Meet Your New TGA President: Leslie Henry
DALLAS – Leslie Henry didn’t hit her first golf ball until she was 35 years old. The accomplished amateur tennis player and former collegiate athlete was a law student at the South Texas College of Law in Houston when she quickly realized golf needed to be a part of her life.
“If I did not go play golf with the guys, I would have to write everyone’s legal brief,” Henry said. “So I decided I should learn how to play golf.”
The game she started with friends more than 20 years ago has led to a successful career both in the law office and on the golf course. Because of the positive impact golf has had on her life, Henry felt an obligation to give back and influence the future of the sport for everyone. In January, Henry succeeded Carey Schulten as TGA President and became the first woman to serve as Chair of the Board of Directors.
“One of the TGA’s missions is for anyone who plays in our events to feel like they had a world-class experience,” Henry said. “And for anyone that plays golf, we want to make sure we keep reminding them why they play golf and why they love golf. If we can do that, then I think we accomplish our mission.”
Henry is a Partner with Adams and Reese, a law firm with offices in 16 cities across the southern Unites States. She has practiced law for more than 23 years and represents and advises large corporations in various areas of litigation. In 2016, Henry was elected as Texas Bar Foundation Fellow, one of the highest honors a member of the State Bar of Texas can receive. She also currently serves on the Adams and Reese Executive Committee.
Henry’s initial involvement in the game of golf was for professional reasons, but she quickly became “hooked,” which led to a successful amateur career. She has qualified for the Texas Cup South Team, U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur and U.S. Women’s Senior Amateur. She's also won the Greater Houston Women’s Senior City Championship twice.
As Henry became competitive among the top amateurs in Texas, she started serving on the WTGA Board of Directors in 2012. She was instrumental in the process of merging the WTGA with the TGA in 2014 and was one of five women named to the TGA Board of Directors. Henry chairs the Women’s Committee and was elected as the first female officer of the TGA in 2016.
“The great collaboration between the men and the women can never be emphasized enough with how important it was when all the guys from the TGA invited us in,” Henry said. “We are now really interested in making golf more accessible to anyone that wants to play the game.”
Henry enters her tenure as President with a wealth of leadership experience and plans to lead by example.
“You want to be able to set a standard for how you act,” Henry said. “You want to be able to look outside the box, to be able to make sure we have growth and come up with new ideas. When you play a sport, I think you have the obligation to give back and that is what the TGA has done for me.”
Henry assumes her Presidency with plenty of new golf initiatives in Texas. The USGA launched the World Handicap System in January, the 2020 U.S. Women’s Open will be played at Champions Golf Club in Houston and the PGA of America is moving its headquarters to Frisco in 2021. Henry will serve a two-year term as TGA President through 2022.
“It is a super exciting time for golf right now,” Henry said. “And we are beyond blessed to have the TGA in the state of Texas.”