This letter yesterday from LPGA teaching professional Leslie Van Syckle expresses beautifully how we feel today at the closing of our sister publication, Golf For Women magazine.
It is a sad day when Golf For Women magazine will no longer be available. It leaves a large void that no other publication has so far tried to fill, and therein lies its strength.
It was a guide for that huge golfing population, men and women, that has as its goal to be better than they were yesterday, or last week, or last month. It did not cater to that part of the population that secretly believes they will be club champ by reading an article.
It led by example in its support of the Susan G. Komen Foundation that golf is a way to support charities and give back to the community.
It celebrated the grassroots teachers of the game by being the title sponsor of the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional National Championship for over 10 years.
It celebrated the top female teachers of the game, no matter their affiliation with the PGA or LPGA. All of the other "best teachers" lists ignore the over 1200 LPGA members who do not even get to vote in the process. Too bad for those who are not also PGA members.
Mostly Golf For Women magazine celebrated the ENJOYMENT of golf.
Those of us who are teachers will still get that immense satisfaction that comes when a student who has been struggling exclaims with delight when they get the ball air born; or
when a hug comes our way when a student does something they thought they couldn't do; or that wry smile appears on the student's face as they say "you mean I don't have to keep my head down?"; or the astonishment of a student when she feels the difference between the clubs that are appropriate for her and the ones her husband or father gave her because he got new ones. These things will not go away.
Sadly what we won't be able to do anymore is answer the question from both men and women, "What magazine should I read for my golf game?" without Golf For Women magazine.
I am sure that there are plenty of business reasons why this decision was made, and I am sure that one of them is yet another example of the big product buying up the smaller, better product to protect their interests. So while it may feel like a birdie in the business of golf, it is at least a triple bogey for golfers and the game of golf.
Leslie, thank you for your letter. It is, indeed, a sad day. Golf For Women was a great magazine. Editor Susan Reed created the publication that readers wanted, that golf advertisers wanted, that its owners wanted. Conde Nast purchased Golf For Women not to bury it or protect Golf Digest's interest, but to make it as good as it could be and to complete our company's coverage of the game. Under Susan's leadership, it did all of that and more. But each of our magazines are businesses, too. And as a business, Golf For Women struggled.
Golf Digest will expand its coverage of the women's game to help fill the void left by today's closing. But we won't pretend to replace Golf For Women.