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PGA WEST® & The Citrus Club: Women’s Golf Groups Forge Skills and Friendship


From left: Brenda McQuiggan, Paulette Rosenberry, GeorgeAnn Goellner and Karen Isaacs of PGA WEST LGA

In 1867, a significant milestone in golf history took place at the esteemed St. Andrews Club in Scotland, as a group of local women founded The St. Andrews Ladies Golf Club, now known as the St. Andrews Ladies’ Putting Club.

 

Twenty-five years later, in 1892, Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, New York made history as the first American golf club to admit women as members right from its inception.

 

Fast forward more than 125 years, and according to the National Golf Foundation (2023), nearly 7 million women are now playing golf, marking a 25% increase since 2019. Women constitute 41% and 37% of beginners and juniors, respectively, within the overall golfing population.

 

In line with this upward trend, PGA WEST® and The Citrus Club have established vibrant ladies’ 18- and 9-hole golf groups, highlighting the growing interest in and participation of women in the sport. Let’s take a closer look at these dynamic women’s golf groups!

 

The Club at PGA WEST: Ladies’ Golf Association (LGA) (18 holes)


Brenda McQuiggan

“We had 30 new members join our golf group this year, bringing our total membership to approximately 250 women,” says PGA WEST LGA President Brenda McQuiggan who relocated from Orange County, California to PGA WEST in 2016. Originally from Iowa, Brenda played on the girls’ golf team in high school. Later, she joined an Executive Women’s Golf Association chapter (now the LPGA Amateur Golf Association) when her company transferred her to California. Brenda joined the LGA Board in 2017, initially serving as membership chair.




The PGA WEST LGA hosts fun and competitive tournaments every Tuesday from November through May and offers a variety of events and games—from scrambles and match play to eclectic (i.e., best gross and net score on each hole played over two days) and guest days.


From left: Sharon Landau, Debbie Aversa, Andrea Bobo and Susan Bryck.

Brenda highlights the profound friendships forged through golf, cultivated during games, tournaments, post-play lunches, and other events. In addition to continually meeting new people and expanding social opportunities, there’s the joy of being outdoors and inherent challenges of the game. With her term as president completed after this season, Brenda plans to spend more time working on her golf game and out on the course with her friends.

 

The LGA at PGA WEST runs a big sister program to welcome new members immediately into the fold. New members are paired with an existing member to guide them, play golf with them and introduce them to other members.



Caroline Booth and Janet Gallagher

 


The PGA WEST LGA fields a Fall Team that competes in the Women’s Desert Team Play (WDTP) league with other local clubs. Additionally, the LGA fields a Spring Gross/Net Team and a Spring Net Only Team that compete in the Desert Cities Spring Team League (DCSTL) with other local clubs.






Eligibility for membership in the PGA WEST Ladies’ Golf Association is open to amateur women and non-touring PGA professionals who are Golf Members or Desert Members at PGA WEST and have a USGA/SCGA index from the PGA WEST Private Golf Shop.



The Club at PGA WEST®: Par Tee Players Ladies’ Golf Group (9 holes)


Debbie Sabella

Debbie Sabella, a part-time PGA WEST resident since 1999, has been an integral part of the Par Tee Players for the past nine years, serving on its board for six of those years and currently holding the position of president. When Debbie first joined, the group boasted around 65 members; today, Par Tee flourishes with over 150 members.

 

Reflecting on the group’s growth, Debbie remarks, “There is such a surge in women’s golf right now. We had 34 new players join the group this year.”

 




Denise Braun, Deonn Hayes and Marybeth Brockman at the registration table on a Par Tee Play Day.

The primary mission of this 9-hole ladies golf group is to foster the sport of golf, uphold sportsmanship, and cultivate friendship among its members through organized play days, tournaments, and social events. Every Thursday morning, Par Tee Players hosts tournaments featuring a variety of formats, followed by post play gatherings, whether it be a planned awards ceremony in the clubhouse ballroom or impromptu lunches. Additionally, the group organizes a monthly couples event and an annual 18-hole guest day, while an opening party and closing afternoon event bookend the November through May season.


Monica Struthers, Annie San Diego, Kathy Vaughan and Adrien Agoado on a Par Tee Thursday.

Comprising a diverse mix of members, including newcomers to golf, seasoned Par Tee Players, former LGA members transitioning to 9-hole play, and current LGA players, the group offers a welcoming environment for women of all skill levels.

 

Beyond the joy of playing golf in the stunning California desert climate, Debbie emphasizes the group’s role in fostering genuine friendships.

