So the last few months on social media, golf websites and magazine you probably heard of a little thing Mizuno put on called Play Famously. It gave 12 average golfers the chance to win a spot on the Mizuno JPX team. Golfers were asked to try their new JPX line of clubs and participate through their website by applying for sponsorship with the opportunity to win a whole set of Mizuno JPX woods, irons, wedges, staff bag and all the Mizuno golf swag one could ever ask for leading up to the JPX Invitational held this month in Atlanta, Georgia.
One of the 12 lucky members selected to #PLAYFAMOUSLY was Lynette Fitzgerald of Reston, VA who I had the great opportunity to interview about not only being selected to play for Team Mizuno but also took home the victory by winning the Mizuno JPX Invitational title. So watch your back LPGA because there’s a new sheriff in town. Also make sure to follow her on Twitter @Girlfriendgolf and checkout her website out at girlfriendgolf.com.
1. So what’s your background and how long have you been playing golf?
I’m an ex-software engineer turned golfer and blogger. I started seriously playing golf in 2009. I became addicted to it very quickly. I was fortunate enough to be able to quit my job and concentrate on getting better at golf in 2010.
2. How did you first hear about Mizuno’s play famously campaign and what intrigued you to apply?
I first read about Mizuno’s Play Famously campaign in The Golf Wire. I had just bought a set of clubs (another brand) in January and then went and tried the JPX-825 clubs. I liked how I hit them, but there was no way I could buy another set of clubs! When I read about the contest, my first thought was…I never win anything! So I sort of forgot about it. Luckily, one day when I opened my browser…it was still on the Play Famously page. And…luckily it was raining hard that day so I wasn’t practicing or playing golf anyway and thought, what the hell, I’ll enter.
3. Where were you when you first found out you were selected to be on the team?
I was driving to a short game lesson actually when I heard that I had been selected. I normally don’t answer my phone while driving and especially from a number I didn’t recognize, but for whatever reason, I answered the phone. When I figured out who it was, I parked the car and paid full attention to the call. I was just ecstatic!! I couldn’t believe they picked me!!
4. What has it meant to you on being selected to be part of the Mizuno JPX team?
This has been an absolutely amazing experience. I was fitted with amazing clubs, which drove me to practice more to improve my game. I’ve made some amazing friends, other golf nuts that are just as much obsessed with golf as I am. That’s always fun. To share a passion is totally cool. Also, being selected gave me a presence on social media (which is how I met you!!) and that gives me a small platform to share my love of the game and try to encourage others, especially women, to try the game.
5. What is your favorite go to club in the bag?
My favorite club in my bag is my pitching wedge. That’s my money club…about 100 yards out and I confident I can get it close to the hole. Well, get it on the green anyway!!
6. How would you describe your experience playing with the new JPX line and how has it improve your game?
I used to believe that Mizuno’s were for the elite players only and that one day, I would be good enough to play Mizuno clubs. When I found out about their “more forgiving” clubs I was thrilled. When I hit them, I was even more thrilled. I can honestly say my game has improved. I’m hitting these clubs between 5 – 10 yards farther than my previous clubs. But for me, just as important, is that I stand over the ball with confidence now. And that’s a big deal. I know my JPX’s will do what they are designed to do. And I trust that. I just have to put a fairly decent swing on it and my ball will fly. What’s really great, is that if I mishit it, which we all do, the result isn’t as drastic as before. I may be 10 yards offline which is better than 30 yards offline.
7. How does it feel to be the winner of the JPX invitational and do you see yourself playing more tournaments?
The feeling is incredible. Almost indescribable. I still get goosebumps when I think about the accomplishment. I have worked so hard at this game trying to get better and better. Some days it kicks me in the teeth, and other days, like the day I won the tournament, its amazing. I love tournament golf. It’s nerve wracking and will leave you naked on the course at times, but I love it.
8. What golfer do you most admire and look up to?
The golfer I admire and look up to is Tiger Woods.
