Golf at one time stood for “Gentleman Only Ladies Forbidden.” Just kidding.

Golf has been a game dominated by males historically and into modern times. This, however, is changing. I just returned from the Professional Golf Association Golf Show in Orlando attended by 40,000 golf professionals from all over the world. The popularity of golf has declined over the past decade. The “buzz” was that golf needs to grow, and the best way to do it is through women’s participation.

The Ladies Professional Golf Association is making great strides in promoting the game to women. The organization recently acquired the Executive Women’s Golf Association, which currently has 12,000 members. There is a chapter in Savannah.

The organization’s latest initiative is the LPGA Women’s Network that offers a social network with league play and networking opportunities. The Women’s Network will also provide its members with golf tips and instruction from LPGA teaching professionals, discounts and an opportunity to engage with the LPGA tour players.

To join for free, visit LPGAwomensnetwork.com. Click instruction and go to LPGA 101. There is a great video explaining the program.

LPGA 101 is for women wanting to get into the game of golf. It will be taught only by LPGA teaching professionals.

Women are different from men when it comes to learning the game.

Women take up golf for relationships. Golf is a personal time to spend with friends, significant others, children and clients. The experience of being with people they care about is more important than the competition.

Women want an instructor who cares. Women have to like the person who is teaching them. It is a bonding experience. Women want a golf instructor who understands their psychological, emotional and physical differences.

Women enjoy group instruction more than men. They want to have a chance to know the others in the group. It is important to have a meet-and-greet session during the first clinic, and a “19th hole” experience after the clinic is recommended.

Women’s motivation for playing golf is to have a positive experience. They internalize negative feedback more than men. Women want simple explanations and need more constant feedback and encouragement.

The LPGA 101 curriculum will do all the above. If you are interested in this program, it will be offered at a number of local courses in the spring. You can contact me for information and registration. The space will be limited and it will be a first come, first served basis.

Dr. Jean Harris is an LPGA Master Professional and teaches at local courses. jean.golfdoctor.harris@gmail.com; www.golfdoctorjean.com