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Latinas In Connecticut Form Golf League

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Annika Darling/CTLatinoNews

Estela Segarra shares her passion for golf and creates a safe place for Latinas to come swing a club.

Golf was always something she wanted in her life and when Estela Segarra came to the U.S. she knew she had to make it happen…somehow.

Growing up in Mexico, Segarra honed her golf skills as a young girl (since the age of 8) and competed throughout her life in numerous tournaments, earning top spots. After coming to the U.S. in 2007 she said to herself: “I have to be involved in golf, because in America it is very popular and this is a skill I can use.”

Her first stop was Goodwin Park Golf Course in Hartford, Conn. “It was like fate,” she says. When she walked onto the course and met Bobby Powell she knew she was “blessed to know someone like that.” He pointed her to the director, whose secretary was Puerto Rican and still struggling with English, Segarra saw it as a sign. She was able to discuss her ambitions with the secretary who relayed them to the director, who in turn allowed her to become a volunteer.

But volunteering was not the end of her ambitions. Nor did she know exactly where her passion for golf would take her.

Today, Segarra is in the process of bringing together a group of Latina golfers so they can learn the joy of swinging a golf club. The details are still be sorted out, but the goal is clear: to bring together Latinas into an environment where they feel safe and not intimidated to learn the sport of golf. But not just Latinas, says Segarra, “Every woman is invited. We don’t want to exclude anyone.”

Because “excluded” is what she has felt in the past, and she isn’t about to repeat that mistake. “I felt intimidated when I first came here to play,” she says, “You know how it is here. A lot of the woman would not talk to me, but I just did what I knew and I focused on my game and eventually I was accepted. I have had amazing experiences and, since, have made great friends.”

It is this intimidation factor that Segarra hopes to relieve with her new Connecticut Latina Golf Team. She also is driven by her desire to pass on her love of golf. Finding joy in teaching others golf is Segarra’s sweet spot in life. “I just love it, and I love teaching others about it. And I have confidence in my ability as a coach. I am a good coach.”

It is this confidence that has helped guide her through many obstacles as a Latina golfer, and now she brings her strength to others. Her passion to share her love with others has led Segarra to introduce many of her friends to golf as well as her 5-year-old son. “When he was 4 years old I bought him a legit golf set and he just loved it. I have always loved sharing my passion for golf, and I hope to do that with the women of this group as well.”

The CT Latina Golf Team will have the opportunity to learn all about golf, and will consist of classes for beginners to advanced golfers. She has enlisted two professional golfers to help with the cause: Peter Seaman and Joe Mentz. “We will take turns and split up the group as we see fit, so we can focus on the different levels.”

The idea to create this team came organically when she played at a fundraising tournament. There she met Lina Rodriguez, another Latina golfer, and the two hit it off straight away. “She invited me to come play with her, and I said ‘OK’ but I knew where she played and there aren’t a lot of Latinas there and I said, ‘You know what would be great, if we got more Latinas to come play with us.’”

Rodriguez loved the idea and they have been working towards this goal ever since. They also enlisted fellow Latina golfer Carmen Sierra to head the mission with them. “I adore both of these women and they are both on board to make this happen.”

They hope to kickoff the season for the CT Latina Golf Team in May and play through August.

To learn more about Segarra’s Latina Golf Team visit her Facebook page: CT Latinas Golf Team

 

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