Lexi Thompson, at the age of 12, was the youngest golfer to ever qualify to play in the U.S. Women’s Open. She turned pro at the age of 15 and in September of 2011, Lexi set a record as the youngest-ever winner of an LPGA tournament at the age of 16 when she won the Navistar LPGA Classic.
In an interview in October on the PJ Sports Talk Show at the Red Bull (Lexi’s major sponsor) Flugtag Event, Lexi shared her story about the positive impact her two older brothers have played in her passion for the game of golf. She also looks up to other professional lady golfers like Nancy Lopez for inspiration.
And taking the (Red) bull by the horns, Lexi successfully petitioned the LPGA to receive a waiver to the rule that LPGA Tour members must be at least 18 years old, allowing her to enter the 2011 LPGA Qualifying School for Tour membership in 2012.
The first of three stages was held in July at the LPGA International course in Daytona Beach, Florida. Lexi won Stage I by 10 strokes, shooting -23 (66-66-66-67=265). My gosh! Many of us would love to shoot in the 70s much less in the 60s! This young lady is a rare talent.
The top 50 finishers and ties from the first stage advanced to Stage II. After winning the Navistar LPGA Classic, Lexi withdrew from qualifying school and petitioned the LPGA for membership based on her win. Her petition was approved in September and Lexi will become a member beginning in 2012!
So Lexi’s drive and determination is making a lasting impression on young ladies everywhere. Little girls want to learn to golf and be like Lexi. The number of women taking golf lessons and hitting the links is on the rise.
For the golfing industry that has struggled over the past several years, women represent the best opportunity to grow participation. Currently, 19 percent of public golfers are female. By encouraging women to feel as welcomed and comfortable as men on the links and in the clubhouse, the numbers of ladies making tee times will go up.
Golf is a sport driven by passion combined with social interaction experienced outside. Much like enjoying a fine cigar in the company of friends. Women represent the most significant opportunity for growth in the cigar industry. Finding ways to make women feel welcome at cigar events, in cigar lounges and educating them about cigars is key.
In the Tampa Bay area, there is a group of women affectionately nicknamed “Chix with Stix”. They are lady golfers but also lady cigar smokers. And their objective is to have a blast on the golf course as well as stretching their cigar knowledge by trying a new cigar every time they play.
Chix with Stix welcome beginning golfers and novice cigar smokers. Women teaching women seems to work well as they have the patience to educate their new recruits about golf & cigars and push them past their comfort zone in a non-intimidating way.
Said one of the Chix with Stix members, “Often on a sunny Friday afternoon, the entire management team at my office was off playing in a golf scramble for charity and I was the only manager stuck at the office because I couldn’t swing a club. I decided to change that predicament. I took some golf lessons and now I’m out with the boys playing golf, smoking cigars and representing my employer with pride. I no longer feel left out.”
To expand their cigar knowledge, several of the Chix with Stix often attend a monthly cigar & wine pairing event at the Fox Jazz Cafe in Tampa. www.FoxJazzCafe.com. Every first Wednesday of the month from 6pm to 8pm, the Fox hosts this event on their outside patio and introduces a new cigar. This past month of October, Kevin Casey from Alec Bradley Cigars shared the new Black Market stick which got high praise from the crowd.
“I was impressed with the number of women interested in expanding their cigar knowledge who attended the Fox Jazz Cafe cigar & wine pairing,” says Kevin Casey. “The more women know and understand about cigars, the more likely we are to increase the number of lady cigar smokers.”
For women who live in the Tampa Bay area or will be visiting that area while on vacation, please reach out to the author of this article, Angye Fox at email@example.com for the latest information on the next Chix with Stix golf outing. And the monthly cigar & wine pairing event at the Fox Jazz Cafe is open to the public as well. Encouraging women to enjoy cigars & golf is our goal.
|Angye Fox is a serial entrepreneur and has a passion for business. She created her first company when she was 19 years old and has started and sold over thirty different businesses throughout her lifetime. Angye hosts the radio talk show “Chix with Stix”, which is about Cigars and Golf, every Saturday on the Tan Talk Radio Network, in Tampa, Florida. She owns an ad agency, and obviously smokes cigars and plays golf. Earlier this year she competed in the Rocky Patel Foundation 2011 Golf & Gala Event and she has been to the Rocky Patel factory in Honduras. She also visited the Fuente Cigar Factory in Santiago, Dominican Republic in June 2011 and golfed the world-famous Playa Grande golf course in the DR during that trip. She is delighted to answer questions through CigarChronicles.com. Just comment below, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.|