The Road to LPGA

A look inside the ropes with Ginger Howard on the road to the LPGA Tour

Ginger Howard, Symetra Tour, LPGA, Black Girls Golf

By Adriana Lacey Jan 2017

For Ginger Howard, breaking barriers is the norm. At 17-years-old, Howard was the youngest African American woman in the world to win her first tournament and become a professional golfer.

Since then, Howard has gone on to win various awards and achievements, including an EBONY Power 100 award and a leadership award from the African American Golf Digest Magazine.

Now, Howard is ready to begin her 6th year on the Symetra Tour. The tour is the LGPA Tour’s developmental golf tour for professional women golfers and qualified amateurs.

The road to the tour is challenging, with various fees appearing almost daily. “Tour life is expensive. The cost of gas, airfare, hotels and food adds up,” Howard told BGG.

With multiple entry fees, some reaching as high as $500, things can get expensive. “ As you can imagine, this can get difficult when we professional golfers don’t have a good week and miss the cut,” she said.

Things are even more costly for Howard as she has her own caddy. “Not every week am I able to find private housing and not all private housing allows a caddy,” she said. “Those weeks can definitely be a grind since I’m seriously living on a budget. From hotel expenses to finding a place to eat every day for every meal is also an added expense.”

Last year’s golf fees were more than $11,000 for Howard. The organization Sisters Across America has been a big help for the golfer, as they fund many of her tournament fees. In addition, fans have donated gift cards and gas cards to help with expenses.

As Howard begins another promising year, she is hoping that once again she can receive help to pay for travel and competition expenses.

“Every little bit such as that goes a long way and is always tremendously appreciated,” she said.

Donations for Howard’s 2017 fees are currently being accepted at Donations are taxed 5% when transferred to her bank account.

KPMG Scholarship Opportunity

Apply now for KMPG Future Leaders Program Scholarship

condoleezza Rice, KPMG, scholarship, leadership

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We just love it when a corporation puts its money where its mouth is. KPMG and their partners have committed to investing in young women by funding a scholarship program for high school seniors. We couldn’t be more excited to share this information with you. Please pass it on to every female high school leader in your sphere of influence.

The students selected for the scholarship will:

1) Receive a KPMG Future Leaders Scholarship of $10,000 per year for 4 years of college

2) Attend a three-day KPMG Future Leaders Retreat the summer before their freshman year of college, at Stanford University in Stanford, CA (July 17-19, 2017).

Attendance is mandatory:

  • Day 1: Seminars on college life, developing business skills, and social media
  • Day 2: Introduction to golf as a business networking tool and building a network
  • Day 3: Seminars on leadership, public speaking, and mentorship pairing

3) Actively participate in a one year KPMG Future Leaders Mentoring Program

  • Each participant will be paired with a mentor, a Next Generation woman leader who attended the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit.

The KPMG Future Leaders Program in partnership with Dr. Condoleezza Rice, focuses on developing future generations of women leaders. Funded by proceeds from the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit, the KPMG Future Leaders Program will “pay it forward” to future generations of women leaders by providing leadership training to top high school senior female students from around the country preparing for their college career. The KPMG Future Leaders Program will foster a strong foundation for young women to succeed in college and ultimately in their long-term careers. Click here to learn more and complete the application. 

She Did it! Mariah Stackhouse Earns LPGA Membership

Mariah Stackhouse and Sadena Parks Earn LPGA Membership for 2017 Tour

Mariah Stackhouse just became the 8th African American woman to earn LPGA membership by completing the three stages of LGPA Qualifying School. Mariah joins trailblazers like Althea Gibson and Renee Powell who were the first and second African American woman to play on the LPGA Tour. These two were followed by LaRee Sugg, Shasta Averyhardt, Cheyenne Woods, Sadena Parks, and Ginger Howard.

Maria Shares how she prepared for Stage III of the Qualifying Tournament

We are looking forward to seeing some great golf from Mariah Stackhouse on her upcoming rookie year on LPGA Tour in 2017. To follow Mariah on Twitter @stackhouse_KPMG and on Instagram @MoStacksbirdies.

Mariah Stackhouse is joining Sadena Parks on the 2017 LPGA Tour. Sadena carded some low rounds in Qualifying School to secure her return to the LPGA Tour. In the video below, Sadena shares what we can expect from her in 2017.

