The State of Women's Golf in Michigan
It's been more than a decade since the first women's golf summit in Michigan. In 1990, approximately 175 people gathered to discuss the status of women's golf in the state and the opportunities for women in the sport. It was the first statewide summit of its kind for women in the United States.
Since that historic first, where issues included equal access at private clubs, the lack of professional tournament opportunities for women in Michigan and mentoring for young women in the sport, much has occurred. Many of the issues have been supported by actions to move them out of the way, or move them ahead. Two more women's summits succeeded the first, in tandem with industry golf summits those same years. The last of the series was nearly six years ago--in 1995.
Does that mean that all's well for women golfers, and the golf industry, in the state? I don't know. No news isn't necessarily good news, yet there seem to be many positive signs that Michigan golf--and women's golf--continue on the right track. One thing that's certain is that women golfers are not lacking for superior women's leadership and opportunity in Michigan, the region and internationally. Perhaps it's the elevation to a new plateau that's resulted in the seeming complacent women's golf scene. Perhaps it's part of a noveau trend turned mainstream. Maybe we're just missing a "Tigress" Woods to create new excitement. Whatever the cause or reason, it doesn't seem to be a sign of waning interest or less participation.
Just ask any of the women who make up the Michigan Women's Publinx Golf Association. Stronger than ever and now 15 years old, the group continues to "tour" the state, creating playing opportunities, recognizing and encouraging women's amateur golf excellence, imparting USGA rules knowledge and having business impacts wherever it goes.
Sheila Tansey's coordination and presentation of the Michigan Girls Golf Day in March also confirmed our continued interest in the sport's future health and our determination to secure a place for women golfers in Michigan for many years to come.
And our own Web-based Women's Golf Network continues to be visited by thousands and regularly receives inquiries as to where and how women can find more opportunities to excel.
Perhaps the only pause for concern was the slowdown of the Michigan Women's Golf Hall of Fame project, which garnered solid fund support from many individual contributors, but as part of a larger Michigan Golf Foundation endeavor is working to get back on track.
In its June issue, the Michigan Golfer will again provide a snapshot of women's golf in the state. As always, there's much to talk about. Be sure to join us then. And in the meantime, take time to introduce golf to a woman or girl that you know. A trip to the putting green or driving range is a cheap date, with long-term payoff potential for all of us!
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