfers. Of course, Tiger Woods isn’t knocking down my door, but instead I get to meet great people from all around the nation, with different agendas and abilities who all share a common bond – they love golf, both to play, and the game itself.
As the nation’s top tournament – the U.S. Open – grinds to a close, I thought I’d introduce you to one of the golfers it has been my pleasure to meet over the years.
Kristen Williams is the Golfchick behind golfchick.blogspot.com, and this month celebrates her second anniversary of blogging about her favorite hobby. She has been hitting the links for almost three years now, and her readers have not only gotten to see how her game has developed, but also golf course reviews, equipment reviews, her thoughts on the pro game, and pretty much everything else in the golf galaxy.
Williams, who also pens a monthly column at WorldGolf.com, aside from her daily work as a consultant, was kind enough to answer a few questions about her love affair with golf, and the positives golf can bring both women and men
Kristen Williams Q&A
Q: What got you started golfing?
Kristen Williams:Desire. And my boyfriend, Greg. I had been wanting to try it for some time so when I started dating a golfer I got him to get me out there. I became hooked immediately – on golf … and Greg’s still around, too.
What got you started blogging?
Kristen Williams: My friend, Rich. We had been friends even before I started golfing and once I had that passion we had even more to share. He told me about his blog, Eat Golf, and encouraged me to start one because there was a lack of female perspective in the golf blogosphere. At the time, Jennifer Mario at Travelgolf.com was really the only active female voice out there. Lately there have been a bunch of female golf bloggers popping up so now we have a lot more company.
What are things that keep women from golfing?
Kristen Williams:Probably the biggest thing that keeps them from starting is intimidation. I think more women would play if they had someone to show them the ropes like I did. There are so many rules and a lot of etiquette to learn and you don’t want to go out there and fumble around. It’s still a male dominated game and you don’t want to give the old fuddy duddies a reason to perpetuate their warped perception that women are slow and stupid players. I know some women also fear that they’ll be embarrassed because they won’t be any good. Remember, everyone was a beginner at some point and we all know how it felt. Golfers are actually pretty patient and understanding people. Besides, most people never get very good so beginners become average in no time!
Then there are some women who probably try golf and then quit because of the primacy of men in the game. The industry is coming around and starting to recognize our buying power but we’re still shamefully undeserved. The attitudes of the old guard can also be bothersome and perhaps even dissuade women from staying in the game – which is a shame because I think that’s their problem, not ours.
What’s the best day you’ve had on the golf course?
Kristen Williams: Boy, that’s a tough one. Like they say, even a bad day on a golf course is a good day. But I can share some highlights. After I won the club championship, I went on to represent the club in the Southern California Tournament of Club Champions. That would have been a great day regardless of the outcome because it was my first SCGA event and it was kind of intoxicating. Then I tied for first place in my flight and took home the trophy and was walking on air. I also had two holes-in-one on back to back weekends after only playing golf for about six months.
Those two moments are etched in my memory for sure.
What positives can women get from taking a shot at golf?
Kristen Williams: The only positive I think might apply to women and not (all) men is that all the other positives apply to both genders – golf is the great equalizer. As for all the other positives – where do I start?
I would encourage ALL women (and men, for that matter) to play golf. Before I started playing I thought golf looked slow and boring and like a waste of time. How wrong I was!
If women are reading this wondering about how they can get started, they don’t have to find a men’s club to turn co-ed like I did. And existing co-ed clubs can be difficult to find. When I started, there weren’t any women’s leagues too near my home. Plus, I wanted to play with people I knew and I didn’t know any women who played at the time. They just started a new women’s league near me that I will probably join and a new EWGA chapter for my county is organizing. EWGA (Executive Women’s Golf Association) is a great way for women to get involved in golf whether they’re starting with a friend or on their own. They have chapters all around the United States and are a great place to learn the game in a non-threatening environment. It’s also a fun social and networking outlet. If you travel, you can even play with the local chapter wherever you go. Please play golf!