Winter golf events targeted at women
As women's golf continues to grow in Yuma, so do the number of tournaments and events for the ladies of the links.
Cocopah RV & Golf Resort will be one of six courses in the state to host a Join The Fun Scramble event at 2 p.m. Saturday as part of Arizona Women's Golf Association month. The AWGA-sponsored day is just the first of a handful of clinics, tournaments and golfing get-togethers in the Yuma area during the next three months specifically for women of all ages and skill levels.
"The Join The Fun scramble is an attempt to get all the ladies who play golf together to meet one another and have fun," Yuma golfer Anita Ponton said. "We want new beginners to come out too and realize it is a fun sport and associate them with new people."
Beginners will be paired with experienced golfers for the nine-hole event. Cost is $45 and includes a prime rib dinner and a $10 Cocopah certificate. Registrations are available online or by contacting the resort at 343-1663.
"Every lady is going to get just about all their money back. There will be tons of ways to win prizes," Cocopah RV & Golf head pro Mark Croft said. "This is not just for winter visitors. We want women from all walks of life to get involved."
Croft, whose focus on women's and junior golf programs was featured in the October issue of PGA Magazine, has organized the 2nd Annual Ladies Golf Summit to be conducted by LPGA teaching professionals.
"It's a great experience," said Eva Mendel, who attended last year's summit. "I don't know what the difference is between having a lady over and guy teacher, but it seems like we're more comfortable. The ladies know what our issues are, and I personally benefitted from the lessons at the summit."
The summit is set for Dec. 2, 3 and 4 at Cocopah. Last year's instructor Erin Szekely (Carnation, Wash.) will be joined by Kim Coleman (San Diego) next month to run clinics on everything from driving to putting and play practice rounds. Private lessons will also be available.
"It's wide open to everyone," Croft said. "In fact, we're holding five spots for the nine-hole rounds and 10 spots for the 18-hole rounds until 72 before the event because we have enough ladies at the resort that would like to give others the opportunity to play."
Women golfers with an established handicap can also participate in the 35th Annual Greater Yuma Women's Open on Nov. 23 and 24 at the Mesa del Sol and Desert Hills Golf Courses. Play starts at 9 a.m. at Mesa de Sol and an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start the following day. Entry fee is $100 and includes a continental breakfast, and registrations are available at any local pro shop or by contacting Connie Chapman at 928-210-8987.
"We're hoping the gals from Coyote Wash and Wellton come out and participate in this championship tournament," Mendel said. "But we're all keen on getting more women golfers into the game, especially in Yuma with the winter visitors. It's a great opportunity to be out and socializing with other women in the context of a challenging game."
Cocopah and Desert Hills will host the first women's only Colorado River Pro-Am on Jan. 30 and 31. Also new to the list of events in town is a "Get Ready Golf" camp scheduled for the first week of February, where beginner and intermediate-level golfers can participate in a six-person class for two hours on instruction in the morning or afternoon.
"All these events are just for women, and there's a lot of ladies that want the opportunity to play," Croft said. "We're one of the few places in the nation that does these types of things, and we want to make them even bigger and better. Our tribal chairwoman (Sherry Cordova) and all the tribal government has been very supportive of us to have this golf course and put together all of our women's events."
Upcoming Women's Golf Events
Nov. 14: AWGA Ladies Fun Day @ Cocopah Golf Resort
Nov. 23 -24: Ladies City Championship @ Mesa del Sol and Desert Hills
Dec. 2 - 4: 2nd Annual Ladies Golf Summit @ Cocopah Golf Resort
Jan. 30 - 31: Ladies Only Colorado River Pro-Am @ Desert Hills and Cocopah Golf Resort
Feb. 1- 5: PGA Ladies "Get Ready Golf Camp" @ Cocopah Golf Resort