Texas Golf Association, Since 1906
Texas Golf Association, Since 1906

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Stacy Dennis, Passionate Supporter of Women's Golf (Viewed: 4864)
Posted by Nannette Wheelis on October 11, 2016 @ 8:55 am

“I really just love golf – everything about it.”  Stacy Dennis often tells folks how thankful she is to work for a game she loves and how impactful golf can be in a person’s life. She’ll tell you how she loves that some of her closest friends are people she was randomly paired with in some tournament years ago.  As the TGA Managing Director of Membership Programs, Stacy’s story is a shining example of how golf enriches the lives of those who play the game.

Growing Up in Texas
Stacy was born in San Angelo and casually participated in a few junior golf clinics in elementary and junior high. Needing a P.E. credit in 10th grade, she joined the golf team.  After recording a “two under the maximum for 18 holes” 142 in her first tournament, she says she got better her senior year. Better -as in tied for second at the State High School Championship with a 146 for 36 holes.  The high school career earned Stacy a scholarship and a spot on the women’s golf team at Texas A&M. When talking about how golf impacts lives, Stacy often mentions the game gave her an education. 

WTGA and Other Accomplishments
In 2004, Stacy played in her first WTGA State Amateur Championship and won. The victory, which she says was a surprise to her, was validated in 2009 when she again saw her name engraved as the champion. She admits she is very proud of her State Am wins because she has great respect for the players and the history of the Championship. Stacy is a two-time winner of the Womens’ Four-Ball Championship with two different partners, Carolyn Creekmore and Jessica Surber.  She reached the semi-finals in the 2012 USGA Mid-Am Championship and played on the Texas team in the 2015 USGA State Team Championship. These accomplishments came while working full time and carving out time to volunteer with the WTGA.  Her leadership in the organization included serving as President and a contributor in the process to merge the women’s association with the TGA.

Turning a Sport into a Career
The game that gave Stacy a P.E. credit and a college education has also given her a career. As a teenager, she worked as a cart attendant at a municipal golf course. After college, she worked her way up to her current position with TGA. She calls this her “dream job” and enjoys working to improve the sport for all players and for women in particular.

Editor’s Note
Stacy Dennis has done an outstanding job planning the Breaking 100 Campaign and writing stories like these about the 100 Texas Women. In her normal humble manner, Stacy didn’t believe she should be featured. The TGA Women’s Committee wrote this entry and insisted it be included.

100 Texas Women is a blog with each post featuring a different notable woman from the history of Texas golf.  You can honor these women and invest in the next 100 years of women's golf by contributing to the Breaking 100 campaign.  All proceeds benefit the TGA Foundations' Women's Initiatives.  Learn more and support the campaign here.

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Jacque Cooper - Breaking 100 Committee (Viewed: 4219)
Posted by Marty Slade Perlman on October 31, 2016 @ 1:50 pm

Molly Price (L) and Jacque Cooper (R)

Jacque Cooper has been a leading figure in Women’s Golf for many years.  Prior to her service to the WTGA, “Coop” was well known as the public relations force for the Dallas LAGA group.  She worked for many years sending out communications, documenting special accomplishments and generally making sure that North Texas women’s golf was truly a community.  Cooper served as a WTGA Director from 2007-2012 and was closely involved in the Winners’ Program and the Texas Challenge.  She has also been solely responsible for the selection of all of the prizes for the WTGA State Amateur Championship every year.  If you want to see the joy the game of golf can bring to someone, just ask Coop how she feels about State Am week, or the Winners’ Program girls from Longview!  She returned to the WTGA in 2014 as a member of the WTGA Committee and signed on to the Breaking 100 Committee as soon as it was formed.

In addition to her work for the WTGA Committee, Cooper has enjoyed a recent run of torrid golf, winning the 1st flight at the 2016 Women's Senior Championship with a final round 76, and claiming the Mesquite Ladies Golf Association Championship in one week!

The leaders of the WTGA have been discussing how to appropriately mark the 100th anniversary of our founding for almost ten years!  The first discussion started in 2008 and everyone had thoughts and visions of what the celebration would be like.  But it seemed so far away at the time!  Things started getting serious again in 2013 as discussions also got underway about merging with the Texas Golf Association.  Notes from the February 2013 WTGA Board meeting included this phrase, “The Committee should start planning ASAP!”

The members of the Breaking 100 Committee are Suzan Knox, Leslie Henry, Deb Nelson and Jacque Cooper.  KnoxHenry and Nelson have been previously covered in this blog.

