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Celebrating the Impact of Women on the Game of Golf

Women on the course
Women on the course

Golf is a male-dominated sport. Yet, it is has seen a remarkable transformation over the years, thanks to the unwavering dedication and trailblazing efforts of women. From breaking down barriers to advocating for inclusivity and diversity, women have played a pivotal role in reshaping the landscape of golf. In this blog post, we celebrate the profound impact of women, such as Renee Powell, on the game of golf and highlight the inspiring work of LPGA Professionals Jamie Taylor and Ashaunta Epps, alongside our very own Verbena McIlwaine, the Butterfly Golfer.

Women have been breaking barriers in golf for centuries, challenging societal norms and paving the way for future generations. One such trailblazer is Babe Zaharias. As the first women to compete against men on the golf course, Babe would eventually become America’s first female golf celebrity. Babe would then become a founding member of the Ladies Professional Golf Association. Her remarkable achievements throughout many sports in the 1940s and 1950s earned her recognition as one of the greatest athletes of all time. Her dominance on the golf course, coupled with her fearless attitude and unwavering determination, inspired countless women to pursue their passion for the game.

Another pioneering figure is Althea Gibson, who made history in 1964 as the first African American woman to compete on the LPGA Tour. As the first African American women to win a Grand Slam event in Tennis, Althea Gibson was considered the Jackie Robinson of tennis. Despite facing discrimination and adversity on the tennis court, Ms. Gibson would join the LPGA in 1964 at the age of 37. Her groundbreaking achievements opened doors for generations of minority golfers and tennis players. She paved the way for greater diversity in the sport.

Chris Word (left) Renee Powell (center) Jim Thorpe (Right)
Chris Word (left) Renee Powell (center) Jim Thorpe (Right)

Women throughout history have faced numerous challenges and barriers to entry in any sport traditionally dominated by men. However, their resilience and determination have led to groundbreaking achievements and paved the way for future generations. One such trailblazer is Renée Powell, the second African American woman to play on the LPGA Tour. Powell's journey exemplifies the perseverance and courage required to break through gender and racial barriers in golf.

Powell once said, "Golf is a platform for many great things." Powell's words ring true as women golfers like her have used the platform of golf to break down barriers and inspire change. Today, LPGA Professionals Jamie Taylor and Ashaunta Epps are continuing this legacy by spearheading initiatives that promote diversity and empowerment in golf.

Jamie Taylor, founder of the Black Golf Directory, is on a mission to increase representation and visibility for black golfers. Through her work, she provides a platform for black golfers and business owners to connect, network, and thrive in the golfing community. Taylor's dedication to promoting diversity and inclusion in golf is paving the way for a more equitable future in the sport.

Perhaps the most significant impact of women on the game of golf is their ability to inspire future generations of golfers. By sharing their stories, breaking down barriers, and leading by example, women golfers have empowered countless young girls and women to pursue their passion for the sport. As Lorena Ochoa, a former world number one female golfer, once said, "I want to inspire girls to follow their dreams, no matter how big they may seem."

Similarly, Ashaunta Epps, founder of A Perfect Swing, is empowering young girls and women through golf. Her organization provides access to golf instruction, mentorship, and educational opportunities, allowing people to develop life skills and confidence both on and off the course. Epps' commitment to using golf as a tool for empowerment is creating positive change in communities across the country.


Another transformative woman in the sport is our very own, Verbena McIlwaine. As a influencer in the industry, Verbena's passion for golf is matched only by her commitment to equality and empowerment. Her journey as both a player and an advocate, Verbena saw an opportunity to make a difference in the world of golf – and thus, the Butterfly Golf Initiative was born.

The Butterfly Golf Initiative is not just about golf; it's a movement dedicated to empowering women on and off the course.

At the heart of the Butterfly Golf Initiative is a simple yet powerful belief: that every woman deserves a chance to succeed, both on and off the course. For Verbena and the Butterfly Golf Initiative, golf is more than just a sport – it's a tool for personal growth, empowerment, and community building. Through their programs, women are not only learning the fundamentals of the game but also developing valuable life skills such as confidence, resilience, and leadership.

As we celebrate the impact of women on the game of golf, we invite you to join us for two upcoming women's golf events aimed at empowerment and change:

BG Empowerment Exchange GOLF Clinic Saturday, April 6, 2024

10am - 12pm

This clinic, organized by the BG Empowerment Exchange, aims to provide women golfers with the fundamentals of the game. Starting with an explanation of the golf and its etiquette, participants will receive an introduction to the game of golf.

Event Flyer
Event Flyer

Women's Golf XPLOSION

Sunday, May 19, 2024

11am - 2PM

Butterfly GOLF Initiative hosts the Women's Golf XPLOSION, is for women seeking a supportive and inclusive environment to learn the game of golf. Through events, clinics, and networking opportunities, the initiative aims to foster camaraderie and empowerment among women in golf.


Women have made immeasurable contributions to the game of golf, shaping its past, present, and future. From breaking barriers and elevating the game to championing diversity and inspiring future generations, women continue to leave an indelible mark on the sport. As we celebrate their achievements, let us also recognize the ongoing work needed to ensure that golf remains inclusive and accessible to all.




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