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19th Hole

Is Jessica Korda right about the big problem U.S. women’s golf faces?



As I mentioned earlier in the Morning 9: Well played to Jessica Korda for pointing out an obvious and not at all recent problem for American women’s golf.

And credit to Alistair Tait at Golfweek for compiling the quotes and pointing out that there are only two American golfers (Korda and Lexi Thompson) inside the top 10 in Rolex Rankings. Asian golfers, on the other hand, occupy seven spots.

Jessica Korda spoke to this phenomenon.

“They have a better development program for juniors,” Korda said. “They have a national team. They travel to different countries. One of the things that the U.S. doesn’t have is a national team, somebody to help the girls and boys kind of grow.”

She elaborated on the system in the U.S.

“There’s no like camps. Basically, kids play AJGAs in America to try and get into college. In Korea, I know that they have to play two years on the Korean LPGA before they even come to the States. So they’ve already been a pro before they come to our tour. So as you call them rookies, they’ve won, you know, like 10 times professionally.”

Korda pointed to the United States Tennis Association’s player development programs and camps (something should would know about given her family background).

While Korda is absolutely right in theory, the question is: Who would be responsible for pre-college player development? Should more resources be funneled to the AJGA to do more than conduct tournaments? Should the USGA be involved?

Let us know what you think, GolfWRX members.

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  1. Mat

    Aug 7, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    Please allow me to translate.

    “Where all the white women at?!”

    Golf is amazing in that results are what matter. Thankfully it isn’t who wears the most make-up.

  2. Kenneth

    Aug 6, 2018 at 11:50 pm

    Asian talent has hurt the LPGA.
    They’re not entertaining; lack charisma, stoic and boring.
    But they shoot the lowest scores so they win.
    They start them when they’re toddlers and every waking hour is spent on golf.
    American girls loose interest when the “boy crazy” years start.
    Of course there are exceptions, but America has so much more to offer young women than unlimited range time.

    • Geohogan

      Aug 8, 2018 at 12:19 pm

      Korea has been taking advantage of the USA for years.

      Now they are taking LPGA winnings. Put a tariff on all foreign winnings, and level the playing field. Taking US funds is national security threat. If they want to play in the USA, they need to pay. This isnt a public course, this is a country club
      and foreigners should pay.

  3. Matt

    Aug 6, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    Not sure what Jessica is referring to exactly, but where I live the Parks & Rec Dept. through the locally-based Lifetime Sports Academy and The First Tee conducts a free day camp during the months of June and July. Not only is the camp free, but the kids also get a free set of clubs. Plus, they get free use of the practice facility anytime, and as they progress, get free membership to various city courses from a par-three course to those that are more challenging. Along with the camp, there are also 15 different tournaments for children ages 3-17 during the summer. It’s really a great program.

  4. Dave

    Aug 3, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    Maybe South Korea golfers are better. Oops now I’m in trouble. Who cares who’s better it’s golf get over it.

    • Aegyne

      Aug 5, 2018 at 5:37 pm

      Korda misses the mark. NCAA collegiate golf trumps any program the South Korea has. There is nothing comparable to American collegiate golf anywhere else. To suggest that the reason for South Korean superiority in women’s golf is training and camps is doubtful. If that were the case, wouldn’t it also apply to the men’s game? Also, the women of the U.S. have access to far better coaches and instruction, not to mention growing up “at the local country club”.

      Perhaps the reason seven of the top ten women’s golfers are South Korean is attributable to other factors, such as work ethic, dedication, and time spent in the dirt working on their game. The standard of living and privilege afforded American women give them an enormous advantage over women from all other countries. The fact they can’t capitalize on that advantage speaks points to other individual and cultural factors.

  5. Moses

    Aug 3, 2018 at 10:56 am

    Maybe “like” it’s just random?

  6. Tom Relf

    Aug 3, 2018 at 10:40 am

    We do have a training program! the USA Junior National Golf team was started six years ago. I actually started it after creating a national training program in Mexico. I ran that program from 2000-2010 (for men and women). Many of our players are now on the LPGA, Futures Tour, PGA Tour a and tours.
    We have roughly 35 training sites around the country currently and are expanding. We essentially provide clubs with a “model” to follow if you will. A National Team training program designed for junior golfers to work their way through from an early age right up until eighteen years old.

  7. Kazilla

    Aug 2, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    Don’t just talk about it, do something!

  8. John

    Aug 2, 2018 at 9:10 am

    Interesting to look at this. I believe there are parallels all over the place for athletics. Take the US Mens Soccer program for example, we failed to qualify for the world cup because of our lack of development. Our best players (left the US to play over seas). With all of that said we are potentially going up against the other countries best athletes they have to offer, meanwhile we have Lebron James, and Odell Beckham Jr playing in their respective leagues. So that may just be the long and short of it, our best players are actually playing something else?

