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The Future of Women’s Golf A

s president of the WGANC, I have

developed a passion for junior girls’ golf. My year began by taking

questions from our club captains about policies to support and how to define girls golf. They wanted to know how they could support junior girls if they couldn’t go outside of their club. When I looked into it, I found that the WGANC’s policy stated that we could support “any girl, less than 18 years of age, who has a parent or grandparent who is a member of a private or semi-private club in Northern California.” I hadn’t paid much attention to that policy in the past, despite our vision state-

ment: “…to realize the potential of women’s amateur golf in Northern California through pro- grams that enhance their golfing experience, from junior through champion- ship opportunities.” These club captains are

smart ladies. Why were we limiting our support of junior golf? Young girls are the future of women’s golf in America. While we should certainly give some priority to the daughters and granddaughters of cur- rent WGANC members, we can also help girls in our communities. I appointed a committee to research and update our current policy and make recommendations for the WGANC’s support

and scholarship funds. This year, I attended

several tournaments where young women from throughout the state competed. The California Women’s Championship (CWC), held in Ojai in July, had a field of 63 play- ers. One of those players was only 12 years old and required a cart driver just to compete. All the young ladies were so apprecia- tive for the opportunity to compete. I was thanked with big hugs, strong handshakes and genuine appreciation for helping make the tourna- ment a fun and successful experience. Another player, a two-time junior world champion in 1982 and 1985, was competing at age 40! After the CWC, I attended the WNGHA (9- hole) Corena Green tourna- ment at North Ridge CC. There were more than 100 players ranging in age from 8 to 17. There were little tykes and older teens who played in the Corena Green tournament before and who look forward to playing against each other year after year. Many of these young ladies were hosted by First Tee organizations in Northern California, as well as their local clubs. Their camaraderie was so special. The last event I

The WGANC is dedicated to supporting all junior girls’ golf throughout the community.

attended was the high school girls tournament hosted by the Pacific Wom- en’s Golf Association, which was held at Sunset Whitney GC in Rocklin. This tour- nament had young ladies from local high schools who smiled the whole round, even when their game



wasn’t giving them much to smile about. Support for girls golf

comes in many forms. Some clubs in Northern California donate slightly used golf clubs, bags and shoes to local schools. Many clubs invite and sponsor an “honorary junior girl golfer” in their 18-hole ladies club. This sponsorship allows girls to obtain a free GHIN handicap from the WGANC, and they can participate in many of the club’s events. Some clubs allow the girls high school teams to practice at their facilities, and oth- ers have junior clinics and family golf days. There are many organizations that both clubs and indi- viduals may contribute to such as NCGA’s Youth on Course program, the First Tee, JGANC and LPGA/ USGA Junior Girls Golf. Most of these organizations have scholarship programs to which the WGANC contributes. You can, too. I’m sure they’d be grateful to accept your contributions, even it is just your time and enthusiasm. The WGANC has

changed its policy this year to help more girls learn the game of golf and expose them to the values it teaches. These young ladies are the future, not only in golf but in life! They have certainly enriched mine.

FALL 2013 / NCGA.ORG / 71


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