MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
Grass flew through the air as iron chopped off a top layer of the ground. Hands clenched tightly on the grip as the driver sent the white golf ball soaring across the course. With the ball closer to the hole, the competitors moved toward their new shooting location to putt. The player took a deep breath, exhaled, and then gently putted the ball. Silence filled the air as the ball rolled toward the hole, another second went by before it finally dropped in. The first hole of the nine-hole game was completed, the scores were tallied and the competition continued.
The Desert Winds Golf Course hosted the first Ladies Golf League March 10 with an opening game on the course. The league is open to all women, on or off base, who wish to participate in the league’s games every Monday at 10 A.M.
“We just started to realize that there were a growing number of women who were very interested in playing golf but wanted to become better and learn,” said Chuck Mastropoalo, manager, Desert Winds Golf Course. “We wanted to give women a day to come out here and learn while they’re having fun playing golf without the stress of being rushed by others behind them.”
Some of the players are beginners and are happy to see that a league like this one can be run on base for the women who are interested in playing and learning.
“I just started a month ago because it was something me and my husband can play together,” said Pamela Crane, participant, Ladies Golf League. “It’s a challenging sport but I don’t get too frustrated because I know I’m new and I will get better. It’s just nice to see how supportive the staff and players are for the league.”
Although the grand opening and sign-ups have already passed, women interested in the league may still come and participate.
“I just want the league to keep growing,” Mastrpoalo said. “My goal for this league is to reach 40 competitors before the league ends.”
Reasons between players may be different for playing golf, but everyone who plays has set goals to become better at the sport.
“This sport is one of the most difficult and one truly never masters the technique,” Crane said. “One of the most difficult obstacles when trying to improve in golf is dealing with inconsistency from course to course and trying to keep a good swing throughout the day. These challenges however are also what make it fun.”
The league is scheduled to conclude in September but coordinators have high hopes for the progress.
“I want the first season of this league to be very successful so that it can get longer and attract more players,” Mastrpoalo said. “We invite all women, no matter the skill level, to come and play golf whether that be competitively or to even just learn how it is played.”