When you look around a Fore the Ladies Clinic, you see women across the golf course, learning how to hold a golf club, practicing putting drills and smiling while enjoying a drink or two. Fore the Ladies, Inc., is a female-based community and non-profit organization with the intent to introduce more women to the game and bring women together to play, watch and participate in everything golf has to offer. They hope to make golf more accessible and approachable, while removing the expected barriers. We caught up with founder Abby Liebenthal to learn more about her organization, which you can check out here.
Where did the idea for Fore the Ladies, Inc. come from?
I was the only girl in my group of friends growing up who played golf. I never thought much of it, as it was simply a family activity. This theme continued through college, but more of my friends wanted to at least try to hit golf balls and learn the game. These comments popped up throughout the years, increasing as we moved into our careers and opportunities to play were given and passed on during business outings.
Throughout my golf career, I have connected with so many women who simply do not know where to start when it comes to golf. They are not sure they will like the game, so they do not want to invest in lessons, clubs, apparel and access to a course. I understand that sentiment. I would not purchase a membership to a cycle studio without trying first.
I was finding programs for junior female golfers, women in executive roles or members of a country club, but there was a void for young professional women to learn about golf. I hosted my first Fore the Ladies Clinic in 2019 as an attempt to make something for this group and we had 70 women show up! I was shocked, but also realized that when you create the venue, women will come
Fore the Ladies is creating opportunities to dip your toe into the sport. Women may walk away wanting to begin lessons, or golf might not be for them, but at least they get to make that decision, rather than being pushed away by barriers from the game.
Where do you host clinics?
At first, I was hosting clinics in locations in which my friends lived. Since then, we’ve been lucky enough to have facilities reach out to us in hopes of hosting a clinic, so now it’s a mix of where I want to travel and where people are looking to get involved. This year we are going to: Baltimore, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Jacksonville, Fla., Atlanta, San Francisco, San Diego, Champaign, Ill., and Toledo, Ohio (for now!).
How do you find women to participate in the clinics?
It’s all about the hustle. I’m reaching out to friends and family in the local community, women’s organizations, local businesses and so much more. In my opinion, if we want to reach more people and introduce them to the sport, we need to go where they are – they’re not necessarily at the golf course already!
What if a woman already plays golf but wants to get involved with Fore the Ladies?
We’ve noticed that our community is a mix of current players and women new to the sport. For those who have already been introduced to the sport, we have a directory called the Fore the Ladies Tee Sheet that women can register to and find other women in their area to set up a round. This year, we hosted our very first golf getaway for women with Pinehurst Resort, which welcomed us for a weekend of golf, off-the-course activities and camaraderie. We hope to do more of these in the future and expand our offerings for current female golfers!
What’s next for Fore the Ladies?
It’s crazy to think about what we have achieved in two years, especially when all but two of our events were cancelled in 2020. We are still a young non-profit organization, but we are focused on reaching as many women as possible and introducing them to the sport. I think we are going to focus a lot of our time in the next two to three years getting women to continue their journey with golf after a FTL clinic, whether that be through lessons, teeing it up or even tuning in more to women’s professional golf.
Abby Liebenthal, Fore the Ladies, Inc., Founder