  9. millennial82

    Aug 1, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    You can’t compare the U.S. to South Korea. South Korea’s whole country can fit in-between the distance of Los Angeles to San Francisco. We Win! South Korea’s girls train 7 hours a day while our girls can enjoy life. We win again!

    • Whynotgolf

      Aug 2, 2018 at 12:34 pm

      Why not? What does the size of the country have to do with it?

      Granted, prior to Si Ri Pak golf in S. Korea was largely thought to be a rich persons sport. Post Si Ri Pak it was considered a good way to get a college education and obviously backed by this govt. funded programs it has morphed into a dominance on the world’s best female tour.

      If the US is going to compete on the same stage, girls need to get formal training and some semblance of what the S. Koreans.

    • dada

      Aug 2, 2018 at 8:49 pm

      welp, this has gotta be the most ignorant comment on here…

  10. Bill Jordan

    Aug 1, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    I’m wondering what harm there is in not having a program to develop professional golfers. Maybe those same girls could use all that drive to become something else, and provide a greater and more satisfying benefit to society.

    • PT

      Aug 1, 2018 at 8:43 pm

      Yup, women’s golf is not that important in America in the grand scheme of things

    • commoner

      Aug 1, 2018 at 10:18 pm

      Bill J…..excellent, concise post. Picture a clueless over-privileged ‘latent adolescent’ telling little kids just how they can beat the million to one odds. And, explaining what could happen if they don’t.

  11. Mat

    Aug 1, 2018 at 5:34 pm


  12. Da Dawg

    Aug 1, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    Go to any of the hoods in America and tell us what’s really up, girl.
    And these words from Jessica coming from a child of a rich, famous immigrant father who was a professional athlete. Please.
    You really want to open this can of worms?
    Go to the hoods in America and give the game of golf to those girls, and do it earnestly, Jessica. Why don’t you let them play on your private course? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

    • Shannon Hiers

      Aug 1, 2018 at 6:01 pm

      Some people got to bring the race card 2 every party. That has no place in this.

      • Da Dawg

        Aug 1, 2018 at 8:45 pm

        Dat’s because you ain’t got no clue about what America is really like, cuz! Go visit the streets. Go into the hood, bruh.

    • Geohogan

      Aug 1, 2018 at 9:41 pm

      No worries, DD. DT is going to cut capital gains tax, so now everyone in the hood can keep the hard earned income from income properties and mutual funds, to pay for better country club memberships and golf lessons for their kids.

      Say What? Ok maybe only the top 1% will do that, but at least ladies golf will benefit; or there will be trickle down benefit of more visits to the mall.

      • GolfDonkey

        Aug 2, 2018 at 9:01 am

        Jealous much?

        • Geohogan

          Aug 8, 2018 at 12:09 pm

          Jealous much?

          If you want to live in gated cities, with no safe places for your kids, go to Latin America and see how life will be in America; when your not putting out fires, literally and figuratively. Jealous.. you have to be kidding.

    • Thomas A

      Aug 2, 2018 at 3:04 pm

      I think that’s exactly what she’s talking about. More talent development would open a pathway for more athletes.

  13. Andrew Brunn

    Aug 1, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    It seems to me that the AJGA offers the same opportunities to the girls as they do the boys. Why are american men dominating so much if there is a direct correlation between the AJGA and what juniors are doing in Asia? If what she is saying has any truth, then someone from South Korea would have won more than 1 major in the history of golf.

    • Matt

      Aug 1, 2018 at 7:35 pm

      Exactly. this isn’t a US/Korea discussion it’s a men’s/women’s golf discussion.

      US women don’t put the same emphasis on golf as Korea. Why is that a problem?

  14. PT

    Aug 1, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    The great thing about US golf is its college programmes.
    The problem with the US is its college programmes.
    Yup, girls golf, all junior golf in the US need to start earlier, with similar programmes at primary school level, through Jr High and of course High School. By the time college comes along, too many things and other activities have come along for most of these kids to hold any real interest in golf, and they are not that good anyway.
    The indoctrination system must start earlier than college about turning into a Pro player. Kids should be given the choice to be Pros from high school, if they want, following the lead of other sports like soccer in the world, and since the LPGA sells itself as a global brand, why not? The culture in the US needs to change for that to happen.

  15. CK

    Aug 1, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    I believe Jessica’s comments are true to a point. Yes, other countries have national teams/programs. I don’t look for the US to every have a “National” team. Golf has a few issues. One issue is perception. People think golf is SOOOO expensive. Like any sport it’s only as expensive as you make it. I’m not rich at all but my middle son just made the varsity HS golf team (as a freshman). He is the ONLY kid on the team who is NOT a member of a Country Club. He hits the the ball just as far (with his 2 year old driver) as other kids (new PXG Driver) on his team. Another issue is the PGA. The PGA says it wants to grow the game (Great!)but they need to “beat” that idea into the people running/managing the golf courses. More courses need to offer bigger discounts for juniors and people need to be more patient with kids out on the course. People forget the kids playing today will be the paying players of tomorrow. I could go on and on about other things but I’ll just stop there.

