LPGA Stars Highlight EWGA Conference
It’s the week of the women at Pinehurst Resort.
LPGA stars Annika Sorenstam, Kristy McPherson and Suzann Pettersen will visit Pinehurst this week giving clinics, playing a few holes and entertaining members of the Executive Women’s Golf Association during the annual conference being held at Pinehurst Resort.
The EWGA Golfpalooza, as the conference is now called, begins Wednesday with more than 400 women from throughout the United States and Canada gathering for four days of enjoying golf, renowned speakers and instructors, equipment demos and parties.
The EWGA was founded in 1991 and involves more than 100,000 women in the game. The organization teaches its members to play golf and enjoy the game for business and fun. It provides a wide range of golf, social and networking activities for both new and experienced golfers.
A 2009 survey of EWGA members conducted by the PGA of America found that the average EWGA member plays 32 rounds of golf per year and spends an average of $4,296 on golf activities, merchandise and golf-related travel.
There are 125 EWGA chapters in the country and, according to the survey, those chapters generate an average of $602,900 in golf-related spending annually. This represents almost $75 million to the golf industry.
The recently formed Sandhills Chapter of the EWGA is acting as host for the event, and more than 400 EWGA members will be in attendance during the four days.
Sorenstam, one of the greatest and most honored women golfers in history, is at least temporarily retired from the game and is now a mother. She will make her appearance at Pinehurst on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m., playing the back nine with four winners of an auction benefitting the EWGA Foundation.
In a 7 p.m. ceremony on the West Lawn, Sorenstam will be presented the EWGA Leadership Award.
Golf Digest senior editor Stina Sternberg will speak to the group on Thursday morning in the North Carolina Ballroom. Edward Griffin and Steve Bowsher will speak to a group in the South Room, and Karen Palacios-Jansen, managing editor of Golf Fitness Magazine, will give a talk on “Shape Up Your Game with Fitness” in the Carolina Hall.
Following lunch, members will gather for a golf industry panel discussion with Sternberg, LPGA Teachers and Club Professionals President Dana Rader, of Charlotte, golf course agronomist Tim Moraghan, and John Last, president of Sports and Leisure Research Group.
Pettersen will make her appearance that afternoon on the driving range, where she and Rader, one of the top instructors in the world and president and founder of Dana Rader Golf School at Ballantyne Resort in Charlotte, will give a clinic and talk about “capitalizing on consistency in your game.”
Pettersen, who has emerged as one of the LPGA’s superstars, is ranked No. 4 in the world in women’s golf.
LPGA professional Beth Bader will give a putting clinic, “Feel it, See it, Believe it,” and Charlie King, a PGA professional and author of instruction books, will direct a clinic titled, “Zone in on the Short Game.”
There will be a three-hour instruction and on-course play for new golfers with Bader on Friday morning, and in the afternoon a “Try, Test and Buy Fest” is being held on the main club driving range featuring the newest golf equipment from Adams Golf, Aldila, Callaway, Cleveland Golf, Cobra, Golf Pride, Nike and Ping.
The Demo Day is scheduled from 3-5 p.m. and the public is invited.
McPherson, an up-and-coming star from Conway, S.C., makes her appearance on Saturday at the golf exposition from 2:45-3:30 p.m., and the public is also invited to this. McPherson, who was the subject of a feature article by Beth Ann Baldry in GolfWeek recently, was a member of the winning United States Solheim Cup team last fall. Donations of $10 will be accepted for McPherson’s charity during the clinic.
The EWGA Conference will be followed next month by the ING Spring Conference, which will bring several hundred more visitors to Pinehurst Resort.
The International Network of Golf will hold its 20th anniversary outing at the resort May 9-13.
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