ConnectingWomen

EWGA’s Secret Sauce – Volunteers!

April 14, 2015

National Volunteer WeekI am often asked, what makes the EWGA so special? My response is always — we are a volunteer-based organization. It’s about women helping other women to make a difference in their lives. Are there other women’s golf groups that get women into the game of golf? Yes and many of these are for-profit groups.

EWGA's Secret Sauce

                    EWGA’s Secret Sauce

BUT, there are not women’s golf organizations that are predicated on volunteerism and leadership that provide women with the opportunity to run a chapter (manage a small business), develop leadership skills, recognize top performers and at the same time — make a difference in local communities across this country under a national footprint.

As we celebrate National Volunteer Week, I want to recognize the thousands of women across the EWGA who lead, give and support this fabulous organization by sharing their talents. You are the secret sauce to EWGA and I thank you for your leadership, support and for making a difference.

As we approach our 25th year anniversary, the common thread of our longevity has been the contributions made by women who have stepped up, believed in the vision of the Executive Women’s Golf Association and who have wanted to be a part of all that this organization stands for.

In looking to the future, we are THE organization to develop new leaders and open opportunities for young professionals as they develop and build their skills. Our “secret sauce” needs to be unveiled! We are the development ground for the next generation of leaders to step up and make a difference. Come join us! Volunteer! Take the step into EWGA volunteer leadership and start reaping the benefits of this great organization today!


Who Inspires You?

March 6, 2015

When you think of female role models in your life, who has inspired you?

As a women’s organization dedicated to enriching women’s lives through the game of golf, EWGA’s membership roster is comprised of thousands and thousands of women who have made a difference and stuck their necks out in communities across the United States and beyond. We stand for more than what happens between the first and 18th hole.

Pam Swensen in Phoenix, AZ
Call it blazing a trail, opening a door, getting up to par, mentoring, teaching, breaking the grass ceiling, standing tall – whatever your linguistic choice, EWGA women are inspiring and passionate. Giving back is a fundamental element of our “being”.

In recognition of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day on Sunday, March 8th, think about who has opened a door for you, welcomed you into the game, made a difference, provided an experience that otherwise might not have been available to you and celebrate them.

A longtime volunteer within our association, Stacey Baba from the San Francisco Bay area was recently recognized as a “Women Who Inspires” by Donna Karan for her volunteer service. EWGA is fortunate to be one of Stacey’s favorite organizations. Thanks for caring Stacey and sharing!

Who inspires you?


Golf Legend Billy Casper Leaves Golf in a Better Place

February 10, 2015

billycasper

Family man, one of professional golf’s top players for decades, co-founder of Billy Casper Golf, member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, honored with many accolades throughout his career, has passed away at the age of 83.

Billy Casper has been referred to as “the best putter on the planet” and was named by Sports Illustrated as one of the Top 20 players in the history of golf.

While his 51 PGA victories put him on the 7th all-time list of winners, it was his unwavering commitment to his family that makes us respect him and honor his example of what a great role model can be.

He once shared, “My goal in life is to help my fellow man and touch people’s lives in a positive way wherever I go. I believe that youngsters, the future of our great country, are our most precious commodities. Through golf, they learn the importance of discipline, family and invaluable life skills necessary to compete in an ever-changing world.”

While he has 71 grandchildren and great grandchildren, his extended family includes more than 7,600 employees of Billy Casper Golf, founded more than 20 years ago.

As someone who is so fortunate to work in this great golf industry, it is incumbent on all of us to leave golf in a better place. Billy Casper has certainly done this. May he rest in peace.


Golf Loses a Beacon for Diversity and a True Champion

February 4, 2015

CharlieSiffordHe was a humble, honorable man. He was an exceptional American that persevered and truly exemplified what being courageous is all about. This past November, Dr. Charlie Sifford was honored by President Barack Obama with the Presidential Medal of Freedom; the highest civilian honor in the land.

PGA of America President Derek Sprague said, “By his courage, Dr. Sifford inspired others to follow their dreams. Golf was fortunate to have had this exceptional American in our midst.”

Sifford challenged the Caucasian-only clause, and the PGA rescinded it in 1961. He won the Greater Hartford Open in 1967 and the Los Angeles Open in 1969. He also won the 1975 Senior PGA Championship, five years before the Champions Tour was created.

His career was fully recognized in 2004 when he became the first African American to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

May he rest in peace. Thank you Dr. Sifford.


