19th Hole

Beth Allen
Phoenix, AZ

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It’s Important for the Game to be Fun!

Playing golf professionally is a dream come true in a lot of ways, not the least of which is the chance to play some truly incredible championship courses. Some of my favorites are likely on your must-play lists, too: Pebble Beach, The Old Course, and North Berwick in East Lothian, Scotland are true standouts for me. 

In 2016, I became the first American player to win the Ladies European Tour Order of Merit and now I’ve joined the select few who proudly play on both the LET and LPGA Tours. But, for a sport which protects so many wonderful traditions, my journey into professional golf hasn’t exactly followed a traditional pathway. In early 2011, I took some time out of the game to donate a kidney to my brother, Dan. And when I’m in my newly adopted hometown of Edinburgh, Scotland, I often ride public transport to my practice sessions. I have far from “arrived”, but it’s fun to reflect on my journey thus far. 

Having traveled the world over, I’m beginning to realize that the next generation of great players may be introduced to the game in a whole new way. So-called “short courses” are experiencing a renaissance, with two prominent new courses debuting here in the Valley just this year (the re-designed Mountain Shadows and Li’l Wick at Wickenburg Ranch). I can easily envision a time in the future when concepts like Li’l Wick – where music pumps through on-course speakers, the holes are lit at night, and there’s a full-service bar in the middle – replace 100+ acres of turf and seven miles of cart paths!

My philosophy is pretty simple: whether I’m in tournament mode, focusing on a practice session, or hanging out with my favorite people, it’s important for the game to be fun! This in part is why I’m a huge advocate of the new short course/“golf park” concept. Incorporating entertainment and a bite to eat without compromising on shot value sounds like a whole lot of fun to me! And encouraging more people to take up the game in a genuinely cool environment is a win for golf in my eyes.  

Beth Allen tees it up in the LPGA Bank of Hope Founders Cup on March 14 - March 19, 2017 at Wildfire Golf Club|Phoenix, Arizona. Follow Beth on twitter @BethAllenGolf