LPGA Golf Clinics for Women: Featuring Joyce Wilcox  

 

 

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Meet Joyce Wilcox
Wilcox is one hot shot on (and off) the course

Taking dead aim took on a whole new meaning for Joyce Wilcox when she officially took up golf at age 34. Formerly the number one female skeet shooter in the country back in 1978, Wilcox was used to lining up a shot. All she had to do was change up her weaponry - and her target. “When I was 13, my dad once suggested I try golf,” recalls Wilcox, “but after three lessons, he got into skeet shooting and said, ‘Come on Joyce, try this!’” She was hooked. Eighteen years later, Wilcox was at the top of her game in skeet shooting and eventually found herself in the Connecticut and National Skeet Shooting Halls of Fame. 

“I was a gifted athlete that achieved the highest levels in all sports,” notes Wilcox, who also captained most of the teams she played on. She excelled in track, soccer, softball and basketball in addition to skeet shooting. It comes as no surprise then, after hanging up her shot gun, she was able to pick up a golf club and begin firing successfully at a different target. After twelve years of working on her swing and navigating countless courses, Wilcox earned her stripes as a Class A LPGA Teaching Professional. She was 46. 

“When I was first starting out, I asked the only golf coach I’ve ever had – Dick Bierkan, PGA Pro at Lyman Orchard – to make me the best woman golfer in the state of Connecticut,” smiles Wilcox. “He looked surprised, but I probably made it up to the top 10. Fellow LPGA Member and Clinics teacher Nicole DaMarjian has beaten me out of three SNEWGA Championships!” 

Previously a Senior Purchasing Agent for Aetna for 17 years, Wilcox’s new career as a teaching professional was a bit of a departure. But her students will attest she is a terrific teacher – patient, detailed, enthusiastic and thorough. “My lessons always begin with a 10-minute ‘get to know the student’ session,” says Wilcox. “It’s important to know what other activities the student has experience in and most importantly, whether or not he or she has any physical limitations.” Once Wilcox knows where her students stand from the onset, she kicks things off by focusing on the grip and other fundamentals upon which to build a solid swing. 

Wilcox’s more advanced students benefit by her commitment to the short game, but she also points out the importance of a good mental attitude in her better golfers. “The quickest way to shoot lower scores is to have a really good short game,” states Wilcox. “However, if your shot techniques are good but your attitude and approach to course management is poor, you will not reach your full potential.” Her favorite students love the game, want to play better and are willing to practice. She currently has two students that have a special place in her heart because they recognize their limitations and are patient with their own needs and progress. 

Having taken up the game later than many professionals, Wilcox has a unique perspective on how the game is perceived by beginners. If she could change one thing about it, she would make the game more accessible. “I would make the game more welcoming for all to play,” notes Wilcox. “There is a perception that golf is elite, private, costly and mostly for men; we need to change that perception.” As a teacher at several LPGA Golf Clinics for women throughout the summer, Wilcox is helping to do just that! She also recommends a local course in the Hampstead, NC area for beginners called Topsail Greens Golf Course. “It’s a great women-friendly and ‘new golfer’ course with very reasonable rates,” says Wilcox. 

From shooting skeet to shooting par, Joyce Wilcox has done it all with her parents’ advice ringing in her ears: “Be honest and always try to do your best – never give up!” Apparently, it works.

Click here to learn more about Joyce Wilcox.

According to Joyce ...
"A perfect day for me
begins with the birds chirping, a brilliant sunrise, a warm temperature day; lots of laughter, love from family and friends..."

Joyce Wilcox teaches putting at a recent LPGA Golf Clinic for Women.

Posing here with Jane Blalock, Joyce Wilcox is one of the Clinics' finest!

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Photos by Rick Sharp & Kay Bagwell