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|Actress Jessica Alba has proven to be one of golf's top ambassadors. (Courtesy photo)|
One of the great problems for women's golf is how to get their players more popularity. Professional golf is a winner's world, so most know who Annika Sorenstam is, and you can actually see up and comers like Lorena Ochoa starting to get their just due in the press.
Then there's the next layer of female golfers who've earned popularity before they've earned victories. The media blitz that accompanied Michelle Wie made her impossible to ignore, while Natalie Gulbis's physique and outgoing personality has put her on many radars in the U.S., while Sophie Sandolo has used the same winning combo in Europe.
But being a female professional golfer and becoming well known is no easy feat if you aren't battling for the 'W' week in and week out. What's the answer? Well, actually, you got us there. We do know one thing, however - the most famous golfers in the world are not professionals. And in many cases they aren't even that good.
Because if there's any sport that can get the best of Hollywood to participate, it's golf. From Oscar winners to B actresses, they're out on the links. And those that don't play, want to, and want to be good at it. Recently, Halle Berry let it be known she's ready to let it rip on the golf course.
"I'm not good at it and it eats me that I can't master it. I even had lessons with David Leadbetter,"
Berry said. "I just want to be a decent golfer and have the guys be happy that I'm with them, not like, 'Oh, damn, here comes Halle.'"
Well, you can bet she's heard "Oh damn, here comes Halle," before in a much more positive sense. But the once (and hopefully never again) Catwoman, is one of many famous ladies who've taken to a shine to the golf course.
With her starring turn in the "Fantastic Four," Jessica Alba has shown she's moving right up the ladder of Hollywood's hottest actresses. And at any given moment, you can bet she's one of the hottest things on a golf course.
" ... It's clear she has more than a passing interest in our sport. She always mentions golf when asked about her hobbies," wrote golf blogger Patricia Hannigan. "She sometimes even refers to herself as a golf dork."
The Michael Douglas & Friends charity golf tournament has been running strong for nearly a decade now, and actresses like Catherine Zeta-Jones, Cheryl Ladd, Heather Locklear, Catherine Bell and Teri Hatcher are just a few that have taken part, showing off their golf skills. Heck, even Pamela Anderson once hosted a "Bikini Golf Tournament."
What's it all mean? Well, for one, the NFL certainly doesn't have this situation. It's not as though Scarlett Johansson is strapping on her shoulder pads to go play a quick scrimmage. No, golf is unique in this way. Actresses seem to know, if deals are made on the golf course, prime acting parts can also be won there.
How can this translate to more popularity for the LPGA? Well, I certainly can't see any sponsor feeling cheated if they sent an exemption Alba's way. At very least, they should check with Leadbetter and see how Berry is progressing. There would definitely be a few golf fans who wouldn't mind muttering "Oh, damn, here comes Halle."
March 27, 2007
William K. Wolfrum keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation. You can follow him on Twitter @Wolfrum.
Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.
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