Fall 2018

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14 FALL 2018 | NCGA.ORG L inda Reid didn't plan on starting a new career in her late 60s, but her love of golf changed that. Since her arrival as the Women's Golf Ambassador at Haggin Oaks GC in Sacramento, Reid has continued to develop programs at the popular venue aimed at helping new and returning women players transition from clinics, classes and lessons to the course. As Reid will happily tell you, her data- base started small but—with the help of technology and word of mouth—she now has over 500 contacts and 17 mentors who generously volunteer to help with the programs. Q: What kinds of golf programs are you driving and how many women are participating? LR: I run three 9-hole women's leagues – Wednesday morning, Thursday after work and Friday morning. I have 17 won- derful women who volunteer as mentors for the new and returning golfers. They play with the gals, coach them on pace of play, cart management, alignment, grip, club selection and most importantly, they see success in the smallest of achieve- ment. I try to acknowledge their suc- cesses in each e-mail invitation I send out to the group on a weekly basis. The men- tors rate the golfers on a scale of 1 to 10 so I can track them on my spreadsheets and I try to pair 'like' players together with the mentors (some of whom have more teaching skills than others). I have 160 golfers on my Wednesday spread- sheet, 208 on the Thursday list and101 on Friday's. We average 25 paying players on Wednesday morning, 33 on Thursday night and 15 on Friday morning. Q: What are you hear- ing from women that gave you the idea for your Mentor program? LR: Well, Ken Morton Sr. (CEO), Mike Woods (Gen- eral Manager) and I created the program because we recognized the need to create something organized that transitioned women from the lessons, clinics and classes offered here at Haggin Oaks to actually getting them on the course. Needless to say, it has been more than successful. This year we've grown by huge numbers mainly by having our players talk to their friends about how much fun they are having, all the new friends they've made and how much their golf games have improved. I get a phone call or e-mail from a new member every day who wants their name added to the rosters. Many are newly retired and want to make good use of their new-found freedom. Many others are just tired of playing with their guy friends/husbands and want to put a different complexion on the sport – they aren't as interested in the score as they are the social value. Q: Have you created a roadmap from 'Golf 101' to 'Official NCGA player'? LR: I'm working on that… with the better golfers we are now talking about scoring and course management. The mentors have a great way of communi- cating the value of having a handicap and learning the rules. We've developed a tracking scorecard that is generic and can be used on any course. It allows them to keep track of their fairways hit, GIR (greens in regulation) and number of putts on each hole – as well as their score. We give them clipboards to keep and each week they take away the scorecards and keep them to measure their suc- cesses from the first round to the last. They love it! Because most established Home Clubs aren't welcoming to new golfers, our Sacramento EWGA club has benefitted enormously with new mem- bers who want the camaraderie of other women who welcome new and returning golfers and offer a variety of programs, leagues and competition. Q: What advice would you give to other golf programs that want get more women into the game? LR: Don't treat women golfers as an afterthought. Invest in someone with the right skills, knowledge and organization who can bring the program to life and make it FUN. There are skilled, knowl- edgeable women out there who would make wonderful mentors – who are at a point in their lives where they can give back to the game they love. Seek them out and create an environment that is organized, social and fun. S H A G B A G Faces of the NCGA Linda Reid Women's Golf Ambassador at Haggin Oaks GC Viktor Hovland dominated the 118th U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach Golf Links from start to finish. In doing so, he became the first Norwegian to win the U.S. Amateur and have his named inscribed upon the Havemeyer Trophy, downing UCLA sophomore Devon Bling, 6-and-5, on Aug. 19. Hovland, a 20-year-old senior at Oklahoma State, grabbed the lead for good in the final with a remarkable birdie on the par-4 fourth hole. With the hole playing 292 yards, he fanned his drive right of the green and the ball landed in a hazard, forcing Hovland to climb about 40 feet down a cliff to take his shot from the ice plant. Somehow, he pitched to within 3 feet, made the putt and never looked back. "That was just a hit-and-hope moment," Hovland said. He bolted to a 4-up lead after the first 18 holes, seizing control of the championship match by winning four straight holes midway through the morning round. Despite a partisan crowd behind him, Bling, an 18-year-old from Ridgecrest, couldn't mount a comeback in the afternoon of the scheduled 36-hole final. Hovland trailed after only one hole in six rounds of match play, and played just 102 holes, tying the U.S. Amateur record. "It's hard to top that," he said. "I just hope it's the start of something great." Norwegian Cruise USGA

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