(DENVER - August 30, 2021) - Two-time Legends of the LPGA Tour champion Lori "Wild Wild" West recently shared highlights from her personal journey in sports and professional golf along with a helpful swing exhibition at a Women's PGA Clinic at TPC Colorado in Berthoud. West resides in Aspen where she currently coaches an area high school girls golf team and serves as a ski instructor.
A natural athlete who excelled in track and field while attending the University of Colorado in the mid-1970's, West competed for Team USA in the 1976 World Championships in Russia. It wasn't until age 22 that she took up golf, and she discovered she had a knack for it.
Five years later, she qualified for the LPGA Tour and competed with the best in the game for 18 years, coming in second to Nancy Lopez once and ultimately winning two tournaments on the Legends of the LPGA Tour, the official senior tour of the LPGA (age 45+). Today, at 64, she's a high school golf coach and a "ski bum" in Aspen, offering skiing lessons through one of the top schools in the country.
"My life's sort of like a movie and I can't believe I was in it," quipped West recently during the KPMG Women's PGA Clinic at TPC Colorado in Berthoud (north of Denver). West served as the Leading Edge speaker at lunch and provided an entertaining and informative swing exhibition on the range following her remarks.
West's career path may be unorthodox compared to most, but she could not be happier. "My heart and soul is in everything I do," added West. "It’s putting yourself in those positions and just saying yes when opportunities present themselves. I've been fortunate to have good people behind me the whole way."
West shared personal stories and highlights from her career and assured the all-female audience that they are good enough to accept invitations to play, no matter what their skill level. "We’re trying to help women get over that hesitation to accept an invitation to play because maybe they think they’re not good enough," offered West who has teed it up in hundreds of pro-ams and corporate charity outings. "Men have no problem with it, and believe me, they hit it all over the place. They are not 'better.' They might hit the ball farther, but it still goes everywhere."
Some men have been known to make a lot of money on the golf course, according to West. "They drink a beer, smoke a cigar, ride in a golf cart, and make a million-dollar deal," shared West. "Because they learned it early. We have a little catching up to do – be more like the guys and take advantage of it. Golf is a great vehicle for business and partnerships."
West also touted the social value of golf when it comes to family and friends. "It’s a great game for bringing people together," enthused West. "You can actually go outside and have fun with relatives that maybe you can’t stand being in the same house with."
Prior to sharing her thoughts at lunch, West walked the practice area during the morning skills sessions and eavesdropped on tips shared by the PGA/LPGA Certified Coaches leading the Clinic. "I picked up more tips from the pros here because you can’t learn enough about this game," said West. "You’re always improving. And to improve, you have to fail sometimes. Sometimes you have to throw out everything you think you know and just rebuild it."
Lori West's Key Take-Aways on Leadership:
Leadership is inspiring someone to be the best person they can be for the company, or team, or even the world. Being a leader means setting goals not only for individuals, but for the good of everyone.
Eleanor Roosevelt was a great leader. She advocated for human rights and women’s rights back then - she started the conversations. She was the first First Lady who shared a saying in the daily press conference that helped educate people. Leaders educate people.
Quote of the Day from Lori West:
"The less you 'try', the better you do." West said this during her swing exhibition to clarify that swinging too hard or trying to force or control the ball often leads to errant shots. She focused on explaining and demonstrating an "effortless" swing.
Lori West shares a quick tip to make sure you have all your posture points aligned when preparing to hit your driver. (One minute, 45 seconds)