The social and physical benefits of golf are both immediate and long-lasting.
When considering an extracurricular activity for your daughter, there are numerous options to choose from. But which one is the right one for her? Golf is growing in popularity in NoVA, which means a rise in girls-only teams. Of note are Chantilly, Langley, James Madison and Centreville high schools, which have successful girls golf programs. Sirena Walsh of Chantilly and Jenny Cho of Centreville tied for fourth at last year’s girls state golf open at Virginia Beach. Other high schools like Madison and McLean have several girls on their coed teams. We asked some local coaches and golf professionals to describe the benefits of golf for NoVA girls:
Andy Margolis, head coach of James Madison’s girls golf club:
“Golf is a lifelong sport … it can be a family event, it’s social, and lifelong lessons are learned. Girls develop athletic skills and a lot of social skills like getting along with fellow teammates and encouraging them.”
Geordie Bigus, head coach of Centreville’s girls golf program:
“Golf is a social sport … And it’s safer than many sports … There’s no risk of concussion. There are all-girls events—boys don’t have that—so more chances for girls to play high school golf.”
Tommy Smith, director of development at Next Level Golf USA and Virginia State Golf Association Junior Circuit NoVA regional director:
“Golf is less of a contact sport … it’s a safer sport you can play for a lifetime. [Girls benefit from] being in a healthy environment and getting physically active.”
Leslie Andrews, a Ladies Professional Golf Association teaching professional and former executive director of the LPGA Teaching & Club Professionals:
“[Girls learn] values like integrity, honesty and humor that can be applied later in life, especially in the business world.”
Ashleigh McLaughlin, manager of programs and marketing for the LPGA Foundation:
“Girls [learn how] to succeed, thanks to the attention the industry is placing on making it more fun and accessible to girls.”
So consider the benefits of golf for your little girl or teenager, and let her take a swing at it. The LPGA and the United States Golf Association have formed the LPGA*USGA Girls Golf program to help you find a team near you. The site also offers information on golf scholarships for high school girls. Additionally, you can find courses for you and your family to play together.