The fruits of their labor will be on display November 1st, at Houston Country Club.  Almost 300 advocates for women’s golf will join special guests Sandra Haynie, Carol Mann, Sandra Palmer, Judy Rankin and Kathy Whitworth to celebrate the impact that Texas women have had on the world of golf over the last 100 years.  Click here for more information.

100 Texas Women is a blog with each post featuring a different notable woman from the history of Texas golf.  You can honor these women and invest in the next 100 years of women's golf by contributing to the Breaking 100 campaign.  All proceeds benefit the TGA Foundations' Women's Initiatives.  Learn more and support the campaign here.

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Pam Murray, WTGA Past President (Viewed: 4540)
Posted by Peggy Spann on April 5, 2016 @ 10:06 pm

There are not many women who give as much time and enthusiasm to the game of golf as Pam Murray.  The Dallas native was initially introduced to the game through her father and two brothers who she claims “would not do something without me doing it too”.  Their insistence led her to her first tournament where she finished runner-up to another Texas great, Betsy Clifford, in the Sleepy Hollow Country Club championship.  She was “hooked” after that experience.
The 1976 WTGA State Amateur Championship was played at her home club in Brownsville.  She entered and qualified for the Championship flight before, “promptly losing all of the matches!”  She won her fair share, however, ultimately claiming 13 club championships (12 in a row) at Canyon Creek Country Club.  After retiring from Dallas Independent School District in 2002, Murray had time to pursue playing and volunteering in earnest.  “Golf has been good to me and my family”, she said, “and I felt it was time to give back.”  Since making that commitment she has built an impressive resume of service.  Murray is a Past President of the WTGA and served as a Director from 2002-2011.  She chaired the US Women’s Amateur Public Links Committee (2013-2014) after serving on the Committee beginning in 2007.  She also chaired the Inaugural US Women’s Four-Ball Committee and currently serves as the Vice Chair of the USGA Women’s Committee of which she has been a member since 2011.
Even though she only began to learn the Rules of Golf because she got tired of her club professional brothers “cheating me on the golf course”, Murray loves being involved with the game.  She most loves “the people I meet and the places I get to visit. I have friends from around the world now that I would have never met if not for golf.”

100 Texas Women is a blog with each post featuring a different notable woman from the history of Texas golf.  You can honor these women and invest in the next 100 years of women's golf by contributing to the Breaking 100 campaign.  All proceeds benefit the TGA Foundations' Women's Initiatives.  Learn more and support the campaign here

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Wanda Sowell Hendrix - 1972, 1973 Champion (Viewed: 7934)
Posted by Pat Wheeler on January 27, 2016 @ 11:54 am

The year before winning the first of her two consecutive WTGA State Amateur Championships, Wanda Sowell Hendrix considered not returning to the competition after failing to win in her previous six attempts.  She had advanced to the Women’s Intercollegiate semi-finals in 1959, won the Texas Publinx Championship in 1960 and 1961, and won the Louisiana State Championship in 1963, but the Texas title had eluded her.  She fell to future champion Jeannie Butler Kalencki in 1960, and lost in the final match in 1961 to Mary Ann Morrison.  It may have been good sportsmanship that cost her the 1961 title.  After a commanding win in the semi-final match, Hendrix learned that her finals opponent, Morrison, had been injured in her match.  Hendrix insisted that match be postponed in order to give Morrison time to recover.  She recovered and defeated Hendrix two weeks later.  She again reached the finals in 1965 only to lose to State Junior Champion Kathy Ahern.  

Following a disappointing loss in 1971, Hendrix reported that she had “vowed that she would never come back to the Women’s Texas Golf Association annual Championship Tourney…she felt that she couldn’t win the prestigious event.”  Unfortunately for the rest of the field, Hendrix changed her mind and marched to the championship.  Along the way she had to defeat Mary Lou Dill, 1967 US Women’s Amateur Champion, and Brenda Goldsmith Hocott who would go on to play on two Curtis Cup teams.  Once she had finally gotten “over the hump”, Hendrix kept winning.  She successfully defended her title in 1973, and earned medalist honors in 1974.

100 Texas Women is a blog with each post featuring a different notable woman from the history of Texas golf.  Follow the blog by bookmarking THIS page.  You can honor these women and invest in the next 100 years of women's golf by contributing to the Breaking 100 campaign.  All proceeds benefit the TGA Foundations' Women's Initiatives.  Learn more and support the campaign here.

