Damon: Welcome back to Morning Drive, play is underway in the playgolfmyrtlebeach.com World Amateur. Some of the 3200 players setting off for a shotgun start here at Grand Dunes on a gorgeous Thursday morning along the Grand Strand. Speaking of gorgeous, joining us right now is Meredith Kirk, she’s a Myrtle Beach golf, no, not you Charlie-
Charlie: I thought you were talking about me.
Damon: Myrtle Beach golf trip ambassador. She’s also an LPGA teaching professional, and yes, former Mrs. South Carolina. How about that resume?
Meredith: Well thank you so much, and thanks for having me out today. Charlie, every time you come into town you bring in this perfect weather. What’s up with that?
Charlie: Mr. Sunshine they call me. Yeah.
Damon: It’s perfect weather in the Summer, but also I understand, in the Fall. Give us a sense of what the weather is like here when folks want to come back and play some great golf here.
Meredith: Oh, I love fall golf. It is the best time to come out and play some golf. Take that girls’ golf trip, guys’ trip. The temperatures are a little bit lower, and less humidity, that’s always nice. Yeah, and course conditions are prime here in the Fall. So I’m always encouraging people, when you come out and play Myrtle Beach golf, you’ve gotta experience it in the Fall. Yep, and kids are back in school, it’s a little bit more low key, the beaches are less crowded, so just a little FYI, great time to take a Fall golf trip to Myrtle Beach.
Damon: Love it.
Charlie: That summer beach traffic is down a little bit.
Meredith: It is, yeah, it’s really nice.
Charlie: So, a little more than 10% of the field playing in the World Am this week, ladies, what other kinds of things does this tournament do to encourage women to play?
Meredith: Oh, well this week was fantastic, seeing all the women out here. I had a chance to work with many of them, I hosted a golf clinic. The numbers are up. I mean, this is the most women that we’ve ever had here in Myrtle Beach for the World Am. Golf is growing and just yesterday the LPGA Women’s Network, and We Are Golf launched their campaign, Invite Her, and that campaign is about inviting other women to play golf and we witnessed it this week at World Am. Women are getting out there and inviting other women to play golf. And you know, we as women, we like the invitation, you know. For someone to reach out, another woman, “hey, come play nine holes with me,” doesn’t have to be 18, you know, so we’re gonna kinda break that stereotype up, you know, you have to go out and play 18. No you don’t; you can go play nine holes, then you can go shopping, go to lunch, come to Myrtle Beach, have that girls’ golf trip.
Damon: You hear, this is the biggest growth opportunity for the game, it is bringing women to the game. And you also teach, as I mentioned, the LPGA teaching professional, we just saw all these players heading out to the golf course. A lot of them are gonna be a little nervous over that first tee shot. How do you, what do you tell your students about handling their nerves on the golf course?
Meredith: Okay, I have the best tip for you, Damon. Yes, this is a good one. It’s all about grip pressure. You know, tension runs from the shoulders all the way down through our arms, our forearms, our hands, so our hands are the only connection that we have to the handle.
Meredith: So it’s all about just relaxing the shoulders and arms, take a deep breath, you know, there’s power in taking that deep breath. Exhale, let all that tension run out, and relax. Drop those shoulders down, take it down a notch, on the grip pressure. You know, you don’t have to have an eight or a nine pressure on the handle; take it down to about a six, there you go.
Damon: I’ve got a tee time in an hour, so-
Charlie: I’ve bene trying to get him to do that for years, it doesn’t work for him, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work for the folks out there.
Meredith: Well if you go play, invite me, because I have my clubs in my car right now. I’ll go with you.
Damon: I’m playing here in an hour, so we’ll make room for you, absolutely.
Meredith: Okay, sounds good.
Charlie: So along with everything else you do, you’re a mom of three-
Meredith: I am.
Charlie: What kind of things are you doing to encourage your kids and what kind of things do you see work with getting kids out to play more golf?
Meredith: Well, you know, my kids are getting older now, so I have one already out of high school, another one in high school, and one in middle school. All boys, and one thing I love about golf, you know, we’ve talked about this before Charlie; golf is about relationships. Getting out on the golf course, getting the chance just to hang out with your friends. Well, I do that with my kids, I do that with junior golfers. Kids love having that conversation with adults, and the best way to do that is distract them to have those good conversations. Get them out there playing golf. I play golf with all of my sons, and it is the best bonding time. They tell me everything, and my relationship with them is so much closer. So I’m really blessed that I have kids that love golf and I have the opportunity to come out on these amazing Myrtle Beach golf courses and take them out and just bond with them. Because that’s so important in this day and age. You know, we really need to connect with our kids, put down our mobile devices, have that one-on-one face contact with them.
Damon: Great information there, thanks for your time and for what you do to help grow this great game.
Meredith: Thank you so much, well, it’s truly an honor, thanks for having me out
Damon: Meredith Kirk with us on this Thursday edition of Morning Drive. My day’s getting better and better. back to you.