Thursday, December 01, 2005

A Little Concern for the Ladies

I may be a Johnny-Come-Lately concerning this subject, but as of late, this issue has been weighing on my mind. I’m sorry, but I’ll have to be getting a little “real” for a short time.

A few weeks ago, I watched the Natalie Gulbis show. I thought to myself, okay, she’s hot, she a damn good golfer and she’s only 22 all the while building a business empire. So I watched the show, and I couldn’t believe how big of a role her father plays in her day-to-day life. (I posted about it a few weeks ago initially.)

Anyways, that got me thinking. With all the hoop-la surrounding the up and coming ladies of the LPGA tour: Morgan Pressel, Michele Wie, Ai Miyazato and others; what role will their parents/guardians play in their professional lives? At times, these parents act as coaches, caddies, business managers, spokespersons etc… I can imagine that the role of parent can sometimes get skewed while both the flashing bulbs of our daily rags fight for position and the pleads of multi-million dollar sporting good conglomerates try to push their way to the top of the pecking order, trying to hitch a ride on the next money train coming down the pike.

What is this obsession of growing up ahead of schedule? I went through it. I’m sure all of you did too. Isn’t that one of the jobs a parent has? To keep you from growing up too quickly and self destructing? I don’t really know for sure, I’m not a parent. But I have them, 3 in fact. (Product of a true, standardized American family) And they knew my limits when I was younger and I’m doing alright so far.

The parents of these young ladies know best I’m sure, and maybe these standouts are ready to compete at the top level full time and be in the spotlight, cope with the pressures, the sponsors, the defeats, traveling and missing cuts on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis.

Do I think these women; including Paula Creamer and Natalie Gulbis (Just to name a couple) should have gone to college first? Absolutely. Are they great assets to the LPGA tour? Sure. Are they going to ever regret not playing collegiate Golf? Perhaps sometime down the line.

But what this article really boils down to is: these ladies will never really get a true sense of what it feels like to grow into being an adult. Instead, they are or have been thrown into adulthood prematurely by their entourage of suits, parents and supporters. The same can be said for child stars in movies and television.

Don’t get me wrong, I look forward to watching these women play golf. I know they will do great things for the sport, but I’m concerned what they’ll do to themselves in the process.

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