Women In Golf History

by Victoria Minor
Women in Golf was an idea which was born out of the desire for women to get to know each other better and to play more golf together. Therefore, Women in Golf was organized in 1985 under the leadership of WSGA President, Fred Parker. The organization was first named Aid to Women Golfers. The idea of an organization designed specifically with women in mind was widely accepted by women in both the Northern and Southern Areas. Victoria Minor was appointed Chairperson representing the Northern Area women and Earnestine Abraham was appointed Chairperson for the Southern Area.

Both, Victoria Minor and Earnestine Abraham met with the women in their respective areas to introduce the concept. It was enthusiastically welcomed by all. The Chairwomen were asked to write WSGA guidelines for the organization. Having achieved that goal, copies were given to the WSGA Secretary to present to the Board of Directors for its approval. The guidelines were approved by the Board.

The Northern area began to organize by electing officers: a secretary, treasurer, and a tournament chairperson were put in place. Our ultimate goal at that time was to encourage women to play golf. Clinics were held for all levels of women golfers. We had help from Pros at the driving range and the men from our Golf Clubs were very helpful with basic instructions of the game. We held modified tournaments with an advanced golfer in each group to help beginners with rules and how to move the game. We saw progress and great interest from our efforts and women began to join the WSGA Clubs in the Northern area. We also saw stronger and more united Golf Clubs in the area. Our next effort was to work on uniting the Northern and Southern women. Out of this idea the North/South Shootout was born but not named.

Our first trial run was held in Fresno, CA in the late 1980’s. It was a great beginning. Earnestine Abraham retired in 1990 after a wonderful five years of service. Millie Chadwick was then chosen as Chairperson for the Southern Area.

In 1990 the first serious Shootout was held and so named under the leadership of Millie Chadwick and Victoria Minor. The site for this tournament was Black Lake Golf Resort in Nipomo, CA. It was hosted by the Northern Area Women. Esther Wilson was the Tournament Coordinator. This tournament generated much love and respect between all of the women and a wonderful time was had by all. It was at this tournament that the decision was made to alternate the hosting of the tournament; i.e. this year the north, next year the south. The 1991 Shootout was hosted by the Southern Area women proving that the alternate year of hosting was a good idea because it enabled us to learn from each other and to improve on our year of hosting. Gus Robinson who was WSGA President in 1990 gave the women his wholehearted support, even to treating the women with his hearty gumbo. He was present with us every year as long as he was in office, never missing the Shootouts. Victoria Minor retired in the early 90’s and Esther Wilson agreed to take the position of Aid to Women Golfers in the Northern Area. I cannot write of all the wonderful work done by Faye Williams and B.J. Braswell during Esther Wilson’s tenure, we all saw it and I hope it will be included in the history that is still being made in this organization. Someone will write the next chapters and others are living and working the next chapters.