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Women's Golf Day a Huge Success at Brookhaven Country Club (Viewed: 3318)
Posted by Bev Baetge on July 5, 2017 @ 6:43 pm

Last month more than 700 venues in 46 countries around the world celebrated International Women’s Golf Day with instructional clinics, social get-togethers and networking opportunities. Now in its second year, nearly 30,000 women took part in the June 6 global initiative. The annual one-day, four-hour event provides women and girls chances to try golf for the first time in a fun, non-intimidating environment alongside existing golfers.
Brookhaven Country Club in Farmers Branch was one of 50 Texas clubs to join in the festivities. The longtime TGA Member Club also took advantage of the opportunity to grow the game, as well as strengthen their membership.
In preparation for the Women’s Golf Day event at Brookhaven, PGA Director of Golf Brad McCollum reached out to the Dallas chapter of the Executive Women’s Golf Association, as well as Brookhaven’s women’s golf groups, tennis groups and social members to invite them to attend.
“We used it as an opportunity to share golf,” McCollum said, “Our hope was to grow the game of golf and expand our reach within our membership here at Brookhaven.”
Almost 40 women attended the Women’s Golf Day event, up from only six who participated in 2016. Brookhaven’s success should be a lesson and an example to other clubs on what can happen with some progressive thinking.
“We definitely expanded our reach,” McCollum said. “We even had a few from outside our club join us for the event, so we could share our Brookhaven Experience and the game of golf.”
Like so many public courses, private clubs and practice facilities around the world did, Brookhaven conducted a low-key affair that focused on basic instruction and networking. The top priority was for the attending women to have fun and leave with a feeling of camaraderie that the game naturally encourages. After a 45-minute clinic, McCollum turned loose the attendees on a nine-hole putting contest at the club’s putt-putt facility.
“Our putt-putt course is a fabulous amenity for our facility,” he said. “They had to keep score and play the course in the correct sequence, holes one through nine. Those are important parts of the game, and we wanted them to experience this aspect of the game of golf.”
The final hour of the event saw the women socializing around a fire pit. Everyone left with a prize, whether it was won through a game, a raffle or a hole-in-one on the putt-putt course. The event was free, and McCollum said it was a huge success.
“We’re very much a family club, and this just helped us strengthen our connection with Brookhaven families,” he said. “The Women’s Golf Day event helped drive home the message that both spouses can play golf, which ties directly to what sets Brookhaven apart... we are all about getting the entire family involved.”

Brookhaven’s positive experience was a microcosm of the big picture goals for the worldwide event.
At locations from Johannesburg, South Africa, and Oslo, Norway, to Hong Kong, China, and Pattaya City, Thailand, Women’s Golf Day enjoyed a 68 percent participation increase compared to the 2016 event.
The event also gained massive engagement on social media platforms fueled by the #womensgolfday campaign. Women’s Golf Day Founder Elisa Gaudet reported 99 percent organic growth across all social media channels. The dedicated hashtag received more than 15 million impressions to nearly 10 million uses on Twitter and Instagram.
“We’ve discovered that female business professionals who take up the game of golf soon recognize the value it brings when it comes to customer engagement and future business development,” Gaudet said. “It’s important that women have a positive experience when playing golf, regardless of their level of experience. Women’s Golf Day caters to all levels and imparts camaraderie.”
Gaudet said she was thrilled with the rapid expansion, but not surprised by the worldwide interest.
“I’m elated and proud that this one-day international event has introduced thousands of new female golfers to the sport and impassioned existing golfers while transcending language, culture, religion and race to celebrate golf, women, and community,” Gaudet said. “It is also important for the golf industry to understand women make up 85 percent of all consumer purchases and the important role they play as economic influencers for the family. The big ticket items for the golf industry are home purchases in golf communities, country club memberships and golf vacations. Women have a definitive say in the making of those decisions.”
Partners and supporting organizations of the transnational event include the International Golf Federation, World Golf Foundation, LPGA, LET, European Tour Properties, TPC, NGCOA, EGCOA, ClubCorp, Billy Casper Golf, PGA TOUR Superstore, Ahead, EWGA, WIGI, International Council of Nurses, All Square, Expert Golf and Troon International.
“In my 37 years in the golf industry, I have seen very few initiatives so effectively generate interest and enthusiasm among women and girls as Women’s Golf Day has these past two years,” said Steve Mona, CEO of the World Golf Foundation. “It has rapidly become a global movement, where women are coming together, not only to take up our sport, but to network and enjoy the social benefits associated with our game.”
For more information about the WGD global initiative, click here.


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