How Instagram made golf easier for this amateur on the LPGA
Linn Grant, on her Instagram page, has posted pictures of her hitting irons on the range and drives on the course. Of her holding various trophies. Of her hitting shots during the Augusta National Women’s Amateur in 2019.
As much as she’s shared, she’s also taken. Maybe more so.
Grant posts her golf. And peruses for it.
Through two rounds of the U.S. Women’s Open in December, Grant was second and in the Saturday final pairing after back-to-back rounds of two-under 69. At her first Open, in 2018, she was tied for fourth heading into the weekend. The 21-year-old amateur from Sweden, who plays collegiately at Arizona State, also won twice on the Nordic Golf Tour this past summer.
Thanks, in part, to her left and right thumb on her phone.
“I think we’ve been raised looking at a lot of good players, and we’ve been able to look at them through like Instagram and see what they do, and we just copy what they do,” Grant said during this year’s Open when asked why six amateurs were able to make the cut at a major.
“When we feel that we’ve reached that level, we kind of move on, and I think it’s the same for the generations coming after us. I think people are just going to get better.”
Grant would finish tied for 23rd, 10 strokes behind champion A Lim Kim, and fourth among the six amateurs who played on the weekend. Kaitlyn Papp, who tied for ninth, was the highest finishing non-professional, followed by Gabriela Ruffels (T13), Maja Stark (T13), Grant, Ingrid Lindblad (T30) and Pauline Roussin-Bouchard (T46). Earlier in 2020, five amateurs made the cut at the ANA Inspiration, the year’s second major.
Of course, the U.S. Open and the ANA, along with every other tournament after the LPGA Tour returned in late July, were played without fans due to the coronavirus, and players have said amateurs may have been able to make some noise due to a lack of it. “It’s definitely so different that it helps people that haven’t been there, whether it’s amateurs or rookies or whatever it is. It helps them not feel as much pressure,” Stacy Lewis said at the U.S. Open.
When Grant was asked if it’s easier or harder to play with no fans, she said: “I don’t really mind either, really.”
She is, after all, sharing to millions online.
“Yeah, for sure,” Grant said when asked if amateurs are more comfortable today due to constantly being in front of cameras. “I mean, I’m not always comfortable standing here with a camera in my face, but you just — it comes with it. You just have to deal with it. If you want to play here, you have to be able to do that.”
And she does want to play.
Before Christmas, Grant was part of the winning International Team at the Arnold Palmer Cup, a Ryder Cup-style tournament featuring the top men’s and women’s college golfers. There is potential upcoming college play. And then possibly the pros.
And more majors.
And more posts.
“I’m still an amateur, and I haven’t played a lot of tournaments, but I definitely think that my game is good enough to play on the LPGA,” Grant said.