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

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. and for a few chuckles check out the Rickie Fowler video produced by the USGA @RickieFolwerPGA.


A Salute to Father’s Day

June 13, 2014

Sunday, June 15 is Father’s Day. So many women I meet across the EWGA organization have said that their parents, especially their dad’s, introduced them to the game of golf. How lucky we are! They are role models and sources of strength. They are wise, respected caretakers of the family when we were growing up.

I know my dad opened my eyes to many life experiences. He provided encouragement, wisdom and support throughout my life. And I know he is very proud of my accomplishments. I am sure you all have memories to share and reflect on how your father impacted your life. For many daughters, our fathers are the first men we adored and fell in love with. Even as adults, they serve as sources of strength, of experience and honest advice that is always in our best interest.

For this great figure in my life, I know that Sunday is a very special day to pay tribute to this very special man. I consider myself fortunate to still have my dad at the age of 85. Our tradition of watching the U.S. Open on TV will continue this Sunday. I don’t take his presence for granted. Each day he is here is a gift.

So, for all the fathers – enjoy your very special day! Happy Dad’s Day.

How do you celebrate Mother’s Day?

May 9, 2014

When you think of your mother, what words do you use to describe her?

Loving, nurturing, an advocate, a cheerleader, role model, successful, dynamic, juggler, multi-tasker, leader of the family… always there to support you?


For many of us Mother’s Day is  a day where we participate in dining out, a Sunday brunch perhaps, we bring flowers and send cards. We purchase a special gift. We even may play golf with our loved ones. It’s a day for reflection, appreciation and regard for a very special person.

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother’s Day

Whatever you choose to do to honor your mom is up to you.

So enjoy the celebration! This year is the 100th Anniversary of Mother’s Day.

Share your stories about your mom online using hashtag #golfmom.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother's Day Quote

Mother’s Day Quote

Posted in: Women, #golfmom, Mother's Day

As Golfers, What can we do to Respect the Environment?

April 22, 2014

Celebrating Earth Day – April 22, 2014

EWGA Headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens, FL celebrates Earth Day 2014!

EWGA Headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens, FL celebrates Earth Day 2014!

We all love this game. Is there something we do as golfers to have a considerable influence on the environment of the golf course?
Yes! Here are 5 easy steps we can all take:
1. Fix ball marks, rake bunkers, replace divots
2. Follow the directional signage on the golf course, don’t take short cuts
3. Respect and promote environmentally sensitive areas on the golf course property such as wetlands, water buffers, wildlife habitat corridors and gardens.
4. Support low maintenance in the out-of-play areas.
5. Embrace the “firm and fast” style for fairways. This style of conditioning enhances the game and can result in less water and chemical treatments.
And just like we are environmentally conscious in our everyday lives, consider being the same when playing a round of golf. Do you:
1. Recycle paper, bottles and cans?
2. Carry reusable water/beverage containers?
3. Walk the course when possible?
Just a few ideas as we celebrate Earth Day today. Everyone can make a difference. It just takes transferring an idea/concept into action.

Saluting Women!

March 8, 2014

In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, let’s reflect on who has been an influence on you. What is your favorite sisterhood celebratory moment or girl power achievement?

Have you had a chance to read EWGA’s Foundation book “Teeing Up For Success”? Thirty One extraordinary women share their insights and inspiration on how golf has made a difference in their lives and enabled so many others to reap benefits.

I’d like to recognize one of these authors, Marilyn Bunag. She epitomizes why EWGA empowers women and lives the mission of enriching women’s lives through golf. Marilyn is not a golfer. She was, however,  the recipient of the EWGA Foundation’s 2010 Women On Par® Scholarship award. She found us and we are so grateful she knocked on our door and we were there to open it and help her.

Marilyn Bunag, author in Teeing Up for Success

Marilyn Bunag, author Teeing Up for Success

As Marilyn has said “My life today would not be possible if others had not believed in me. EWGA awarded me the scholarship and didn’t even know me. I learned about it from searching the internet looking for scholarship opportunities for non-traditional women. And I was that – a low income, adult woman looking for assistance.

She is a single mother of four. She first earned her associate degree at City College of San Francisco and then her bachelor’s degree while working and rearing her family. She is now a program manager at Arriba Juntos (Upward Together) a non-profit agency that provides tools for women challenged by domestic abuse, drug addiction and poverty and empowers them to get on their feet, earn degrees and join the workforce. EWGA opened a door that made a difference in her life.

Arriba Juntos Logo

Arriba Juntos

She recounts, “I have traveled down roads that led to nowhere, but I’m proof that it is never too late to change the direction of your life. I have been granted a second chance and I am making the most of it. I am a woman making productive choices in life. My college diploma hangs on the wall and it’s the first thing I see when I step in the house. Now I work with women who were just like me. “

Marilyn often cites a quote from Milton Berle, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” Some people do have barriers in life when it comes to opportunity and maybe their path is not as easy as it is for some, but I can honestly say that anyone can find a way to build their own door to reach goals.”

So on Saturday, March 8, think of who has inspired you. Whose lives have you touched and how you are making a difference. Read her story. Marilyn is an inspiration to us.

