(March 14, 2021) - In the state of Connecticut, there are numerous playing opportunities for women golfers of all levels. From the beginner to the experienced tournament player, from the junior to the super senior there is an opportunity for everyone to get involved in golf.
Women looking to play more golf at various courses, meet new people with a similar love for the game, and have fun socializing and networking, can learn about the women's golf associations currently conducting their 2021 membership drives. The Connecticut Women's Golf Association (CWGA), Southern New England Women’s Golf Association (SNEWGA), and LPGA Amateur Golf Association present membership and playing opportunities for women golfers of all ages and abilities. Each organization is completely volunteer-run and they are all actively looking to increase their membership rosters and grow women's golf in Connecticut.
"We want to attract more younger women out of college who want to learn golf and provide them with networking opportunities," says LPGA Amateur Golf Association Central Chapter president Melissa Arora. "They can bring a lot to the table and are beneficial for the diversity of the group."
Growing the game among the state's junior players is also a top priority, in fact, it is part of the CWGA's mission as first-year president Lynn Lefler explains. "We feel that we can do more for junior girls and come up with more opportunities to play. Especially for the kids that fall between cracks of high school golf and the serious golf ability required for the Connecticut Women's Open and Connecticut Women's Amateur."
All three organizations faced difficult challenges in 2020 navigating the Covid pandemic but all were able to adapt to the circumstances, "we did cancel a few tournaments but we added two virtual tournaments a best-ball and a partners, Stableford event," said Lefler. "We had such a good turnout with the first one, that we ran a second one with proceeds going to the Priscilla Maxwell Endicott Scholarship Fund. We raised over $1,000 and we are going to do it again this year on May 21-22."
The only organization that didn't cancel any events due to Covid-19 was SNEWGA. Newly appointed SNEWGA President Debbie Johnson explained, "We did a really good job keeping all the events on the calendar [with some adjustments]. Spring and fall meetings turned into virtual meetings with no golf. Otherwise, things moved from spring to summer and the schedule was compressed, starting in June. Participation at events was up all season long."
Participation was up throughout all of golf in 2020. The game provided a safe, fun way to escape and get outside, and renew friendships, something that members of all three organizations already knew before the Covid pandemic, and something they hope potential new members will realize as well moving forward.
"We had a virtual zoom Spring open house and everyone chimed in that they have met close friends [at LPGA Amateur Golf Association events]," said Arora. "It is all about building relationships that last for a lifetime." Debbie Johnson concurs, that more than anything else, "SNEWGA offers the ability to gain friendships, and meet interesting people that are both fun to play with on the course, and hang out with afterwards."
CSGA Director of Women's Golf, Marsha Rupp, has close ties with each of the Women's Associations, facilitating communication and assisting with issues facing them all, such as the Covid-19 protocols for golf. She also assists with rules and handicap education as well as special projects including converting the groups from paper to electronic membership and tournament registration.
"I am consistently impressed by the high level of skill and dedication exhibited by all of the volunteers affiliated with these organizations," said Rupp. "They work diligently in the off-season with course procurement, and event planning and even harder in the golf season to bring women players a fun, high quality, memorable golf experience."
If you are looking for competitive tournament play with no membership obligation, the CSGA offers a four-event Women's Series and a match-play competition for junior girls, having taken over the administration of the Borck Memorial Junior (August 2-4) now in its 52nd year. The CSGA Women's Series includes the Parent Child Championship (May 10), open to men and women, the Connecticut Women's Open (June 7-8), the Connecticut Women's Amateur (July 20-21), and the Mixed Team Championship (August 23). Women are also eligible to compete in the popular One Day Series, and junior girls may try and qualify for the match play Junior Amateur held annually in July at Watertown Country Club. Registration for these championship events is currently open and can be found here.
About the CWGA: The CWGA offers a competitive and welcoming golf experience for women of CWGA member clubs with tournaments at various private and semi-private clubs across the state. The CWGA represents about 50 member clubs and boasts approximately 375 members from private and semi-private member clubs. Any woman who is an active golf member of a CWGA member club who is eligible to participate in golfing activities at her club without payment of additional greens fees and who has a USGA index of 25.0 or lower may apply for membership in the CWGA.
The CWGA supports junior girls golf with a Junior Girls Championship and maintains the Priscilla Maxwell Endicott Scholarship Fund. In 2020, the fund paid out approximately $36,000 to 17 women scheduled to graduate high school between 2021 and 2024.
Handicap Requirement: Must have a USGA index of 25.0 or lower to join.
Event Length: All 18 hole events, conducted weekday mornings from May to October.
Format of Play: Individual stroke play competitions, (gross/net) with several scrambles and team events. The CWGA conducts championships for individuals (match play), juniors, seniors, and super seniors. The CWGA also hosts a popular team cup competition with six teams based on geographic area vying for the Presidents Cup with matches during the latter part of the season.
Tournament Sign-Ups: Open Now. Click here for more information.
Membership: Open Now through October. For more information click here.
About SNEWGA: SNEWGA exists for the promotion of women’s golf in Connecticut and neighboring states with tournaments for women’s association members at various public, semi-private and private member clubs. In its 64th year, SNEWGA represents roughly 45 member clubs and boasts approximately 450 members from various public, semi-private and private member clubs.
Those eligible to join include any woman who is an active golf member of a SNEWGA member club. Individuals who are not part of a SNEWGA member club or ladies league affiliation are encouraged to join for a one-time/one-year introductory individual membership. Clubs must join SNEWGA as member clubs for a small fee. Competitions range from high-level to casual and fun.
Handicap Requirement: Required to join or compete in events.
Event Length: All 18 hole events, conducted weekday mornings from May to October and some weekends.
Format of Play: Individual stroke play competitions with (gross/net) with several team events. SNEWGA conducts championships for individuals, seniors, and super seniors. SNEWGA also hosts popular Spring Cup and Presidents Cup match play competitions.
Tournament Sign-Ups: Open Now. Click here for information.
Membership: Open Now. For more information click here.
About LPGA Amateur Golf Association: A perfect fit for golfers from beginner to intermediate that are looking for a fun, social, and casual place to play golf. Highlights of an LPGA Amateur Golf Association membership include an opportunity to network, golf education, instruction and clinics, leagues, outings, regional events, golf experiences, and trips. In addition, members plus one guest receive free access to all LPGA, Symetra, and LPGA Legends Tour events in the U.S. and Canada among other benefits. The LPGA Amateur Golf Association is for beginners to intermediate players with the ability to play 9 holes.
Handicap Requirement: Available and recommended with membership; not needed for 9 hole league events but required for some 18 hole events.
Event Length: The Central Connecticut Chapter conducts “9 & Dine” leagues on three weekday nights at Tunxis CC, Lyman Orchards GC, and Rockledge GC. On Saturday there is one 18 hole league at Lyman Orchards. The Fairfield County Chapter leagues play on weekday mornings and evenings, the 2021 schedule is forthcoming.
Format of Play: Individual stroke play leagues with emphasis on team scramble and team cup events; those events can advance to the regional and national level of play at great golf destinations such as Pinehurst Resort and PGA National GC.
League Sign-Ups: Open Now for Spring League. For more information click on the links below.
Membership: Open Now through March, late fees apply after March.