 

“The women are wonderful and so supportive, and you just build this incredible network of friends,” she enthuses. “It’s exponential, opening the door to other types of group activities and social experiences too.”



Additionally, members of the group often seek out personalized instruction through the PGA WEST® Player Development Program and programs at the PGA WEST® Golf Academy, including Operation 36.

 

Membership in Par Tee Players is open to amateur women and non-touring PGA professionals who are Golf Members or Desert Members at PGA WEST. Prospective members must have an establishing GHIN handicap number and a PGA WEST GHIN number, which can be obtained at the Private Golf Shop.



The Citrus Club: Ladies’ Golf Association (LGA) (18 holes)


Joyce Wignes

Joyce Wignes indulges her passion for golf year-round, splitting her time between summers in Chicago and the rest of the year at The Citrus Club, where she and her husband have maintained a residence for nearly two decades. Early on, Joyce struck up a friendship with Margo, who encouraged her join the club’s Ladies’ Golf Association, which she did in 2011.

 

“It was amazing. Everybody was so welcoming and friendly,” Joyce recalls. “Many friendships have blossomed since I joined the 18-hole group.”



Joyce’s involvement steadily increased over the years as she took on responsibilities such as coordinating guest days and serving on committees. Today, she is president of the group, which boasts a record membership of nearly 175 female golfers. The LGA sets the tone for each season with an afternoon meet and greet, followed by weekly Wednesday morning golf outings that consistently draw over 100 participants.



“We make a point to vary the games, whether it’s playing as a four-person team, scramble or ABCD draw. It’s a great way to experience golfing with members of different skills levels and the camaraderie is fantastic,” she says, adding the group’s inclusion of additional sweeps events alongside regular play days.


The Citrus Club President's Cup winners.

 

Noteworthy occasions on the calendar include the President’s Cup and a member-member eclectic tournament known as the Citrus Blossom. Among the favorites is a co-ed golf competition named the King of The Mountain, where each foursome comprises three women and one man, complete with a throne, crown and cape for the victorious team! (The men reciprocate with a Queen of the Citrus event.)




Joyce speaks highly of the golf instruction programs at The Citrus Club, led by Director of Instruction Megan Rasmussen.

 

“Megan initiated the club’s Operation 36 program and it’s a fabulous method of practice and improving your game,” she notes.

 

Eligibility for membership The Citrus Club Ladies’ Golf Association is open to amateur women and non-touring PGA professionals who are Citrus Club Members or Desert Members at PGA WEST and have a USGA/SCGA index from The Citrus Club Golf Shop.


The Citrus Club: 9 Is Fine (9 holes)


Donna Franko

Donna Franko’s term as The Citrus Club’s 9 Is Fine president is coming to a close, but her passion for golf is a strong as ever. Hailing from Canada, Donna has found her golfing home at The Citrus Club, where she actively participates in both the 9 Is Fine group and the club’s 18-hole Ladies’ Golf Association.

 

“I joined the 9 Is Fine group five years ago and immediately felt welcomed,” Donna reflects. “This group embodies the spirit of fun for everyone.” Over the years, Donna has not only enjoyed playing but has also taken on roles such as membership chair and vice president.


Popular and entertaining 9+9 & Dine couples event.

 Beyond the greens, the group fosters a vibrant social scene, from post-play gatherings on the patio to themed events complete with golf contests, lunches, dinner and karaoke. An annual tournament, introduced last year, sees members compete for low Gross and Net Trophies.




“What is special about our 9 Is Fine group is our emphasis on welcoming beginners and unwavering support of all members on the course,” Donna says. “And of course, spending time outdoors in our beautiful climate with a fantastic group of ladies’ is just good for the soul.”


Donna also underscores that creating a tight knit community around a game like golf creates many other social connections, including support for members who are dealing with illness and other challenges.


From left: Patti Shapiro, Deborah Davidson, Carla Harrison, Cathy Horrobin and Kathy Conti at "For the Love of Golf Tournament." The Low Gross player is awarded the Gigi Wade Memorial Trophy.

For members eager to enhance their skills, Director of Instruction Megan Rasmussen conducts weekly clinics for the group throughout season, offering a comprehensive curriculum tailored to the group’s needs.

 

Membership in 9 Is Fine is open to amateur women and non-touring PGA professionals who are Golf Members or Desert Members at PGA WEST and have a GHIN handicap number and GHIN number from The Citrus Club Golf Shop.



Are you ready to become part of our vibrant golfing communities at The Club at PGA WEST® and The Citrus Club? Click here to learn more about Membership opportunities.

 

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