On behalf of No Laying Up, I can’t thank Jessica Korda (@JessicaKorda), LPGA’s Kraig Kann (@KraigKann), and Danielle Frasier (@DanielleFrasier) enough for letting me join the first ever LPGA Hangout today. If you missed it here’s the full, AND THANK GOD, slightly edited version:

At about 9:40, I was finally able to join the hangout, and the entrance looked a little like this:

I came in real hot, amped up to talk some golf! It took a minute for us to get in the flow and I appreciate everyone’s patience, though if you were behind the scenes for the first 9 minutes, this would certainly resonate:

I had a blast partaking on behalf of NLU, and with the technology figured out, we’d love to take part in future Hangouts! A few scalding hot takeaways:

  • Look for more coverage of the LPGA from us (gambling lines, YOTTO tracking, discussions of LPGA growth initiatives, etc.). While Jessica possesses truck loads of confidence and personality, her style was laid back and sincere, too – definitely cool by me. The breadth and depth of her answers reflected nicely and suggest a media savvy star. My only regret is not having more time to ask the 8-10 other questions I had ready to go, but I’m glad I settled in to let the pro, Kraig Kann conduct the Hangout (Also, I appreciate Kraig pumping a couple questions for NLU early before I showed up fashionably late – #Respect – more on K-Squared shortly). If Jessica ever has a few minutes down the road for a quick interview, the invitation is out there. We’d love to do a YOTTO profile.
  • To highlight Jessica’s answer on the issue of slow play. This is truly is a problem at every level of golf from the local muni courses to the professional ranks, and Jessica phrased it well: Golf is an individual sport and pace of play vary’s with conditions and the course. It’s all about decision making. It comes down to individuals arguing with themselves internally about the best shot or best line, and sometimes we are our own biggest skeptics and we stall. It should be interesting to see how the different organizations within the golf world address this issue – judging by Kraig’s LPGA plug, ‘The LPGA improved 7 minutes on pace of play last year” – the LPGA is taking the lead on this. That’s a solid year-over-year improvement!
  • Did I mention Kraig’s a pro’s pro? First, I’m impressed by the LPGA’s forward thinking attitude on social media and the risk they took engaging a start-up blog in this hangout. NLU is indebted for the invite (and for the smooth handling of our brash entrance), and Kraig’s professional background as a broadcaster manifested itself as he made me right at home in this Hangout. He’s a class act, and is missed on the Golf Channel, but the LPGA is benefiting tremendously from his touch. As we highlighted in yesterday’s LPGA early season update, the powers that be at LPGA seem to get it. They’ve identified opportunity abroad, decided to expand globally and are comfortable experimenting with different ways to market the tour’s stars. Taking advantage of Twitter and Google Hangouts gives fans the kind of direct access to their favorite players that could not have been imagined 5 years ago. Big up’s from the NLU squad!