It’s Our Time – 2015 is the Year for More Women Golfers

January 30, 2015

Pam Swensen, EWGA CEOYes! The time is now! There’s a buzz about women in golf. A louder one than I have heard in years. And for EWGA the timing couldn’t be better. We have a tremendous amount of events happening coast to coast, the introduction of the Par 3 Challenge, the growing EWGA Cup Match Play competition, EWGA involvement on the volunteer front and fan front at the newly announced KPMG Women’s PGA Championship this June and an EWGA trip to cheer on Team USA in Germany this fall at the Solheim Cup Matches.

Here’s why it’s a good time to roll out the welcome mat to get more women into this great game.

Two weeks ago, I was invited to visit the Hartford, CT-based studio of the Back9Network to talk about diversity and women in golf. My message was and is very clear, we all need to invite, encourage and welcome more women into this sport. Playing golf can be a game changer. The value of having golf as a skill set on your resume is a conversation starter and truly a door opener.

The Turn: Executive Women’s Golf Association

As EWGA members, we have the opportunity to open the door and invite more women into what we know is a great community of women who love the game of golf. We do take fun seriously! And we have the ability to share the values of the game and inspire others to get involved just like we are as EWGA members.

At last week’s PGA Show, where the business and leaders of golf congregate annually, women were front and center. From the newly elected (first ever female officer) Secretary of the PGA, Suzy Whaley headlining a panel of distinguished female leaders on Inspiring Greatness, to the launch of a new website for women called GolfForHer.com, to WIGI’s (Women In the Golf Industry) introduction of a Women’s Speakers Bureau, the significance of these messages were positive, pointed and applauded.

I represented EWGA on a committee under the Golf 20/20 umbrella that created the new website for women, called GolfForHer.com. This site (www.golfforher.com) is designed to serve as a resource for all women interested in the game — from those who have never played, to those who are returning to the game, to those who play the game but want to engage more with the golf lifestyle. Future EWGA members!

An event was held in the Yamaha booth with the CEO of Yamaha, Tom MacDonald and me where we announced the partnership between our two entities and christened Yamaha as the official golf cart of the EWGA. More excitement!

The LPGA Teaching & Professional Division honored its best with its annual recognition awards. And this week, the LPGA Tour had an early jump start to its season with the Coates Golf Championship presented by R&L Carriers.

EWGA’s Par 3 Challenge is a new team event for our organization. Thinking of playing in it? Why not introduce a new person, male or female to EWGA by inviting them to be your playing partner? There will be 10 qualifying venues and the finals will be in Palm Beach, FL at the end of June. For details, www.ewgapar3.com Yet another opportunity to cast a wider net to get more women involved!

There’s a lot happening in the world of women’s golf. And I’m bullish about the growth opportunities for this year. Help spread the word. Invite your colleagues and friends to get in on the fun. As EWGA builds to 2016 and our 25th year anniversary, we need your help to share the story!

My goals for 2015 are three-fold:

  • Dream big in terms of what the organization can and should be.
  • Build our membership and deliver exceptional event experiences.
  • Pay it forward to the next generation of women leaders with the launch of EWGA’s Grads to Golf program and our support of LPGA-USGA Girls Golf

Let’s get going!

Back9 Network


WHY I AM THANKFUL…

November 26, 2014

Why I Am Thankful

At this time of year, the conversation centers around being thankful.
So, as I ponder this question on the eve of Thanksgiving, here’s why I am thankful.

  • For my family and their health
  • For my EWGA friends, families and Team at EWGA HQ
  • For all the EWGA Volunteer Leaders who give tirelessly on behalf of EWGA
  • For all of your help in spreading the word about our association
  • For believing in EWGA’s vision of enriching women’s lives through the game of golf
  • And for the 100,000 women that have experienced what it’s like to connect, learn and play this great game of golf for business and for life with EWGA

We are so blessed to be able to play golf and all the benefits it gives back to every one of us. The variety of courses, events, the successes and challenges during a round of golf – but most of all the people we meet along this journey.

Wishing you a healthy and happy holiday!


Celebrating Veterans Day

November 11, 2014
Happy Veterans Day

Happy Veterans Day

Thank you for your service. My dad who is 85 years old is a veteran. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. I am so proud of my father and feel blessed and thankful that he is still here with us.

There are 86,400 seconds in every day. We are so fortunate to live in a country freely. Do you take the time — just a few seconds — to say thank you for the gifts we have been given?

Who will you thank on Veterans Day for their service to this great country of ours?

I know I will first thank my dad. Join me in saluting all the men and women in the armed forces on this November 11th.