    • Mat

      Aug 1, 2018 at 5:37 pm

      I love your personal biases. Your kid is the exception, so it’s easy. Courses need to give up revenue because they should be altruistic despite pressures to stay solvent. Others need to be patient.

      You sure know how to tell others how to act…

  16. Tee-Bone

    Aug 1, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    The U.S. should have a national program, like South Korea and others. But her comments don’t explain why Korean men do not dominate the PGA Tour.

  17. Jim McPherson

    Aug 1, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    It’s because Korean parents will sell their house and live with relatives to push their little girls into golf. They are neurotic about it and see golf as their retirement. They don’t let their kids choose what they want to do, Golf is imposed and forced on them. It’s a lifestyle, not a choice.

    American parents want their kids happy. They let them have fun in other sports and that’s a big part of the Korean domination in the LPGA.

    • lance

      Aug 1, 2018 at 2:27 pm

      yes, all those korean girls on the lpga look so sad and oppressed by their parent and mostly by their fathers. these girls are held in servitude to their patriarchal family. so sad.

    • Geohogan

      Aug 1, 2018 at 2:35 pm

      Americans are coddled like , little angels from birth. Their sh ..does stink, and they are perfect , just the way they are… Happy?

      When things dont go the way they want they find excuses, scape goats, like their parents do.

      • Geohogan

        Aug 1, 2018 at 3:40 pm

        When things dont go the way they want, they go shopping.

        Bryson is a perfect example.

  18. STEVE

    Aug 1, 2018 at 11:59 am

    Well….it isn’t just rookies or youth golf. Michelle Wie competed (irrationally too) on the big tour before really launching her LPGA career and that didn’t turn out so well, did it? Future interest in the LPGA tour in the states may hinge on how well Jessica Korda, Lexi T, Michelle Wie among other American girls, play. They are all veterans by now — and well, what is the verdict? To quote Jessica, are they…like…winning enough? For now, I doubt it.

  19. bbb

    Aug 1, 2018 at 11:54 am

    I think it’s more about making it a more appealing career decision, by putting effort in the golf teaching industry. Tour pro isn’t the only golf profession, you can always coach and teach. I have yet to come across a female teaching pro who used play competitively in college.

  20. Robert

    Aug 1, 2018 at 11:48 am

    The best youth women athletes are not playing youth golf in the U.S. They are playing girls soccer, basketball, and volleyball. It’s why you see Asian golfers dominating Women’s golf.

    • 3puttPar

      Aug 1, 2018 at 11:56 am

      I 100% see where you are coming from, but, I would argue that golf is far more expensive and not as easily accessible for many as those other sports. I don’t think the talent level is being pulled away as much as many are simply priced out of the game.

      • Scott McDonald

        Aug 1, 2018 at 12:19 pm

        Plenty of golf is available for ALL at facilities like the First Tee. For tournament players, plenty of opportunities are available. You can not wait for someone to ask if you need help. Tiger Woods Foundation has done a fine job in making funds and equipment available. Let the kid’s be kid’s. Burnout happens for a reason. Those with talent will be recognized.

        • 3puttPar

          Aug 1, 2018 at 3:08 pm

          The First Tee, US Kids Golf, etc are doing wonderful things for Junior Golf, but from my experiences in golf, I find more parents talking price and time when it comes to golf.

          Clubs, if purchased, are at least $150 alone. Whats a soccer ball, basketball, or volleyball cost, $20? Most kids have a square of pavement they can dribble a ball on, or a garage door or wall to kick or hit a ball against. You cant just whip out your wedge and start banging balls down the street.

          Sure, we all putt and chip around the house, or hit balls into a practice net. This doesn’t work with kids, they don’t have the attention span for that. They want to be outside chasing a ball, even on the golf course.

          Its simply not as accessible as most other sports. And when it takes a parent to get them to and from a facility, that costs time and money.

      • Robert

        Aug 1, 2018 at 3:37 pm

        I don’t agree, club soccer and volleyball are very expensive sports. My daughter plays D1 college soccer and it cost minimum with travel expense at the club youth level 5K a year.

    • lance

      Aug 1, 2018 at 2:24 pm

      you forgot to mention US girls spend most of their time on social media iphone shmooozing.

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19th Hole

Tweets of the Week: Tiger’s humor, Rose’s fanatical supporter, and Spieth’s trick shot



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19th Hole

Tweets of the Week: Phil goes full Phil, Jason Day lets loose at Magic Kingdom and DJ’s lefty swing



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19th Hole

Tweets of the Week: Content Committee bloopers, Keith Mitchell’s message box, and McIlroy’s classy gesture



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19th Hole