Although this bright Stanford University graduate has the talent, it takes more than talent to rise to the level of play required to compete on the LPGA Tour. Professional golfers incur expenses that other professional athletes may have covered by sponsors. Expenses include tournament entry fees, equipment, range and course time, coaching, and travel & lodging. This can rise to the tens of thousands dollars over one season. Not to mention, if you aren’t making the cut, you don’t earn any money on the tour. Without sponsors, this can be a heavy financial burden. This financial burden is what keeps many from ever pursuing golf past high school or college.

What is Qualifying School
For the women who compete to earn a place on the LPGA Tour, Qualifying School is required. Q School, as it is commonly called, is a series of tournaments that have been held since 1973. There are three stages of Q School.The first-stage(Stage I) qualifier is open to Symetra Tour members who are not ranked in the Top 120 on the tour’s money list or inside the Top 300 in the women’s world rankings. Stage I is also open to amateurs or professionals (who are not currently LPGA Tour members) ranked outside the Top 300 in the world rankings.

A minimum of the Top 60 players plus ties (exact number determined at time of qualifier) from Stage I advance to the Stage II qualifier. Others eligible for the second-stage qualifier include the Top 5 finishers on the Canadian Women’s Tour’s Order of Merit; LPGA Tour Class A members who have not competed in an official LPGA tournament in the previous three years; Symetra Tour members inside the Top 120 on the money list or who have higher-ranking exemption statuses (compared to Stage I-eligible golfers); and any other amateurs or professionals (who are not already LPGA Tour members) ranked inside the Top 300 in the world rankings.

The Top 80 plus ties in Stage II advance to Stage III, the final stage. Those who fail to advance out of the second stage receive Symetra Tour status, as do those who made the cut in Stage I.

Stage III, the final-stage qualifier includes LPGA members seeking to improve their exemption status; plus the 10 highest-ranking Symetra Tour golfers from the year-end money list who did not automatically earn their LPGA cards via the money list and are not otherwise qualified for Stage III; plus the 70-plus Stage II qualifiers.

Typically the top 20 finishers in Stage III earn LPGA membership for the upcoming tour. The number of golfers who make the cut could change year-to-year based on number of eligible golfers.Golfers who don’t make the cut receive Symetra Tour status.

Are You Dressed for Success?

dressed for success, black girls golf, golf apparel, ladies golf apparelMost of us think we’ll be ready when success knocks, but are we dressed for success?

Do you remember looking through magazines and identifying women who were dressed for success? I couldn’t wait to dress like that. I thought I had it figured out until I actually had to dress for success. Boy, was I wrong and you probably are too.

When I started working in corporate America one of the seasoned African American middle managers pulled me to the side and told me to make sure I have at least one power suit. As soon as I got off work that day I headed to my favorite store, Petite Sophisticate. It was a great little store with affordable pieces for work. I bought three “power suits” that day. My favorite was a brown, pin stripped pant suit. I used to wear it with a French Blue button down shirt and brown Nine West pumps. Wearing it made me understand why it’s called a power suit and why every woman should have one. When you feel powerful, you present yourself that way.

However powerful I felt, little did I know, I wasn’t really dressed for success. I was missing a few key articles – golf shoes, golf clubs, golf pants, etc. I’m sure you get the picture. Even if I knew how to play golf, I wasn’t prepared to play if one of the directors or executives asked “who wants to hit balls today?” The men in the office didn’t need a power suit like I did. They always came to work in khakis and the company polo. When they were invited to play golf, they were already dressed and their golf clubs and shoes were in the trunk. THEY were dressed for success.

In case of emergency

Because I don’t want you to miss an opportunity to build key relationships with your male colleagues and executives I’m going to tell you how to be prepared when the invitation comes. You can find affordable golf apparel at Budget Golf, Rock Bottom Golf and check the clearance racks at local golf stores like Golfsmith or PGA TOUR Superstore.

dressed for success, blakc girls golf. golf apparel. ladies golf apparel

In case of emergency you will need:

  • Golf pants, shorts, or skort. For business golf, I recommend pants
  • Polo shirt with a collar
  • Visor
  • Golf glove
  • Ball marker
  • Golf shoes with soft spikes, or spikeless
  • Golf balls
  • Golf tees
  • Golf clubs
  • Golf towel