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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.

Shooter Feedback

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.”

Laura Tinney missed the first GLOCK Girl Shootout due to surgery, but she determined as soon as she heard about it to shoot the next one. “I already owned my GLOCK 17 when I attended the ladies’ match,” she says. “It is the best birthday present I have ever received! My father, cousin and I have been competing in GSSF matches for a few years now. I have always felt more comfortable when there was a handgun in the house. I was given my grandmother’s handgun when she passed away.

“My GLOCK 17 is the first handgun that I have ever specifically said I wanted to own. I make an effort to practice with my GLOCK every week. The more I use it, the more comfortable and confident I feel with the handgun. I have received plenty of help and advice from family and friends. I have also received some advice from the armorers at GSSF matches. Scotty [Banks], Scott [Gilbertson], Alex Cobb, and all the other gentlemen and ladies from GLOCK have been wonderful. They’re always so approachable and helpful at the matches. I have introduced plenty of people to GSSF. Every opportunity I have to share this wonderful sport with people, I take it.”

Wei Young was the overall top shooter — the Matchmeister! — at both of the GLOCK Girl Shootouts. “I’m a huge GSSF fan. I cannot recall ever needing any motivation from anyone to participate in a GSSF match. With that said, I’m very grateful to my family and all my shooter friends who have been extremely supportive and encouraging to me in my pursuit of the shooting sport. I also must mention that my daughter is one of my biggest supporters. She travels with me to all major GSSF matches and happily acts as my ‘ammo girl’ and photographer,” she said.

Wei trains with two highly accomplished instructors and passes her knowledge and experience forward as a volunteer in NRA’s Women On Target Program as a firing line instructor.

Emily Robinson, in her early teens, is one of the youngest GSSF shooters of either gender. “My family shoots in nine or 10 GLOCK matches a year, and my mom and I wanted to go to this match together,” she explained. “I shot in the 2011 match. My mom and dad bid on the GLOCK Girl pistol [auction] and bought it for me. My Mom and I wanted to come back and participate in the 2012 match. I used the GLOCK Girl pistol in the Unlimited class.

“My mother, father and brothers started shooting in GSSF matches about three years ago. We were already going to matches. My dad has been taking me to the range since I was about 4 years old. I’m now 13, and I’ve had my own pistols since I was 10. We go to the range two or three times a month, sometimes more. We practice on the plates, paper targets and reloading—and always, safety! My parents are both police officers, and my dad is a firearms instructor. They’re the ones who trained me. We’ve brought a couple of my schoolteachers to the range, and one of my teachers even went to Georgia with us last year to shoot in his first match.”

Belinda Robinson, young Emily’s mom, reports: “My family and I have been shooting GSSF matches for about three years. My daughter Emily and I love shooting and wanted to be part of the girls’ match. We like the camaraderie and support we get from the other shooters…we shot this match in 2011, and as far as we are concerned, we will participate every year from now on. I am a police officer, so I already owned several handguns. However, since I started in GSSF, I have bought several other GLOCK handguns to compete with. My family trains together several times a month.”

Ann Young shot her first all-girl GLOCK match in 2012 and said, “I entered because I thought it would be fun to participate in an all-ladies match. I was correct—we had a lot of fun and the camaraderie between the contestants was amazing. I started shooting GSSF competitions a few months after I first started shooting, and I think the all-ladies matches may help draw more women to competition and show them that not only can a lot of fun be had but ladies can shoot just as well as the men.”

Ann started shooting three years ago at age 51, purchasing her first GLOCK expressly for competing in GSSF. “Being a British citizen,” she told us, “I never thought that I would ever own a handgun and seriously had never given any thought to shooting at all. I [now] shoot with my husband. We often ‘spot’ for each other and swap advice on how to improve. He’s been extremely supportive of my shooting and encourages me to do my best at each match we attend. In fact, he drove me and two other ladies all the way from Pennsylvania to South Carolina so we could compete in the Palmetto match.”

A mentor for other female shooters, Ann brought two companions. They were young ladies who had only been shooting for about one month. They had a great time and shot admirably. Ann said, “I have a sneaky feeling that South Carolina won’t be the only match they compete in.” It should be noted that in less than three and a half years, Ann Young has won several “Top Female” awards at various regular GSSF tournaments.

Abby Van Luvanee had only three months’ experience behind a handgun when she shot the second Palmetto GLOCK Girl Shootout with a borrowed GLOCK. She goes to the range twice a week now “because it’s fun.” Abby explained, “When I was in my early 20s, I knew I wanted to carry for self-defense, but it wasn’t until I was 24 that I got my license. It was almost a year later before I started training and carrying.”

Melynda Strange said, “I have been competing in GSSF for four years with my boyfriend. Last year I didn’t hear about the ladies’ competition until after it happened. This year, a bunch of girls from my local range decided we would go down there together and make a team.” Having shot .22 rifles with her dad beginning at age seven, Melynda didn’t come to the handgun until she was about 20, “and I loved it,” she said.

By the time she shot her first GLOCK match, she already owned several GLOCKs. She trains weekly at her local pistol range with her boyfriend, whom she met there, and they coach each other along with other teammates. “We try to get together once a week and have a practice where we can all give each other help. We time each other and have small friendly competitions to help seasoned people improve and to help new people become familiar with what GSSF competitions are like.”

All Are Welcome

Ford advertisements used to trumpet, “Ask the Man Who Owns One.” The ad for the all-female GSSF concept pioneered by Lisa Marie Judy at the Palmetto GLOCK Girl Shootouts might read, “Ask the Woman Who Has Shot One.” This writer and this publication salute Lisa Marie Judy and her team for creating this exciting new dimension to the world of the GLOCK Sport Shooting Foundation.

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