August 18, 2020
Haggin Oaks Women’s Mentor League
by Dianna Stein
For the casual woman golfer, it can be intimidating to take the step from hitting balls and putting on the practice green to actually teeing off on the first tee. As this pandemic continues to redefine what is the new normal in our daily lives, more women are turning to golf as a way to stay physically and mentally healthy through these challenging times. To help transition them from the technical instruction part of the game, Linda Reid, Women’s Golf Ambassador at Haggin Oaks Golf Club, has created a program at the Sacramento-based complex that is nothing short of amazing.
I arrived early to see for myself what was attracting 60 women on a Wednesday morning for nine holes of golf. Linda has recruited 17 volunteers that mentor these motivated ladies who want to improve their comfort level on the golf course. She pairs them up with these experienced golfers who spend their time explaining to the students not how to swing the club, but the things that are just as important in the overall game of golf: How to improve your pace of play, course management, where to mark your ball, why you NEVER walk in the line of another person’s putt, proper club selection, and that quiet means quiet when someone else is setting up their next shot.
The energy surrounding this early morning gathering is contagious. The welcoming staff at Haggin Oaks, from the PGA Director of Golf Mike Woods, to the cart personnel, understand that this is a group to welcome and respect from a business standpoint as well as from a golfer’s viewpoint. Not only does the Wednesday morning gathering fill up fast, Linda Reid has also created a Thursday evening “Business Women’s” program, with an energetic group of ladies steadily showing up every week to finish off their busy day relaxing and enjoying the camaraderie of each other’s company, while honing their golf game in the cool evenings of the Central Valley.
Linda gave me the opportunity to tee off on this crisp Wednesday morning with some of the new golfers as the volunteers cheered them on. They are masters at creating a fun atmosphere as they mentor them through each hole. And as is evident by the women who continue to volunteer, it is rewarding to these accomplished golfers to help bridge the gap of sending these ladies off on a new challenge: Mastering the game of golf, because as all of us know who have been at this sport for a while, your first par, or your first straight drive, or your first long successful putt, inspires all of us to believe that we will someday be “that” golfer if we just put in the time and effort. What we have learned through our years of perfecting our game is that it is the challenge and the relationships and the diversity and the highs and lows that really make the game of golf a lifelong masterpiece.
To learn more about the Haggin Oaks Mentor Program, visit www.hagginoaks.com