CHASKA – The motto #InspireGreatness flies high over the grounds as 156 women from around the world tee off at the historic Hazeltine Golf Course, watched by thousands of fans, many of whom got their first exposure to the game of golf this week, including 7-year-old Nina Lozano and her mom, Grecia.
The Lozanos had never been to a golf event until Wednesday when Grecia won tickets to see the practice rounds.
“We talked about how it’s all women,” said Grecia Lozano. “I’m a single mom, and it’s just me and her at home, so we’re really big on like girl power and I’m huge on empowering her to be whatever she wants to be.”
Golf resonates. From the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit to the general themes of empowerment and inspiring greatness demonstrated in player attitude this week, in the words of PGA President Suzy Whaley, “more women need to play golf.”
The Lozanos followed player Gaby Lopez on Thursday.
“She thought it was really cool to have so many women from all over the world and to see Latinos represented is huge for her,” said Lozano. “As someone who is a minority who has a really hard time identifying in this society and if you don’t assimilate it’s really difficult. So, for me to be able to set an example with not only women but Latino women in this sport was huge for her.”
“She was having a ball,” said PGA Professional and Career Consultant Jeff Drimel who met the Lozanos while volunteering at the National Car Rental Go Like A Pro Lesson area while she was getting a putting lesson from PGA Professional David Terry.
“It was easily my most proud moment as a PGA member because me teaching Nina and then Nina teaching her mom is literally the embodiment of what we do and why we love the game,” said Terry. “We grow the game to include everyone.”
Nina asked her mom if they could come back again, but money was tight. So, Drimel walked the pair up to the Minnesota PGA Section and got her tickets for Friday.
“I stopped a couple players on the way up and kind of introduced her and the players totally embraced this little girl and her mother,” said Drimel. Her homemade “Girl Power” canvas is now covered in their autographs in pink and purple Sharpie.
“I’m getting goosebumps thinking about it,” Drimel said.
They’ll be back for the Kids Zone tomorrow so Nina can keep practicing.
“The opportunities for men but mostly women is incredible… and that’s what I see the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship being all about, giving the girls the power and the women the power to really be successful in golf and business,” said Drimel.
The Lozanos are excited to watch the rest of the Championship and to inspire a life-long love of golf in Nina.
“In this society there’s very fine lines about what women can and can’t do,” said Lozano. “For her to be able to find other role models – I do the best I can but to be able to say these are women who have struggled and have made it through and here they are – it’s huge, it’s huge for her to be able to pinpoint that and say you can do this too.”