LPGA: Mariah Stackhouse's new commercial focuses on self-belief, inclusion

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LPGA: Mariah Stackhouse's new commercial focuses on self-belief, inclusion

LPGA Tour

LPGA: Mariah Stackhouse's new commercial focuses on self-belief, inclusion

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Mariah Stackhouse grew up with images of Tiger Woods and Lorena Ochoa tacked to the walls of her childhood bedroom.

Stackhouse actually met Ochoa in the buffet line at player dining during the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship when she was in elementary school. Ochoa was as kind and encouraging as one would hope a hero to be. As a woman of color, Stackhouse grew to admire the way Ochoa never shied away from embracing her Mexican heritage and the opportunity to pave the way for others.

Now it’s Stackhouse’s turn.

On Wednesday the LPGA released its fourth installment of its “Drive On” campaign, which focuses on sharing the inspiring stories of its players. Stackhouse was heavily involved in the new 30-second clip, which opens with a young Stackhouse enjoying a bite of birthday cake with her father to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”

“This is for every girl who doesn’t look like those who have come before,” says Stackhouse in the video, “but may look like those who will follow.”

“I hope that when people see the commercial,” said Stackhouse by phone to Golfweek, “they hear the message to never let anybody take away your belief. Never let not seeing a reflection of yourself in a particular area make you believe that space is not for you. Fill yourself up with that belief and drive on and go get it.”

The former Stanford standout and Curtis Cup player became the seventh African-American to play on the LPGA when she earned her status as a rookie in 2017. Stackhouse said it wasn’t only the players who reached the pinnacle of the game who served as inspiration. It was up-and-coming local players too, like a young black teenager named Amber, who was sweet to an impressionable kid who liked to tag along.

When Stackhouse was a toddler, her parents wrote an affirmation for her that was intended to instill confidence. The affirmation was four paragraphs long and began with a Bible verse.

“When I look back on it and I read it,” said Stacknouse, “it’s something that I said to myself in the mirror every day, and I still say them. But whenever I share and talk about it with others, I realized how awesome it was that they said we have this little girl and we want her to believe in herself and to be confident, so what we’re going to do is write something that she has to say to herself in the mirror every day so that she believes in herself.

“It has shaped absolutely who I am in the world today, the confidence and belief I have in myself, and is a constant source of reinforcement when times are hard.”

During a press conference at this week’s Indy Women in Tech Championship, the LPGA shared a clip from a video Stackhouse’s sponsor, KPMG, put together that featured an adorably young Stackhouse saying a part of that affirmation.

I’m a very proud person with my own ideas and my own direction in life.

A message that continues to inspire.

 

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