Golf, business interests merge in EWGA

The name “Executive Women’s Golf Association” can be a little misleading, in that it suggests a cert
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The name “Executive Women’s Golf Association” can be a little misleading, in that it suggests a certain exclusivity that doesn’t actually exist.

You don’t have to be a Fortune 500 CEO to join, in fact, all you need is a set of golf clubs and a desire to interact with women golfers of all abilities and ages.

The Albany/Capital Region chapter of the national EWGA offers leagues, outings and clinics throughout the year, with a side benefit being the chance to establish and cultivate business contacts, if that’s what you want.

Otherwise, EWGA members enjoy the opportunity to play some of the best courses in the Capital Region and beyond.

“It’s an opportunity for women to learn and play golf, for business and life,” Capital Region EWGA president Robin Raco said.

Even if the spring weather has been slow to kick in, April promises to be a busy month for EWGA, with several clinics and outings scheduled.

The association will have a Bermuda golf cruise in conjunction with the Northern New Jersey chapter, women’s nights out at Golf Galaxy and the Crown Plaza hotel, and the leagues, of which there are 12, will begin later in the month.

Some of the leagues are already closed, but there are openings. The groups are small, from 12 to 16 players, and mostly tee off from 4:45-6 p.m., but there is a 7 a.m. league at Capital Hills at Albany on Wednesdays.

Classic membership dues are $100 for renewing members and $125 for new members, and there is an executive membership for $325 (new members) that has added benefits like complimentary general admission to LPGA Tour events.

The Capital Region chapter started in 1995 and saw a surge in membership about eight years ago from about 50-70 women to over 200 today.

Schenectady Municipal has been added as a league site for the first time this year, although that league is full, and EWGA also plays at Hiawatha Trails, Stadium, Capital Hills, Mill Road Acres, Fairways at Halfmoon and Orchard Creek.

EWGA will also have casual play outings at courses like Town of Colonie, Airway Meadows, Saratoga National and Frear Park.

The two big local outings will be the annual Breast Cancer Classic at Mohawk Golf Club on July 14 and the chapter championship at Town of Colonie on July 20.

“We have a nice collaboration with the Northeastern New York PGA,” Raco said. “Most of us work with a specific pro anyway, but we’ve built a nice rapport with about 90 percent of the local pros.

“We have a ton of events, and some of them are casual, so they’re a little cheaper.”

The Breast Cancer Classic is one of the highlights of the season and will celebrate its 10-year anniversary this year.

Capital Region EWGA has raised over $200,000 for breast cancer treatment and research and has made an effort to distribute the money to local hospitals and organizations.

“We’re at Mohawk this year, and we’ve been at courses like Shaker Ridge; we try to get a course that is hard to get to play for some people,” Raco said.

Other big events include a two-day dinner/golf outing at Foxwoods on May 17-18, and, for executive members, a trip to Broadmoor in Colorado Springs May 4-7.

It’s events like that that can help professional women accelerate their business careers.

“We have such a large section, so you can do a lot of networking,” Raco said. “You can learn everything from how to dress and grow your business and use golf in business.”

Qualifiers from the Capital Region chapter championship on July 20 at Town of Colonie will go on to the Northeastern section championship at the Ledges Golf Club in York, Maine on Aug. 16, followed by the national finals at Aloha, Ore., on Sept. 26-27.

Kim Lloyd of the Capital Region EWGA made it to the first flight at nationals last year

and has automatically qualified for this year’s championship.

SCHEDULE

April 20-27 — Bermuda Golf Cruise with Northern New Jersey chapter; 22 — Women’s Night Out at Golf Galaxy, 7-9 p.m.; 23 — Bellevue’s 23rd Women’s Night Out at the Crowne Plaza; 29 — New and potential members’ orientation at 12 Hawthorne Court, Loudonville; TBA — League captains meeting, leagues begin.

May 4-7 — Executive Members at Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo.; 17-18 — Lake of Isles event at Foxwoods with Northeastern chapters; 20 — May Day Happy Hour at the Delmar Bootery; TBA — New and potential members orientation at 12 Hawthorne Court, Loudonville.

June 1-3 — Executive members On Course with the EWGA at Ritz Carlton at Reynolds Plantation, Ga.; TBA — Three-Club Tournament at Capital Hills; 10 — Evening networking and shopping at Saratoga National GC; 13 — Networking luncheon at Wolferts Roost, “Golf Rules and Etiquette,” noon-1:15 p.m.; 27 — Scramble at U.S. Women’s Open in Minneapolis.

July 14 — Breast Cancer Classic at the Mohawk Golf Club; Chapter Championship at the Town of Colonie Golf Course (rain date: July 27).

August 5 — After Work Scramble at Capital Hills; 16 — EWGA Northeastern Sectional Championship at The Ledges Golf Club, York, Maine.

September 19 — Networking luncheon at Wolferts Roost, putting tips, noon-1:15 p.m.; 26-27 — EWGA Championship Finals at Aloha, Ore.; TBA — League Challenge at Saratoga Spa Course and Par 29.

October 26-28 — Executive Members On Course with the EWGA Silverado in Napa Valley, Calif.; TBA — National getaway Weekend with Boston Chapter at Green Mountain; Inter-Chapter Challenge at Saratoga National GC.

November 11 — Dinner honoring EWGA volunteers at Wolferts Roost CC.

December 12 — Networking luncheon; 19 — Holiday party.

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