The Road to EWGA’s Championship

October 16, 2014

EWGA’s elite 222 arrived at The Hermitage last week ready for the challenge. The former home of the LPGA Sara Lee Classic in Old Hickory, TN was ready (sheep included!).

2014 EWGA Championship

While Mother Nature threw a few curve balls (rain delays and two saturated courses) at the assembled competitive field and operations team; a new EWGA Champion, Katie Brinker, was crowned on Saturday evening. Joining her with the top title in the Scramble Division was the Central Arkansas team of Christy Mahan, Karen East, Natalie Gay and Trisha Cooper. Congratulations Ladies!

What is it about the EWGA Championship that captures our attention, respect and participation from more than 2,300 EWGA competitors who start on this annual journey?

Perhaps it’s about trying to play your very best golf under a variety of conditions? Or how about testing yourself against a field of fellow competitors at your skill level? Or having the courage to embrace this experience as your first foray into competitive golf? How about achieving a personal goal? Advancing to the next level of the championship? Meeting women from near and far who also wear the EWGA badge? Or entering the competition solely for the fun of it! Everyone has their own motivations and stories. And we love them!

For Katie Brinker, her journey began at the first stage of qualifying, the Central Indiana Chapter Championship where she played with a broken fibula and sprained ankle (while tackling her new responsibility as mother of 7-month old son Nolan and 10 year-old stepson Cameron). After hobbling around with her foot and ankle in a boot, Katie then won the Ohio Valley District Semi-Final Championship at Fuzzy Zoeller’s Covered Bridge Golf Club in Sellersburg, Indiana. She arrived in Nashville determined to improve on her second place finish at the 2013 EWGA Championship. With caddie/husband Zach on the bag, her four consecutive birdies starting at Hole #15 led to her come from behind with a two shot victory. Katie’s victory speech delivered a strong message to her peers – perseverance in the face of adversity – never give up!

For others in this elite group of 222, their experiences were rewarding in different ways. Consider this comment from a competitor from Canada “This was my first Finals, and I loved being part of this group of diverse, fun-loving and accomplished women from all age groups, from all over the country (and Canada), and from many different walks of life. I am truly inspired to improve my focus on golf and to take my game to the next level. “

As one enthusiastic member from the Albany Chapter expressed “we don’t play competitive golf for a living” but as they say at the Oscars, it’s an honor to be nominated. We all had a “mighty fine time in Nashville.”
Yes another member said, “It was my first experience competing at this level, and I am motivated to work on my game and earn a chance to return. It’s also motivation to get more of our members involved, as there is so much to be enjoyed from these experiences.”

EWGA is made up of a community of women who are passionate about golf and are equally as engaged with the friendships, relationships and doors that playing this game opens. I challenge you to think of EWGA as being a picture frame and you are the interior designer empowered to make the portrait inside the frame reflect your EWGA story.

Why not consider charting your course to the EWGA Championship in 2015? See you in Palm Springs!


R&A Takes Positive Step Forward

September 19, 2014

The future of the game is moving in the right direction.

The Executive Women’s Golf Association (EWGA) applauds today’s announcement by the R&A that recognizes the importance of diversity and inclusion to move the game of golf forward.

The significance of women to the future of this game cannot be underestimated. As gatekeepers of the family, decision-makers in business; the values represented by this great game and by-products generated from the goodwill it generates, have been embraced by our inclusive grassroots-based organization for over 23 years. We are the leaders in connecting women to learn, play and enjoy the game of golf for business and for fun.

Pam Swensen
CEO, EWGA

Royal and Ancient Golf Club, St. Andrews, Scotland


Where will you play 9 on July 23?

July 22, 2014

EWGA has long led the way on pushing 9-hole golf experiences across the membership. And with the summer golf season in full swing, thousands of members are teeing it up for a midweek golf fix! Wednesday’s are a big 9-hole day for EWGA members.  So where will you be teeing it up on Play 9 Day on July 23rd?

The USGA is inviting golfers to share their story! So take a photo and send a tweet to #Play9GolfDay and share in the fun. Your two hours or so of exercise and perhaps a  3-mile walk will get you in the spirit and deliver some fun stories for certain!

Not sure where to play if Wednesday isn’t your league day? Did you know that there are 4,175 stand-alone 9 –hole courses in the U.S.? Click here for more information on USGA’s Play 9 campaign. http://www.usga.org/PlayNineMicroSite.aspx?id=21474867937 and for a few chuckles check out the Rickie Fowler video produced by the USGA @RickieFolwerPGA.