Denise Godoy, an assistant pro at The Cascades Golf & Country Club in Tyler, has a message for girls and women thinking about taking up golf: "Give it a try."
Golf is not nearly as intimidating as some women think. With instruction, practice and a little confidence, women often soon find themselves looking forward to their time on the links with their friends and fellow golf lovers.
Last year, LPGA and golf industry advocates launched #inviteHer, a campaign to get more women playing golf. The goal is to get current golfers to invite women to come play golf with them as was if increasing participation of women in the sport.
The PGA of America recommends that women new to the game take time to learn the basic rules and etiquette of the game.
"I've worked with women who have never held a golf club before," says Godoy.
Instructors help beginners learn the uses of different clubs, the mechanics of shots and proven strategies to lower scores.
Godoy says that women should not avoid golf because they are not in good physical shape.
"We have women of all kinds of shapes and sizes who play golf," says Godoy.
And the good news is women who regularly play golf and walk, instead of riding in a cart, will find themselves slowly but surely getting into better shape.
"Walking a (18-hole) round of golf is the same of walking about five miles," says Godoy.
The act of swinging a club uses muscles in the legs and midsection and improves balance.
Godoy says golf is a sport of a lifetime and that girls who are introduced at an early age to golf, especially by their mothers, are likely to play — and enjoy — golf the rest of their lives.