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Women's Golf Day a Huge Success at Brookhaven Country Club (Viewed: 3829)
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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Martha Mahan, 1970 WTGA Champion (Viewed: 5547)
Posted by James Mahan on May 9, 2016 @ 6:22 pm

As a 15 year old, Martha (Painter) Mahan claimed medalist honors in the 1959 WTGA State Amateur.  Leading the championship field as a junior high school student would be an accomplishment under any circumstances, but doing so from a field that included players like Sandra Haynie, Kay Pearson Keating, Sandra Palmer and Mary Ann Morrison make the honor an even more impressive feat.  Mahan first played in the championship in 1955 as an 11 year old.  She would still be a top contender 30 years later, claiming medalist honors for the fifth time in 1985.

Mahan was a contender over four different decades.  She was a medalist in 1959.  She reached the semi-finals in 1960 where she fell to Hall of Fame member Sandra Haynie.  She won the championship in 1970, defeating fellow championship stalwart Lyda Hill in the final match.  She reached the finals again in 1973, and was again medalist in 1975.  Mahan was medalist three times in the 1980s – 1980, 1984 and 1985, but did not win another championship.

The player whose introduction to the WTGA came as an 11 year old competitor gave back to the game she dedicated herself to.  She served as a WTGA Director from 1970-1976.


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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Mary Lucas, Belle Burney Award winner (Viewed: 4761)
Posted by Jacque Cooper on March 28, 2016 @ 11:32 pm

At the age of 13, Mary Lucas was invited to participate in a junior golf clinic sponsored by her home town.  The local pros donated their time for the clinic, and she took advantage of the free golf lessons.  It’s not always easy to see the pay-off for player development efforts, but golf pros and club operators would be hard-pressed to find a better example of a lifelong return on investment.
 
It took a while for Mary to fully engage in the game of golf.  She enjoyed a decorated amateur tennis career and spent 30 years as a medical officer in the Army.  She retired a Colonel after working as a Physical Therapist and serving as the Chief Physical Therapist for the Army and later for the Medical Specialist Corps for Washington D.C. and The Pentagon.  It was during her military career that she entered her first golf tournament, an Invitational at the Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii.  She says she “didn’t even know how to mark a ball properly”.  Those who know Mary as a prolific Rules Official will have a hard time imagining this was ever the case.  Many years later, she became a two-time winner of the Texas Senior Women’s Match Play Championship.  In 1992, she was the Senior Medalist at the WTGA State Amateur Championship, and upset two-time defending champion and current Curtis Cup Captain Robin Burke in the first round.
 
Mary was first introduced to the Rules of Golf through the San Antonio Women's Golf Association.  As a member of the San Antonio Rules of Golf Group, she served as an official and assisted with tournament administration for high school, collegiate, state and national events in the area.  She served as a Director for the Women's Texas Golf Association for six years, and was awarded the Belle Burney Award in 2014.  The award was established to recognize the outstanding volunteer for the WTGA.  She continues to serves as Rules of Official for championships all over Texas and the U.S. and is a member of the USGA Regional Affairs Committee.  After a lifetime of service to her country and the sport she loves, Mary Lucas has more than paid for the free golf lessons she received as a young girl. 
 
“Serving on the WTGA Board was a unique and positive experience. The women on the Board were true leaders with outstanding vision for the future of women's golf. They had tremendous energy and enthusiasm for all that we were doing, and I consider that a highlight of my life and fondly remember that experience.” – Mary Lucas

 
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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Wendi Wiese - Breaking 100 campaign leader (Viewed: 6654)
Posted by Aurora Kirchner-McClain on February 24, 2016 @ 4:15 pm

Wendi grew up in Hearne, a small town not far from Bryan / College Station.  After high school Wendi played collegiate golf at Texas A&M.  Upon graduation Wendi and her husband David moved to Colorado so she could learn to teach golf at the Vail Golf Club in Vail, Colorado where she entered the PGA program. Wendi worked at the Vail Golf Club for 3 seasons, then moved to Scottsdale, Arizona where she was an Assistant Professional at the prestigious Desert Highlands Golf Club.  She returned to College Station and served as the Assistant Coach for the A&M Women's Golf team for 11 years where she contributed to four Big 12 Championship Team Wins, 12 Team Tournament Wins, 7 NCAA Division 1 National Championship Appearances and 5 NCAA All-Americans.

After leaving Texas A&M, Wendi founded Texas Team Junior Golf with the intent of offering a fun-filled at school/after school golf development program for 5-13 year olds.  Wendi’s passion for growing the game through at school/after school golf is evident in her personal philosophy that anything worth doing is worth having fun doing. She is passionate about golf and the valuable lessons it teaches. Wendi believes children should be taught how to play golf while they are young. Golf teaches children patience, discipline, and encourages respectful behavior, plus the skills they learn stay with them all their lives.  Wendi is a recipient of the 2012 US Kids Golf Top 50 Kids teacher honorable mention.  Wendi is currently a Teaching Professional at Pebble Creek Country Club in College Station and is one of 11 LPGA / PGA teaching pros who have pledged to give 100 Lessons for Women and Girls in support of the Breaking 100 Campaign.  To contribute to Wendi's campaign, CLICK HERE.  To learn more about Texas Team Junior Golf, CLICK HERE.
 


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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Toni Wiesner - 5-time Champion (Viewed: 9122)
Posted by Lee taylor on February 16, 2016 @ 10:26 pm

It took Toni Wiesner 12 tries before winning her first WTGA State Amateur Championship in 1985.  She would add four more titles by 2003.  Her five championships are the third most in the history of the event.  Only Edna Lapham (7) and Mary Ann Morrison (9) have won more.  Toni’s accomplishments on the golf course are among the most impressive of any golfer of any era.  Outside of Texas, her titles include the Women’s Southern Championship, Mexican Amateur, Broadmoor Invitational, Doherty Cup and International Four-Ball.  She was a perennial USGA championship contender, and finalist for more than 30 years.  She is a member of the Texas Golf Hall of Fame.

Toni was as celebrated for her attitude, wisdom and sportsmanship as she was for her championship titles.  As collegiate players continued to excel and their participation in amateur competitive events grew, Wiesner was asked how she felt about competing against younger players.  She said, “Golf is a lifetime in which age doesn’t matter”.  On the way to her first State Amateur title in 1985, Toni said, “I like to think of myself as my opponent.  If I don’t get the job done, I can’t blame anyone else but myself”.

Toni gave back to golf through service on the USGA Junior Girls Committee and as a mentor, encourager and role model for countless women in Texas, this author included.  Toni passed away in 2009 leaving a legacy of class, character and a fierce competitive spirit.  The Women’s Texas Golf Association provides two junior golf programs in her honor.  The Wiesner’s Winners program identifies outstanding participants in selected LPGA / USGA Girls Golf sites across Texas.  The Toni Wiesner Cup is awarded to the winning team at the annual Texas Challenge, a statewide competition for participants in these Girls Golf Sites.  The world of golf and the world in general all benefit when young girls are introduced to the game Toni loved and are shown how to be true champions.

 
All proceeds from the Breaking 100 campaign are contributed directly to the TGA Foundations’ Women’s Initiatives like Wiesner’s Winners and the Texas Challenge.  For more information click HERE.  To make a contribution in Toni’s memory, click HERE.
 

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