The GLOCK Sport Shooting Foundation took on a new dimension in 2011 with the introduction of all-female matches. This is the story of the Palmetto GLOCK Girl Shootout.
The woman responsible for the event is firearms instructor Lisa Marie Judy. “I conceived the idea in January 2011,” Lisa Marie explained. “As a general rule, the shooting sports world is dominated by men. I noticed based on statistics that men were winning all the grand prizes. I wanted to get more women involved in the sport, and I realized that an all-women’s venue would be a great avenue to achieving that.”
The first GSSF Palmetto GLOCK Girl Shootout took place in Reevesville, S.C., over Memorial Day weekend in 2011. Seventy-four women participated, logging a total of 105 entries. Note that each time a shooter fires the three-stage course in a different gun division, it counts as an entry. “This year we had slightly fewer women, but 144 entries total,” Lisa Marie said. “The date of our next one will be determined by GLOCK in November.”
The tournament has appealed to a wide age range. The youngest to compete there, according to Lisa Marie, were Brittany Alexander and Emily Robinson—both 13 years old. At the other end of the spectrum were female GLOCK shooters of Social Security age, and all age demographics in between came out to test their skills.
While the contestants are all females, the staff includes lots of males. Lisa Marie said, “We have about 40 range officers total, and only 10 or 15 are female. This allowed us to process the shooters very smoothly with little waiting time. Women were shooting in an hour and leaving—that’s how smooth it was. They came, they shot, and they all were done in less than two hours. Between the two Shootouts, we expanded our range with two more bays, so we had two setups for each of the three stages.”
Though many of the shooters were local, a number of them came from surrounding states and other parts of the South. Two of the contestants traveled to the match from Pennsylvania, and “Robin Fever came all the way from Arizona to shoot it,” Lisa Marie noted proudly.
At the 2012 Palmetto GLOCK Girl Shootout, several of the participants took the time to fill out survey forms. These documents paint an informative picture of the shooters, the event and the concept.
Kathy Hutto came to both GLOCK Girl Shootouts with her husband’s encouragement. She had started shooting at 34, stopped to devote more time to motherhood, and reentered the game at 50. She enjoys GSSF so much that she bought an additional GLOCK for the matches—and, she added, “for other reasons.”
Patricia Temple not only shot at both of the all-female tournaments, but also has been a GSSF competitor for 10 years. she noted, “I try to shoot all the GSSF matches I can in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida and Kentucky.”
She even worked as a range officer at last year’s Palmetto match. She generally shoots alongside her husband, who was into GSSF before she discovered it. Retired from the military, she got her first GLOCK a few years ago at age 49, when she went to a GLOCK match with her husband and decided to get in on the fun. Patricia practices four times a month and more often when a match is coming up. She said, “My husband and I … find these matches to be a great deal of fun. It’s a chance for the two of us to do something together that we both love to do. It’s a weekend getaway. We’ve met so many nice people through these matches. I’m hoping we have many more years of shooting left.”