Ladies on the Links

By Melissa Hansen

Move aside gentlemen golfers – there's room on the links for ladies! Forget the adage that GOLF stands for "Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden." Forget the descriptor "golf widows." In reality, golf is a gender-inclusive sport. According to the National Golf Foundation, women comprise 40 percent of new golfers and that number is growing.

The Club at Olde Cypress is a prime example of the vibrancy of women's golf. We have one of the largest women's leagues in southwest Florida, with a combination of 18-holers and 9-holers totaling 200 members. Whether you are a novice or an experienced player, seeking a friendly social game or a more serious competition, these players will welcome you. And we are so fortunate that the glorious Naples weather enables us to enjoy year-round golfing.

New to golf? Country clubs like Olde Cypress have pros on staff who will patiently teach you the game one-on-one. Alternatively, you can take group lessons and meet new friends. Practice on the driving range or on the putting green. Learn a new vocabulary too: the LGA (Ladies Golf Association) offers scrambles, shambles, and other game formats.

Of course, golf is also a great way to spend time with your husband or significant other. Also, clubs offer mixers, which are organized events in which you play with other couples. Although it is all good fun, it is not uncommon for these events to have prizes, such as credits at the pro shop.

Junior golf is becoming increasingly popular, so encourage your daughters (and sons) to learn golf. Golf is a low-intensity, non-contact workout that also has mental and emotional benefits for kids by teaching patience, honesty, and discipline. Plus, it is a wonderful way to spend family time in the fresh air, away from screens.

So remember, GOLF = GO Ladies + have Fun!