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Ladies only

There is a time and place for everything, but a Vietnamese ladies professional tour just doesn’t make sense right now.


The editor of VGM asked me to write about the possibility of a Ladies Professional Tour here in Vietnam. So it here goes.
There is no need, really. We have 2-3 female professionals in the country. When the number gets much bigger, we can think about it then.
No, this is not to say that Vietnam should not concentrate on hosting more “Ladies Only” golf events. In this area, I think the country is sorely lacking. I know some ladies in the north and south have held exclusive events and I applaud this. But, I also think the VGA and local clubs could do a lot more to enhance women’s golf in Vietnam.
Yes, I know I have said this time and again, but when I was with VGCC (Thu Duc), we started a very successful “Ladies League”, where the only time a male could join an event was when the ladies invited him. It was fun watching some guys practically begging for an invite. We had one of my female golf operations staff overseeing the league, just so the ladies felt more comfortable about suggesting event formats and raising any concerns.

Even my wife played in the league, so the other women felt they had a co-conspirator on the inside. And yes, she did discuss their concerns and ideas, so it worked to improve the events. At Kings Island, I even persuaded Madame Nga to buy a bus to make it easier for ladies to come out to the club during mornings. We had a special price and menu for the ladies as well. Predictably, it was highly successful and appreciated.
A lot of clubs, to their detriment, overlook the power of ladies golf on a club’s bottom line. In the US, many clubs still have highly restrictive policies regarding when ladies can play, or if they can become members. This is truly stupid.
So, before we can even consider a Ladies Professional Tour in Vietnam, we frst must encourage and enhance ladies golf, especially junior ladies golf.

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Funny enough, if you look at the European and US PGA Tours, you’ll see few Asian players on top of the money list. But if you look at the LPGA, you will see the opposite – many top players are Korean, Japanese, and even Chinese now. One of the reasons is simply that these ladies went to university in the US and were exposed to a higher level of coaching and became more familiar with the US style of play. But there is no doubt, at least in my mind, that Korean and Japanese women have a different mindset than Westerners. They have the ability to focus better and stick with it, even when times get rough.
In other words, they don’t give up easily. As anyone with an Asian wife will attest, the western concept of a “subservient, delicate Asian flower” is the biggest joke propagated on males since G-d said, “You will fnd obedient wives in all corners of the world” and then made the world round and laughed Himself silly.
The fact of the matter is that Asian ladies have spines of steel, they just don’t like to show it to the public. But behind closed doors, watch out. Don’t irritate them.
The same applies on the golf course – they are competitive and hate to lose. So, if Korea, Japan, and even China can produce top women golfers, why can’t Vietnam? We have some very good young female 
Vietnamese golfers now studying in the US, but that is just the beginning. We need more.
When I visited Wayne Johnson at EPGA in Hanoi last month, I was heartened to see quite a few female juniors practicing. This is a good thing, but it’s still only a good beginning. We need more professional coaching centers throughout the country if we are to catch up with the rest of Asia. There is a rumor of EPGA opening one in the south in the future. This would be good.
The bottom line is that you need to learn to walk before you run, chip before you drive and stop trying to put the wagon before the horse. There is a time and place for everything and a Vietnamese Ladies Professional Tour just doesn’t make any sense right now.

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