Although many used to think about golf as an outdated man’s sport, the sport’s picture has been shifting of late and is now being performed by a wider and extra various group of individuals than ever earlier than. Serving to to deliver the sport to increasingly more individuals is the Purple River Valley’s personal Cathy Harbin, who for roughly the previous yr and a half has been serving as a member of the PGA of America Board of Administrators.
“I like the sport and the best way it enhances individuals’s lives,” Harbin stated. “It teaches logic, perseverance and downside
On the board, Harbin heads up the grownup participant improvement committee. Because the identify suggests, the committee goals to create a supportive surroundings for adults simply starting to get into the sport of golf.
“Numerous focus is placed on bringing in youthful individuals and youngsters, however there isn’t all the time a variety of emphasis on getting individuals into golf later in life,” Harbin stated. “Numerous instances, individuals really feel intimidated by the sport at first, and that is all about ensuring that doesn’t occur.”
One of many methods Harbin is doing that features a program began up by the committee known as “Play with a Professional,” the place new golfers can exit on the inexperienced alongside a PGA professional skilled at their golf membership, who can then give the brand new golfers ideas and pointers.
Harbin additionally chairs the Place to Play committee, which is equally designed to create entries into the sport and make the game extra accessible.
“That committee is all about making a protected surroundings at programs,” Harbin stated.
One of many first efforts to committee made in direction of that aim was not too long ago taken after they dedicated $250,000 to programs in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to make them simpler for brand spanking new golfers. Changes made by programs in Tulsa included eradicating some bushes and different obstacles and guaranteeing holes extra approachable.
One other effort taken by the committee that Harbin is very happy with is the Metropolis Swing program.
Launched within the Washington, D.C., space, this system brings golf instructors to individuals in city areas the place there may not be quick access to a golf course, and the teacher provides classes on a smaller, cell course.
Although that program is simply localized to D.C. in the meanwhile, Harbin stated they hope to quickly make it a nationwide initiative.
Of the roughly 28,000 PGA professionals, solely 4% are girls. Of the smaller group of grasp professionals, a fair smaller share are girls. Harbin is proud to be each, and one of many very first girls to earn the title of grasp skilled within the nation.
She brings that power to the board, saying that she provides a recent and totally different perspective that’s all the time appreciated.
“The individuals on the board are nice,” she stated. “We now have open and frank discussions, and even after we don’t all the time agree, they respect having a special set of eyes on a problem, and I really feel like I’ve been capable of make some actual constructive adjustments with my life experiences.”