Hole in One

PGA of America President, Suzy Whaley (right) and The PGA Player Development Award winner, Liz Cooper (left) during the PGA of America National Awards Ceremony for the 103rd PGA Annual Meeting at the Palm Beach County Convention Center on Nov. 7 in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Earlier this month in Palm Beach, Fla., the 103rd PGA Annual Meeting in leadership was held at the Palm Beach Convention Center. Local PGA Pro Liz Cooper was awarded the PGA Player Development Award for her efforts in player development.

The Springfield resident says her philosophy has always been to create a positive learning environment where all Golfers feel at home. “It’s crazy to me to be recognized for creating golfers, which is something I love to do,” Cooper said.

Liz Cooper is the Head Golf Pro at Springfield’s Golf and Country Club and a Member of the Mid-Atlantic PGA Section. She enables golfers to improve their abilities by guiding them in ways that fit the individual student. Cooper attributes her success to her community, “Everyone’s so supportive of all our programs that help the game grow.” Back in 2017, Cooper created the first all-girls PGA Jr. League program in the country at the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, Virginia. This league helped raise the skill levels of the girls involved and created friendships between players; which also led to a 50% increase in LPGA/USGA Programming involvement in 2017-2018.

Cooper hopes to have an All-Girls Team at the Springfield Country Club by 2020, she also has a program called the 101ers Ladies Academy. The program is an 8-week course dedicated to improving the skills of female golfers. Cooper has also earned other accolades throughout her career, such as the 2014 and 2016 LPGA Teaching and Club Pro of the Year. She was also named one of the top 50 teachers in 2017-2018.

“I created the first All Girls PGA Junior League Division in the country,” Cooper explained, “My goal is to get it up and running again.” She added that, “Research by LPGA/USGA, Girls Golf shows that girls learn in an all-girl environment.” This organization has provided about 80,000 girls the skills to play golf, according to Cooper. Cooper’s plan to creating an official All-Girls team is to get other clubs in on it, “I am working on coordinating our neighboring clubs to get onboard with another all-girls division in 2020.” Cooper’s training and philosophies has led to many people becoming good golfers, so the prospect of this league happening may be another hole in one idea.

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