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In 2013 when Jillian Barend asked her dad Dave to help create a golf league for young girls, little did they know they were starting a movement. More than two years later, the program has expanded to 200 girls in 20-plus Massachusetts towns playing alternate-shot, 9-hole, par 3 tournaments and holding driving events.
With its catchy name, Girls Independent Golf League (GIGL), GIGL has become an official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization introducing young girl players to the game as well as keeping with the theme - “have fun!” No experience is necessary, golf clubs are provided if needed, and girls play for a nominal fee of $10.
Seventeen members of the Walpole team including Kiara Ballte, Ava Chiavegato, Olivia Chiavegato, Lily Cook, Caroline Daley, Isabelle Graham, Kat Hollister, Emma Webb, Ava Russo, Annika Massey, Emma Caufield, Dana Massey, Allison Canavan, Emily O’Donnell, Savea Pajotte, Caterina Seeley, and Katie Soule finished up the 2016 season with morning and afternoon sessions. Participants in both sessions warmed up with clinics on chipping and full swing methods taught by volunteer pros Marcia Melone (PGA professional at Stowaway Golf Course) and Cathleen Beach (WGAM Executive Director), to name a few.
Past GIGL events have been supported by college players from Boston College, Brown University, Boston University and Holy Cross as well as LPGA professionals, LPGA players and college coaches. GIGL proves to give young girls a tremendous opportunity to learn the game of golf in a “judge-free” zone.
The 2017 GIGL season begins on April 30. For more information or to register a girl ages 4-18 for the tournament, contact David Barend at firstname.lastname@example.org.