Monday, March 16, 2009

5 Questions With Golfgal

I found Golfgal Gayle Moss a while back and have been following her Golfgal blog for about a year. She blogs about "golf news and commentary from a business woman's perspective". I really enjoy reading her material and then she had to go and tag me the other day! Just kidding (smile)! She's interviewed many of your favorite golfers from the Big Break shows which made me especially honored when she let me to take part in a panel about women in golf. Even though I took a really long time to answer her questions she was still nice enough to do an interview here with me!

1. How did you get started writing about golf? How many different golf outlets do you write for? What is most enjoyable about writing golf-related content for you?

I’ve always wanted to write. In my work, I have written and published a lot of articles for clients in high tech (many of those ghost-written), and I have been blogging for clients for a few years. In 2007, I decided I wanted to write for myself. I have a book in me – I am sure of that. But life is too busy for that right now. So in the short term I decided to write a blog about something I love – I love golf! That’s how the Golfgal blog started.

In January 2008, Golf For Women Magazine contacted me and asked if I would be interested in writing a daily blog for them – I jumped at it. I posted daily until July 2008, when they sadly closed their doors.

I recently started writing a column for Inside Golf Magazine as well.

I really enjoy talking to people about golf and so I really like interviewing people for a story. My interviews with the Big Break and Highway 18 contestants were so much fun that I decided after they were over, I’d continue to interview people in the golf industry or just hackers like me and share their stories on my blog.

2. How long have you been playing golf and how often do you play (handicap?)? How did you get started? What do you love most about the game?

I put my toe in the water when I was in my twenties, but I hated it. My dad tried to teach me, and as much as I loved my dad, and he was a great golfer, he couldn’t teach (smile). 20 years later, I was introduced to the game again through work. My company was offering free golf lessons and I decided to give it another try (after a lot of pressure by my colleagues).

I hit a few good shots and I was hooked. It’s amazing what a few good shots can do!

Today, I am married to a man who loves the game almost as much as I do. Our handicaps are both around 19-20 (my goal this year is to hit 16). During the golf season, we play about 10 times a month I'd guess. On holidays, we golf almost every day (e.g. in Maui in Nov, we golfed 14 out of 17 days). We love the constant challenge, but also the continual (and very gradual) improvements that come with proper instruction and focus. As Ben Hogan said, “The best part of golf is improving.”

My husband and I both laugh and say, “There’s a real golfer in here just trying to get out!”. We’re hackers, no doubt about it, but we love to go to the range and practice; we love to play on courses around Vancouver; we love to travel and play in different cities; but most of all, we love playing golf in paradise. We are hooked on Maui!

3. What other sports or athletics have you been involved in throughout your life? Were you involved in team or individual sports as a child?

I was a figure skater from the time I was nine. 6 days a week – 6 in the AM and then again at night after school. It was a grind year after year after year. But, I wanted to be a teaching pro and got my wish when I was 19. In one year, I was ready to throw in the skates. Parents!!!! They all think little Suzy is the next Olympic champion. Skating parents are worse than those hockey dads that have to be escorted out of the arena ;). I taught for 7 years and it paid my way through university, but the moment I graduated, I hung up my skates.

4. Who are the finest examples of role models in golf, in your opinion? Do you believe that pro golfers should be held as role models in the first place?

I believe we all should be role models in life, so pro golfers aren’t any different. They just have more people watching. Annika and Lorena are great role models. Tiger is in terms of his work ethic, but I’m not crazy about his behaviour on the course. No one is perfect, so I guess Tiger can’t be a role model in everything (wink). But, I really hate being with golfers who get angry on the course (it ruins the day). I admire those pro golfers who can control their tempers. I’d love to see them smile more. My husband and I have deal – the more we want to swear out loud, the bigger our smile has to be. (Apryl's note: I guess I better start smiling bigger!)

5. What do you think holds back more women from being seriously involved in golf? What would you do to change that?

I don’t think girls are invited to play enough when they are young. Fathers tend to take their sons out and leave the daughters with mom. So when girls get older they see their boyfriends go out and play with their buddies but don’t feel welcome. Or their boyfriends try and teach them and that usually ends in disaster.

In my day, parents didn’t encourage women at all. It’s a bit better now, but not much. I still see dads bribe (or force) their sons to play, but never think of encouraging their daughters to take up the game.

That being said, neither of our kids like golf much even though they have all the equipment, clothes, and encouragement – takes too much time away from friends. Recently, however, our daughter saw my hot new Sweet Spot clubs and she loved the look of them – 13 year-olds are all about fashion. I told her she could use them if she played with us. She eyed them a bit longer and said, “Hmmm…maybe I will. (grin)”. Kids!

I think we should pay attention to South Korea and what they are doing with their young girls. We might learn something. At the grassroots level, we women golfers have to take some responsibility to grow the game. If each woman golfer could encourage one girlfriend to take up the game, we could change the male-dominated sport into sexless game rather than the sexist one it is today.

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