LPGA Pros Beat Male Scratch Golfers
The LPGA does not get nearly as much respect as it deserves.
I have heard innumerable male golfers — some low handicappers and some who just thought they were — claim that they could beat an LPGA golfer playing from the same tees. After all, the testosterone-fueled males reason: “I can drive the ball 300 yards” (they can’t) and “I can spin a ball back with a wedge from 150” (again, they really can’t). Beating an LPGA pro, therefore should not be that difficult.
I have been to numerous LPGA tournaments and am under no such illusion. To borrow a phrase from the PGA TOUR: those women are good. They are consistent ball strikers who are able to control their shots in a way that most amateurs can’t. The have plenty of distance and more importantly, they can control it.
There’s a good article in Golf recounting what happened in this past weekend’s Hilton Vacations Tournament of Champions when single digit and scratch male golfers played the same tees as their LPGA partners.
It wasn’t pretty.
Mark Mulder and John Smoltz, retired MLB pitchers who play to scratch, each finished at +18. Those are two guys who have participated in men’s tour events.
Derek Lowe, an 0.2 handicap, finished +7. He tied in the celebrity tournament with 51-year-old Annika Sorenstam.
Lowe, who played with LPGA Pros Nelly Korda and Sorenstam noted:
“I don’t think people understand how good they are until you get inside the ropes, watch the quality of the shots. I’ve been very fortunate, have been for three days, to play with Nelly Korda. She outdrove me probably 90% of the time. They don’t understand the talent. Watching Annika today, it’s just a true honor to play, and people need to come watch them play because they are extremely talented and great.”Derek Lowe
The LPGA Pro winner of the tournament, Danielle Kang, was in at -16. Lowe’s +7 would have tied him for 24th.
Wells Adams, a 3-handicap made famous by “The Bachelor” played with Ariya Jutanugarn.
“That girl is so amazing, and she doesn’t carry a driver. She just hits 3-wood. I hit the ball pretty far. She outdrove me almost every hole with a 3-wood. That was a nice Wells, come back down to earth; you’re not very good at this game. But the thing that separates these women from everything is how pinpoint accurate they are from long range. That’s the difference between the weekend warriors and these guys is they can hit 6- and 5-irons to 5 feet. Seeing that is just bonkers. So much fun to witness.”Wells Adams
If you get a chance to attend an LPGA Tournament in person, you should do so. You will see some spectacular golf, and be able to see for yourself that sets these professionals apart.