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Women-only golf day focuses on health, golf education

Four reasons why women should check out inaugural event
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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An upcoming event at Woodcreek Golf Club in Roseville gives women a chance to "Jump Start" their golf season.

Hosted by the Pacific Women's Golf Association, the event focuses on the health benefits of this outdoor pastime and gives participants a chance to brush up on their skills. Nearly 30 ladies have signed up, and participants can register through Sunday.

The Press Tribune interviewed two local organizers who came up with four reasons why women should consider checking out this event.

1. Health benefits galore

Golf offers cardiovascular, muscular and weight loss benefits, said Caroline O'Brien. Repeatedly swinging clubs strengthens and tones muscles in a person's arms, back and shoulders. Golfers also gain improved flexibility, range of motion, balance and hand-eye coordination.

The heart gets a workout, too. During a typical round of 18 holes, a golfer who skips the golf cart will walk three to six miles - some of which might be uphill or downhill, O'Brien said. And walking doesn't cause as much stress on the knees and feet as jogging.

"Research shows that one round of golf has the same benefits as a 45-minute fitness class," she said.

At Thursday's event, women can also undergo a carotid ultrasound exam, for $20, to check for cholesterol plaque, which may indicate increased risk for heart disease or a stroke.

"I really want people to come and participate in the exam," said LPGA Teaching Professional Marilyn Herbert. "It's definitely life-saving."

2. Sport for any age

Golf is a sport that can be played at any age. Programs for juniors generally start around age 7, O'Brien said.

"Many of the junior golf programs teach not only the skills of the sport but also life lessons such as honesty, integrity, sportsmanship and respect," she said.

O'Brien is the executive director of the Rocklin-based Pacific Women's Golf Association, which was founded in 1947 and represents more than 9,000 female golfers. Only about 150 of these are junior members. The association provides annual scholarships to support women's golf programs at local high schools.

Many of the association's members are seniors.

"We have some members who are still enjoying the game into their 90's," O'Brien said. "What other sport can three or even four generations of a family enjoy together?"

3. Improved flexibility

Herbert will lead the Yoga for Golfers workshop during Thursday's event. This certified yoga instructor has also taught golf for some 30 years and is fascinated with the biomechanics involved in the sport. She said 3D analysis of the golf swing shows how the body's muscles move - people with tight muscles, limited mobility or poor flexibility struggle with swinging a club correctly.

"Most golfers don't have the proper movement of the swing," she said.

These people get frustrated when they practice every day but don't get any better. Yoga helps address this issue by providing an understanding of the anatomy of the golf swing.

4. Increase knowledge of the game

O'Brien goes golfing about twice a month and considers herself a "dabbler." She said Thursday's event is ideal for women who want an introduction to golf, as well as those with more experience. Experts will also go over the basic rules of the game.

"For me, it's more about being outside and hanging out with the ladies," O'Brien said. "Anyone who's interested can come out. A lot of women are intimidated to come out to an organized event because they think they're not good enough ... This is just to enjoy the experience."

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.

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Pacific Women's Golf Association presents "Jump Start Golf"

What: Women-only golf day focuses on health and golf knowledge and skills. Rules of Golf seminar, Yoga for Golfers class, Heart Health presentation, lunch and a demonstration clinic followed by nine holes of golf.

When: Registration begins at 9 a.m. and golf starts at 1 p.m. Thursday, March 29

Where: Woodcreek Golf Club, 5880 Woodcreek Oaks Blvd. in Roseville

Cost: $49 and includes donation to American Heart Association

Info: Register at www.golfpwga.org