The eLeader Program in Action!
The LPGA*USGA Girls Golf eLeader Program is a volunteer program for girls, ages 13 - 18 looking to help their local site. 2016 marked a successful inaugural year with more than 100 girls enrolling and volunteering as eLeaders, averaging over 20 hours per volunteer, and over 25 Girls Golf Sites participating! This program will train our girls on how to be leaders. Although it is a national program, we have been using this model for years at Greater Newark Girls Golf. Nicole Eager, who is now a sophomore in college, coordinated our Pitch and Putt program while she was also a member of Girls Golf while in High School. Each month we award the eLeader of the Month to the girls most involved. Congrats to all. It is your dedication to Girls Golf that makes this program a success.
Check Out Our Very Own DCP Qualifiers!
Click the link below to see Sirina and Megha compete.
Congratulations to Janeyce!
Janeyce Murphy receives the Unsung Hero Award for Varsity golf 2018! Way to go Janeyce!!
A Member Experience by Megha Ganne
My name is Megha Ganne, and I’m eleven years old. I participated in the Drive, Chip and Putt Finals 2015 held at Augusta National Golf Club. Knowing that Augusta National was one of the significant places for golf, I was absolutely thrilled to play there. Personally meeting the famous people in golf was unbelievable.
I had to gather some skill and luck to qualify for Augusta. There were three stages of qualifying: local, sub-regional, and regional. Only one winner from each regional gets to go to Augusta. At each qualifying stage, you get to hit three drives, three chips, and three putts. Those nine shots are what I would consider the most mentally challenging shots that I ever played. At the local and sub-regional tournaments I had it under control, but when I stepped up to hit my first drive in the regional competition I felt the nerves. I had absolutely no experience with this pressure especially since I knew that these nine shots are the ones that could take me to Augusta. On the tee box, I got ready to hit my first drive and looked at the forty yard wide fairway. I did my usual routine and swung the club. The ball flew in the air and landed dead center of the fairway. I did the same for the other two drives as well. After the drive part my nerves went away. I did great in chipping and putting. I had to wait a while for the other players to finish, before I found out that I won.
The two weeks before the Masters at Augusta, I practiced as much as I could as it was still winter and very cold. My coach Katie Brenny and my dad prepared me for everything, even the pressure. Katie talked to me a lot about the pressure. I knew that I had to be prepared for that, especially since it’ll be even harder with the gallery of people watching and the TV cameras rolling. An interesting exercise with Katie was when I chip, she would squat down about a foot off the line of where my ball is supposed to pass. That was intense. I didn’t hit her once, fortunately.
The day to fly came. My mom, dad, and sister accompanied me. I was on the plane and was ready for Augusta. I was in it to win, and so was someone else on the plane. I took my seat and saw somebody familiar heading down the aisle towards me. It was Martin Kaymer!.. the reigning US Open Champion. He was going to Augusta for the Masters tournament. He took his seat right in front of mine. My dad introduced me to Martin. I was completely shy and probably said about a total of fifteen words to him. He was very nice, asked me a few questions, told me about how fast the greens were at Augusta and gave me a whole box of golf balls.
The first night at Augusta, the Players Dinner was held at the Marriott ballroom. When I entered the room the first person I saw and recognized was Dr. Condoleezza Rice. I got to talk to her and then got a picture with her. I went to my table and I couldn’t sit down. There were so many people I wanted to see and meet. In time, I interacted with many including Billy Payne, Derek Sprague, Charlie Rymer, Paul Levy, Michael Breed, Damon Hack. It was so amazing to meet all these people, especially the ones I see on golf channel regularly. The dinner evening went by so quickly.
The next day was the competition, the real thing. A van took me and nine other girls in my age group from the hotel to Augusta National Golf Club. We entered through the gate that said "members only". As we drove down Magnolia Lane I was looking at the beautiful trees and flowers and the perfectly cut grass. When we arrived at the clubhouse, we were welcomed by men in green jackets and cameras followed us all the way. First, we headed to the Driving competition. As I wait for my turn to go, I see Martin Kaymer again, walking towards me. He came over to watch me. He gave me a high- five, wished me good luck and gave me two tees to use. It was my turn to hit. I stepped up to the tee box, behind me were about five hundred people and the TV crew with cameras from golf channel. I still felt no pressure and no nerves.
I hit two drives, only the best drive counts. I sliced my first drive and the ball is off the fairway. To my surprise, for the second drive I do the exact same thing. After all the other girls finish their turns, I am in the last place on the leaderboard. On the way to the chipping area I told my dad that I was determined to win the chipping contest. So I shook off the bad drives and went to chipping. My first chip was amazing, three feet from the hole. My second was also good four feet away. Two other girls get their chips a little better than me. I was fine that I did my best. I finished third in chipping. Then came the putting competition on the 18th green, probably the hardest. The greens were like glass, I was not used to it at all. I watched the first few girls go and their putts went super short or super long. I was the fourth to go, so I had a slight idea of what to expect. My first putt wasn’t amazing but it wasn’t bad either. I was hoping for slightly better. The second putt was good. When I was done with putting I didn’t know how to feel, I wasn’t used to the greens but the putts still weren’t as good as I hoped. I finished fourth in putting.
I knew that I didn’t win. But I was proud of myself for how I came back in the chipping and putting. After a little bit I realized that this trip was more the experience and then I remembered all the positive things about it. I worked really hard and was fortunate to meet so many people, made friends with a pro golfer and came to one of the best golf courses in the world. Making it this far was an accomplishment. I am thankful for the opportunity and the support from friends and family. Also special thanks to all the people who helped me along the way, including my coaches, the pros at Galloping Hills, Weequahic and the LPGA Girls Golf. I hope that I have the chance to go back to Augusta National again and win!
Member Experience by Anne Cerria
My name is Annie Cerria and I have been participating in Girl’s Golf Greater Newark for over 5 years now. I am a freshman at Westfield High School, and I recently tried out for my high school’s golf team. I must confess that I was very nervous for the tryout, but I ended up doing great. For the tryout, we played a few holes in front our coach, and she looked at our swings on the driving range. I found out the next day that I had made the team! In total, there are 10 girls on our team. We practice everyday after school at Echo Lake Country Club in Westfield. For our first two practices, we played 9 holes in groups of three, and handed in our scores to our coach. The top 5 scorers on the team will attend our matches against other high schools, as we are only allowed to take 5 to each match. I strongly encourage every single girl to try out for their high school team once they are old enough. It has been an amazing experience so far. It has made me a better player, and I know it will build lasting friendships. I am very excited for this season, and for the rest of my high school golf career! The Girl’s Golf program has helped improve my golf game and my overall character, and I will definitely use the skills I have learned from the program throughout high school, and the rest of my life.