What if you had an amazing opportunity to watch world-class athletes and introduce your kids to some inspiring role models? Luckily, you will when the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Cognizant Founders Cup comes to Mountain Ridge Country Club in West Caldwell from October 6-10. During this weeklong golf tournament, 132 players (including the world’s #1 ranked women’s golfer!) will compete for a $3 million purse and pay tribute to the 13 founding members of the LPGA. And besides watching the competition, there are tons of fun and family-friendly events and activities to keep children of all ages excited and engaged throughout the tournament. Read on for more about the tournament, the activities, and our chat with LPGA’s Stacy Lewis, 2013 Founders Cup champion, on what it’s like to be the mom of a toddler on tour.
Featured Photo Credit: LPGA Cognizant Founders Cup
An un-fore-gettable day for the whole family
On October 6, the tournament’s opening day, general admission tickets are FREE, courtesy of the New Jersey Golf Foundation. Kids in attendance can check out a junior golf clinic where they can develop (or hone) their skills. And whatever day you go, your littles will have the chance to take lessons or participate in other cool programs with no prior golf experience required. But the can’t-miss event of the week is Junior Golf Day on October 9, which is all about the kiddos.
On Junior Golf Day, get ready to “par-tee” on the golf course. Kids start on the upper driving range beginning at 9AM for a yummy waffle welcome. The day continues with empowering activities set up by LPGA*USGA Girls Golf at Camp PING.
Junior golfers can grab a special postcard and travel around to different stations until they complete all the fun tasks. Once they’re finished, they’ll turn in the postcard for their very own bag of Stuffed Puffs. Bonus: While your little ones are off having a great time, you can sneak over to the lesson zone and get a few pointers in to improve your game.
And the fun continues from 1:30PM to 2PM when kids will have the rare chance to meet an LPGA player. A surprise guest will show up for a Q&A session, and they’ll hear all about what it’s like to compete and play on the tour. Later, come face to face with more sports legends during the Hall of Fame Skills Challenge from 3PM to 5PM with World Golf Hall of Fame member Nancy Lopez.
Meet Stacy Lewis
Speaking of legends, NJMOM had the privilege to sit down with the LPGA’s Stacy Lewis, 2013 Founders Cup champion and mom to a 2-year-old daughter, Chesnee.
Stacy first picked up a set of golf clubs when she was around 7, and it was simply a way to have fun and spend time with her father. She says she gradually improved over time, but it wasn’t until she was in college that the idea of becoming a professional golfer came on her radar.
Since then, she has gone on to win multiple championships and now spends the majority of her time on the road traveling with the LPGA tour. Stacy says the upcoming Founders Cup is one of her favorite tournaments, and she is looking forward to taking part in the event at Mountain Ridge and with a new sponsor.
Mother-daughter road trips
For the most part, Stacy brings Chesnee along for the ride when she travels on tour between January and November—an arrangement that she and her family enjoy, though it has not come without challenges. “Like any parent, it’s a shock to your system initially—all the demands that come from being a mom,” says Stacy. “Then add in the travel, where you’re staying in different hotel rooms every night. But you figure it out as you go.”
As Chesnee has reached each milestone—sitting up, feeding herself, etc.—the daily routine gets a little easier, she adds. And as a result of so much traveling, her daughter has become very flexible and adaptable without needing a set daily schedule.
It takes a village
Stacy has been grateful for Smucker’s LPGA Child Development Center, which provides child care for Chesnee and other players’ children while golfing. “It’s helped me enjoy a manageable work-life balance. The same child care providers are always on the road with the group, providing continuity day after day and becoming part of our family,” she says.
Since having her daughter, Stacy has noticed a bit of a “baby boom” on the tour, which she thinks comes, in part, from seeing others successfully manage their personal and professional lives. “Players started to see it was possible,” she says. “You know, once you see your friends do it, you realize you can do it too.”
Setting an example early on
Even before Chesnee was born, Stacy knew she wanted to demonstrate through her own example that her children could be anyone they wanted to be. “I didn’t want to stop my career from having a baby,” she explains. “I wanted to show them—whether I had a boy or girl —that mom can do both. She can be a great athlete, be good at her job and be a great mom too.”
Now that she has a daughter, she said her message has become even more important. “If she wants to stay home and raise kids, of course, that’s fine. But if she wants to be a CEO of a company and raise kids, it’s good to know she has choices.”
But just because we can do it all doesn’t mean it’s easy. Stacy offered some great advice to all moms, regardless of profession. “Give yourself a break—there are always going to be bad days. You’re going to be tired, not good at your job that day, testy with your kids, but that’s OK. Don’t be so hard on yourself because what you’re doing is hard.”
Where to buy tickets
You can purchase individual tickets and weeklong ticket packages for the Cognizant Founders Cup at www.thefounderslpga.com. Keep up-to-date with all of the latest on the LPGA Cognizant Founders Cup on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
About the LPGA
The LPGA is the world’s leading professional golf organization for women, with a goal to change the face of golf by making the sport more accessible and inclusive. Created in 1950 by 13 Founders, the Association celebrates a diverse and storied history. The LPGA Tour competes across the globe, reaching television audiences in more than 220 countries. The Symetra Tour, the LPGA’s official qualifying tour, consistently produces a pipeline of talent ready for the world stage. The LPGA also holds a joint-venture collaboration with the Ladies European Tour (LET), increasing playing opportunities for female golfers in Europe. Across the three Tours, the LPGA represents players in more than 60 countries.
Additionally, the LPGA Foundation has empowered and supported girls and women since 1991, most notably through LPGA*USGA Girls Golf, the only national program of its kind, which annually engages with nearly 100,000 girls. The LPGA Amateur Golf Association and LPGA Women’s Network provide virtual and in-person connections to female golfers around the world, while LPGA Professionals are educators, business leaders, and game-changers dedicated to growing the game of golf for everyone. Follow the LPGA on its U.S. television home, Golf Channel, online at www.LPGA.com and on its mobile apps. Join the social conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.