Lightning strikes that hit people. Lottery winners from your hometown. Perfect games in baseball. These are some of the things that we consider to be extremely rare occurrences.
You can add something else to that list: accomplished left-handed women's golfers.
To prove this point, here are all of the left-handed golfers who are currently competing on the LPGA Tour:
Did you get that? Or did you blink and miss it? That's right - the answer is zero.
It's not that there aren't plenty of talented female golfers out there in the world. But even the ones who are naturally left-handed tend to play right-handed golf. This is even true for those who batted or pitched left-handed in softball or tossed up jump shots with their left hand on the basketball court.
There's no definitive reason for this phenomenon. Two of the biggest factors are undoubtedly the absence of southpaw role models in the women's golf ranks, and the rarity of left-handed clubs in general in the consumer market. Plus, since many golfers (of either gender) take up the game at a young age, they're more adaptable as kids and can go against their left-handed instincts and play right-handed golf.
Still, there are a few left ladies scattered around the golf courses of the world. But you're just as likely to see one in a competitive golf event as you are to see Bigfoot in your local forest. So if you do happen to see a member of the fairer sex swinging a left-handed golf club, be sure to snap a photo. It could be worth a lot of money on eBay one day.
Here is a list of some of the most accomplished left-handed women's golfers of the past few decades:
10 Bonnie Bryant
9 Lancy Smith
8 Cathryn Bristow
7 Angela Buzminski
6 Malinda Johnson
5 Kelly Lagedrost
4 Kelsey Verbeten-Frey
3 Kristin Vincent
2 Carolane Gariepy
1 Hally Leadbetter
Right now, Leadbetter's biggest claim to fame internationally is either her status as the daughter of famed golf instructor David Leadbetter and former pro Kelly Fuiks, or her informal "teaching" of pro standout Michelle Wie to hit left-handed. Currently, Leadbetter is competing at Division II Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, after transferring from the University of Arkansas following her freshman year in order to be closer to home. It's hard to believe that Leadbetter favored horseback riding as a youngster, dismissing golf as "too boring." But she picked up some clubs in middle school, played in a state championship tournament in eighth grade, and the rest is history. One of Leadbetter's goals for 2014 is to be the NCAA Division II Player of the Year. She seems to be doing well, having won the 2013 Women's Southern Amateur tournament. If she is unable to pursue her dream to play golf professionally, Leadbetter may want to try her (left) hand in broadcast journalism.
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