9. If you could sum up life in one quote what would it be?
“In life, you have to find your happy and then pursue it with a vengeance.”
Official Press Release
VIRGINIAN LYNETTE FITZGERALD CLAIMS THE MIZUNO JPX INVITATIONAL TITLE
“Play Famously” Campaign Highlighting the JPX-825 Game Improvement Irons Finishes With Strong Performances at Country Club of the South
Norcross, Ga. (Sept. 17, 2013) – Amidst the excitement of the PGA Tour’s stretch run, Lynette Fitzgerald of Reston, Va. clinched the 2013 Mizuno JPX Invitational Championship Title culminating the highly successful “Play Famously” campaign at Country Club of the South in Johns Creek, Ga. Using USGA-based handicaps for all members of Team JPX, Fitzgerald’s 12 handicap produced an impressive net score of even par 72 and a gross score of 84, sinking a six-foot par putt on 18 to seal the victory.
Although it was her first “pro” tournament, Fitzgerald displayed the poise and shot-making skills of a wily LPGA Tour veteran. Playing the JPX-825 irons, JPX Series Wedge, JPX-825 Woods, Driver and Hybrids, Fitzgerald delivered a solid round that led to a comfortable five-shot victory over Boston, Mass. law student and 17 Handicap, Casey Parent, who finished the tournament with a net 5-over 77 with a gross 94.
“To be honest, I’m not sure what to think right now, I’m at a loss for words. Winning is truly a surreal feeling and one that I’ll never forget,” said Fitzgerald, Team JPX member. “Over the past several months Mizuno has provided me with the support and tools necessary to improve my game from on-course tips and video instruction, to world-class golf products. Being treated like a pro has been a life-changing experience and I owe it all to Mizuno.”
Geared to help the “average joe” golfer improve their game while providing the “pro” treatment as an exclusive member of Team JPX, “Play Famously” sponsored 12 amateur golfers from across the U.S. with Mizuno’s award-winning game-improvement JPX-825 irons – JPX-825 irons, JPX Wedges, JPX-825 Fairway Woods, JPX-825 Driver – and a season’s worth of Mizuno apparel.
“To give amateur golfers across the country the playing stage at the JPX Invitational is something Mizuno is proud and honored to do. We know how important these weekend players are and got to see first-hand how big their heart for golf really is – on and off the course,” said Chuck Couch, VP of Product Management, Golf. “Team JPX played like real ‘pros’ and it was great to see the group in the spotlight displaying their passion for a game they love. We congratulate Lynette Fitzgerald on her JPX Invitational victory.”
The Team JPX members were selected through an online contest at playfamously.com where golfers tried the new JPX-825 irons at participating retailers nationwide, then submitted their feedback on the high performance game-improvement irons through a brief essay, photos and/or videos demonstrating their passion for the game and why they deserved to be on Team JPX. Winners received a complete Mizuno Pro package, including custom fit JPX-825 irons, a Mizuno staff bag personalized with their name, Mizuno apparel and accessories and customized instruction from Team JPX’s “Swing Coach” and PGA Master Teacher, Dr. Gary Wiren.
At the heart of the Play Famously campaign was the JPX-825 line of game-improvement irons, designed to help amateur golfers hit the ball longer, straighter and more accurately. Over the past several years, starting with the JPX-800 irons, Mizuno has made a splash in the game improvement category by developing irons aimed to help golfers achieve their goals quicker and more efficiently. In traditional Mizuno style, the same painstaking, meticulous attention to detail has been implemented in the game-improvement irons as the well-known and world-class “player” irons. This Fall marks the launch of Mizuno’s latest game improvement irons, the JPX EZ’s slated to hit retailers this month.
About Mizuno USA, Inc.
Mizuno USA, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mizuno Corporation, one of the largest specialty sporting goods manufacturers in the world. Mizuno USA, Inc. manufactures and distributes golf, baseball, softball, running, track & field, and volleyball equipment, apparel, and footwear for North America. Mizuno USA, Inc. is based in Norcross, Georgia.