When longtime golfer Estella Segarra thought there might be an interest in golf among Latinas in the state, she might not have imagined how right she was. She wanted to create a friendly environment for Latinas to play golf, learn the game and network.
Her first step, connecting with two leading Hartford Latinas, Lena Rodriquez and Carmen Sierra to get the idea off the ground and recruit players. Segarra said, “Lena, Carmen and I started calling friends who then called their friends this past spring to recruit potential golfers. We also worked with the golf pros at Goodwin Park Golf Course in Hartford to provide a solid experience.
Sierra said, “It’s amazing to see within a short period how we were able to organize a powerful and successful CTLGT! Over 90 powerful, intelligent and fun women, demonstrated their interest in learning how to play golf. Golf can be intimidated and hard game to play but we all were ready for the challenge. We all successfully overcame our fears and are learning the game of golf!
While some of the women had played before, many had not. Clinics were offered that taught the fundamentals of golf by the professional golf staff at Goodwin Park Golf Course. Segarra proudly states, “ When many of them came to the first clinic they didn’t know much about golf and after about five months they have became golfers! I see their passion about golf with their commitment and dedication.”
She adds, “We love to encourage and support each other and I think that’s why our team is successful.”
The organizers also credit the Goodwin Park Golf staff. Sierra said, “We developed a strong partnership with Goodwin Park Coaches/staff. They learned a lot about who we are and how much we love golf. There were days of rain but there was no such thing as bad weather for us, only inappropriate clothing. The clinics were always well attended.”
Plans are already underway for next year, Segarra said. They will continue to help introduce golf to more Latinas in Connecticut and eventually start a Latina league. About 30 of the women are ready to be more competitive and they are also playing in other golf courses in Connecticut. Some have participated in fundraising tournaments.
Segarra adds, “I’m very proud of how much we have accomplished with our team. I was the only Latina playing golf in a couple golf leagues last year but today there are more Latinas learning and playing golf and soon they will join other leagues and represent our community.”
Future plans also include offering a program to introduce golf to Latino children and youth. Golf, Segarra states is a sport where children can learn great values such as; courtesy, integrity, sportsmanship, honesty, optimism, respect, responsibility and other values. I have been training my five years old son and he loves golf. “It’s all about enjoying the game, learning and having fun, I’m very excited about this new chapter for our team and I think that we can be mentors for the children and youth that want to learn this wonderful sport,” adds Segarra.
The season for the CT Latina Golf team ended last week, but due to weather they will play their last scramble today. To learn more about the CT Latina Golf Team, contact Estela Segarra at 860-543-2107 or firstname.lastname@example.org