In honor of this special celebratory day, you can download a complimentary copy of Teeing Up For Success on Kindle – just for this one day.

Here’s to belonging and loving your Association!

February 13, 2014

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone! While we will be wishing our heartfelt greetings and sharing our passions with our loved ones this week, did you know that EWGA members also love their organization too?

During this I “heart” golf month for EWGA members, I want to share with you an article I thought you all might enjoy from the American Society of Association Executives Daily News Journal about why people love their respective associations. Here it is.

“Happy Valentine’s Day Eve. In honor of this beloved, or not so beloved, holiday, and taking inspiration from this Washington Post article on 14 reasons to love DC, here are 14 reasons to love associations:

1. They tap the volunteer spirit. More than 92 percent of association members reported volunteering within their associations or other organizations, according to a 2008 survey published in ASAE’s Decision to Volunteer. That’s compared to the 26.5 percent of the U.S. population that reported volunteering in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“It’s not hard to look around and see the impact that associations have on our community, and that work is really driven by volunteers,” Debra Ben Avram, CEO of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, told Associations Now. “We as a community have really embraced volunteers as a part of our workforce. Valuing volunteers and volunteering as a part of our organizational culture is a wonderful representation of that legacy.”

2. They’re creative. Associations such as the American Chemical Society come up with innovative ideas like putting their strategic plans on trifold cards that fit easily into members’ pockets.

3. They connect us. Last year, as part of a month-long, statewide Tech Tour, staff members of the North Carolina Technology Association traveled throughout the state meeting with members and hosting roundtables with industry partners and leaders to discuss technology issues and illustrate how the industry is helping North Carolina’s economy.

4. They can help you get dressed. This one really only applies if you work for one, but, love them or hate them, staff shirts or conference apparel make getting ready in the morning a whole lot easier.

5. They can help you find a job. The International Franchise Association, for example, expanded its VetFran program two years ago to help returning veterans become franchise owners. The goal of the new program—Operation Enduring Freedom—is to bring 75,000 veterans and military spouses, and 5,000 wounded vets, into the industry as franchise owners by the end of 2014.

“What we heard over and over again was that what veterans need most when they return is a job,” Beth Solomon, IFA vice president of strategic initiatives, told Associations Now. “Many vets who return may not be in a position to be franchise business owners right away. What they really need is a place to start.”

6. They help us do our jobs better. Take the National Science Teachers Association, for example. Last year NSTA released three iPad-ready e-books designed to help science teachers become more familiar with content they were teaching but lacked extensive training in.

“There are a lot of teachers, especially in the elementary- and middle-school levels, that may not have the content expertise in a particular science content area, but they are expected to teach it. The more comfortable they become with the content, the more effectively they’ll be able to teach it in the classroom,” Leisa Clark, producer/director of e-learning production at NSTA, told Associations Now.

7. They like to meet, and meetings help the economy. There was a 9 percent increase in meetings’ contribution to GDP between 2009 and 2012, according to the Convention Industry Council. That increase provided $115 billion to the economy.

8. They like to reinvent themselves. It seems like every week there is an association rebranding itself to better serve its membership.

9. They can match you with a mentor. Everyone from CEOs to young professionals is looking for a mentor, and many associations are helping create successful matches both within and outside their membership. Last year, the Boston Product Management Association launched a partnership with Harvard Business School pairing BPMA members and HBS students in mentor/mentee relationships that benefited both parties.

“Both the mentors and the students benefit from this,” BPMA President Sarela Bliman-Cohen told Associations Now. “Most of these students have never been in product management, so they may have a lot of ideas and strategy but they haven’t had hands-on experience, and the mentors come with hands-on experience. The mentors, on the other hand, will get a chance to work with potential start-ups as well as audit the HBS product management class. It’s a good symbiotic relationship.”

10. They provide a voice. When the federal government shut down last fall, or when federal agencies and programs were grappling with the effects of sequestration, associations were out there advocating for their members and the public.

11. They make us feel welcome. At the California Dental Association, “member concierge” Terry Fong, calls all new members individually to welcome them to the organization. It’s part of an effort to create personal connections, and even the initially skeptical eventually warm up to the calls.

“I always frame it as, ‘I’m the member concierge here, and we’re here to help you, and I know that you’re very busy, but what I’m trying to do is collect some information here to complete a profile on you,’” Fong told Associations Now. “That’s the word I use, and they’ve been open to that.”

12. They offer some pretty great benefits. Travel awards for conference attendees. Research tools and funding. A salary calculator. Legal advice. It’s hard to choose which of these may be the best benefit ever, but they are all some of the perks associations are offering their members.

13. They make learning fun. At the High Technology Crime Investigators Association (HTCIA) International Conference last year, attendees got a chance to compete against one another and test their skills as cybercrime investigators via an updated game of Capture the Flag.

“We don’t want everyone just to become complacent and think, ‘We’re going to be sitting there and listening to people speak,’” Maria Noboa, a member of HTCIA’s marketing committee, told Associations Now. “So we thought this challenge would be a great way to kick off the event and educate people in a fun, engaging way.”

14. This one’s up to you.”

So, why do you love the EWGA?