LPGA*USGA Girls Golf was founded in 1989 in Phoenix, Arizona, by LPGA Teaching and Club Professional (T&CP) member, Sandy LaBauve. Sandy began reaching girls through golf clinics for members of her local Girl Scouts troop. When the clinics ended, the girls wanted to continue to play, so the “Junior Girls Golf Club” was born.
Sandy used the same model for her program that her mother, Sherry Lumpkin, designed for junior golfers, which followed the philosophy that kids learn best by playing games. Learning games included throwing out your three worst holes, blind draws, note in the golf hole, scrambles, night golf, etc. Different levels were set up based on where girls entered the game—from little or no golfing experience to the more experienced golfer. Once the pilot program was perfected, Sandy wrote a manual about how to set up a junior golf program for girls, which included the team concept, fun games and rules and etiquette for each level.
“When we wanted our daughters to start, we recruited their friends to play. We took 10 girls from a softball team and started doing clinics for them twice a week. We had 15 minutes of social time with snacks and stories before instruction began. My husband, Mike, set up a batting net and let the girls hit softballs off of a T-Ball tee. We related what they already knew to what they were going to learn. We kept a very athletic approach.
“The girls went on to play High School golf and win state championships. Some of the girls played in college. They all still play for fun!”
Founder, LPGA*USGA Girls Golf
Beginning with just 10 programs, Girls Golf is now in more than 270 communities in the United States and expanding every day. With the support of the Ladies Professional Golf Association and the United States Golf Association, LPGA*USGA Girls Golf now reaches 30,000 girls through the game of golf each year. Thanks to the vision of Sandy LaBauve, more than 100,000 girls have been introduced to the game of golf since the program’s inception.