More than 1,000 student-athletes will compete for six national championships when the NCAA, in conjunction with Bellarmine University and Greater Louisville Sports Commission, plays host to the 2012 NCAA Division II National Championships Festival on May 15-19 in Louisville, Ky.
By David Pickle
When the NCAA announced that the Division II National Championships Festival was coming to Louisville, Persimmon Ridge owner Lawren Just was given a choice: She could host the men’s or women’s championship.
She didn’t hesitate. She chose the women.
“I think it’s great for these young women to come out and see that Persimmon Ridge is owned by a woman,” she said. “Four of my management staff are women. One of my superintendents on the course is female.”
The point, Just said, is that women have golf roles that go beyond simply playing the game.
“It’s an important lesson to see that women can do a lot of things,” she said. “That glass ceiling that everyone says is there for women, I believe it’s still there but I believe a lot of women have broken through.
“I’m not really a women’s libber, I’m really not a feminist, but I am a hard worker. I think that’s an important lesson to young women: that if you work hard and you set your goals, there’s no reason you can’t achieve them.”
Just also believes in the relationship between community and golf. The advertising for the subdivision surrounding Persimmon Ridge even says “Not a subdivision; a community.”
Her late husband Elmore took that to heart when they were developing home sites. He would drop a ball on the course and then deliberately hit the biggest hook or slice imaginable to see where it would land. “He’d say, ‘I want homeowners to be able to be able to enjoy their backyard, and I don’t want golfers to feel like they’re going to tighten up because they’re afraid they’re going to hit a house.’ ”
The community relationship is mutual. Just knows all of the homeowners and has enlisted their help for the Division II Women’s Championship. In the event of bad weather, several homes along the course will provide shelter.
Just first tried the concept during the 2007 Women’s Trans National Championship and was overwhelmed with the response. A similar appeal to the homeowners this time yielded the same results.
“We have three or four people per golf hole who said, ‘We’ll do it,’ ” she said. “That just speaks so highly of the community feeling and the excitement that we have not just at Persimmon Ridge but that all of the Persimmon Ridge community has to bring these women here and compete in this event.”Last Updated: Apr 17, 2012