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Making golf less intimidating for women

Tina Mickelson heads clinic at De Bell for Women on Course, and organization that is dedicated to helping females enjoy the sport.

June 06, 2009|By Jeff Tully

DE BELL GOLF COURSE — Tina Mickelson has experienced the frustration that many women golfers have faced in a sport that had been popularized my men.

As a golf instructor at the Santaluz Club in San Diego, and a member of the PGA, Mickelson — the younger sister of the No. 2-ranked men’s golfer in the world, Phil Mickelson — has spent her career helping female golfers navigate all there is about the sport.

“Sometimes it can be tough for women who take part in golf,” she said. “It can be intimidating for a women, especially when she has to play with men.”

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In an effort to help women enjoy the game and incorporate golf as a part of their lifestyle, Mickelson has teamed with Women on Course, an organization that is dedicated to helping females enjoy the sport.

On Thursday, Mickelson was in Burbank giving a free clinic to women at De Bell Golf Club. It was one of several clinics that are being held across the nation.

“I can’t tell how excited I am to be involved with them, and Callaway,” Mickelson said of one of the sponsors. “They are always coming up with ways to include women in the game.

“We want to be all inclusive when it comes to women in the sport. We want golf to be a part of their lifestyle, and we want them to go out and really enjoy the sport.”

Women on Course provides women with golf tips, instruction and the opportunity to play on various courses across the nation. But more than that, the organization provides women with networking opportunities and the chance to interact with other females in the sport.

One of the organization’s members is Lori Smith, who lives in Orange Country. She was among a group of golfers taking part in Thursday’s clinic.

“I’ve been a member since Women on Course started three years ago,” she said. “Along with networking benefits and relationship benefits, I’ve been able to improve my golf game. It’s all a plus.”

Clinics are held to not only introduce the game to women who might not be familiar with it, but to also make golf less intimating for all athletes.

The clinics are open to both novice and experienced golfers.

Valarie Yoshimura of Los Angeles said she likes the benefits of the organization.

“It’s just nice getting women together to golf for fun,” she said. “I’ve played with men all of my life and it’s just nice to be around other women There’s less pressure than playing with men.”


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