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SHARON, Massachusetts – On Monday, June 18th, female golfers from across the region gathered at The Cape Club of Sharon for the first ever Massachusetts PGA Women’s Golf Clinic.
In February, the PGA of America announced that it would debut a series of 12-full-day golf clinics at clubs across the country intent on welcoming and empowering women to learn more about golf, the game of a lifetime. In the Bay State, Monday’s event was the first of two scheduled this summer, as the second is set for July 30th.
The clinics were previously known as LPGA Golf Clinics for Women.
Over the course of the day, the more than 75 female golfers had the opportunity to rotate between instructional stations in full swing, short game, and putting stations. They even had the opportunity to watch former LPGA professional Jane Blalock demonstrate her swing on the driving range. Along with working on their golf game, participants were provided the opportunity to listen to guest speakers from MetLife & Fidelity.
Led by the 27-time LPGA winner Blalock, the PGA Women’s Golf Clinics were created to welcome and empower women to learn more about the game of golf.
“When I left the LPGA, I came into Boston and I was working in financial business, so I was networking,” said Blalock as to why she initially decided to become involved in developing Women’s Golf Clinics 20 years ago. “All these events that I would go to, I was usually the only woman playing [golf]. I said I had to find a way to encourage women to play because they are missing out in so many great business opportunities.”
People responded immediately to Blalock and her idea for the women’s clinics.
“We tried one event that year and that was in Washington, D.C. and it was sold out in three years,” said Blalock. “The next year we went to three, and then we have gradually expanded.”
Along with becoming more popular amongst participants, Blalock believes the clinics are increasingly making an impact for female golfers.
“Quite often, programs will lose their steam, and get tired,” explained Blalock. “This program seems to get better every year because I think companies are realizing that they want to retain their good women, so they want their women to advance and networking in sales is a big part of any business.”
Jorie Ftorek, a 26th year LPGA teaching professional from Binghamton, New York, applied for a teaching position with Blalock’s clinics about 15 years ago and has been returning as a coach ever since.
Ftorek said she enjoys coaching the clinics.
“I always request the new golfers because they are very excited, even if they just get the ball in the air,” explained Ftorek. “To me, that just a huge thrill. I love teaching golf and I teach every level, but I love just seeing how excited new golfers get and it’s a lot of fun.”
Along with Ftorek, Jo Ruano of Boston, who participated in her fourth clinic Monday, commented on her experience with the women’s clinics.
“I like that I have the same coach,” said Ruano. “This is the third time that I have had the same coach. I really like how she remembers me. Even though a year goes by, she knows what I have been working on and what to improve, so it’s really nice.”
Monday’s PGA Women’s Golf Clinic at The Cape Club of Sharon was a make-up from an originally scheduled event on June 4th. The second Massachusetts clinic, scheduled for July 30th at The Cape Club of Sharon, is already sold out, but several opportunities still remain at clinics across the country.
For additional information about the PGA Golf Clinics, please visit https://www.pgagolfclinicsforwomen.com/