Beyond the Game: Giving Back to Golf - MASSGOLF

Beyond the Game: Giving Back to Golf

Love playing golf, but looking for ways to get more involved? Hear from some of the women from our Mass Golf Family about ways you can give back to the game of golf. This game is so much bigger than just going out to play, there are many different programs and initiatives that are developing the game of golf. At Mass Golf, we are working to advance the game in the Commonwealth by creating an engaged and inclusive community around the sport. There are several ways to get involved on our website. and check out the First Tee website to get involved. Mass Golf as an association is supported by its volunteers at all events and championships.


Candy Hanneman

AJGA Board of Directors

“Find what you love about the game the most, and then learn about initiatives that relate to your passion for the game. So for example, if your passion is, tournaments and hosting tournaments, then ask yourself “how can get involved with my association to help out with hosting tournaments”. If you are passionate about the game itself, then ask yourself “how can I get involved with youth development programs”. Find what you, personally, like the most about the game and then find a way to engage with the game on that.”


Joanne Gagnon

Mass Golf Board of Directors \\ Rules Official

“Most people don’t realize that volunteering is not always about being a rules official. Pick a MassGolf event, you wouldn’t otherwise play, and sign up as a Volunteer.  You can spot on the course, help at registration, or checkpoints. If you want to get involved on the youth level, look into ways to volunteer with First Tee Massachusetts. These organizations can always use extra hands.  Volunteering is a great way to network and give back. I never have a bad day volunteering!”


Carolyn O’Donnell

Rules Official

“If anyone wants to become involved as a Rules official…which is primarily a helping function vs. a penalty operation, I would suggest that this year is a Rules modification year (effective January 2023) and the USGA is expected to schedule two sets of Rules Schools, one this fall October through December, and another, their normal time, January through March. To test whether someone has a taste for this… go to the USGA website, which will give anyone a bite-size look through videos of various common Rules situation.  If one can imagine themselves explaining one of these situations to a player? [Then] maybe officiating is a route to getting involved. Also, try explaining to your golf buddies and see how it goes.  The most basic requirement is working with players rather than just knowing the Rules, so many people could do this very happily.”


Sarah Forbes

Mass Golf Board of Directors \\ First Tee Massachusetts

“After several years of being involved with the golf program at my own club, I wanted to find a way to help support growing the game of golf especially for women and kids on a larger scale. I spoke to several people who had experience with a variety of organizations and decided that volunteering through Mass Golf would provide me with the best opportunity especially since it had recently formed through a merger between the two state organizations (MGA and WGAM). And that is how I got introduced to the First Tee of Massachusetts, a youth development program run by Mass Golf that teaches life skills and character development through the game of golf. It recently opened its eighth green grass location in the state serving kids and teens in communities that often don’t have access to affordable golf programs.”

Shannon Johnson

Amateur Competitor \\ First Tee Committee Member

“One of the best things I can do in the game of golf is give back. Volunteerism is a great way to show your commitment to the game other than playing on the course. You have to find something you’re interested in and passionate about. Mass Golf has plenty of volunteer opportunities along with the USGA at their events. You can also reach out to other golfers and see if they also do anything outside of playing to stay involved and give back.”


So you’ve read this and now you’re wondering where to go next? Well, check out our volunteer page if that’s what you’re looking for. Or check out the First Tee page if you’re looking to work with kids. Unsure of making a time commitment through volunteering right now? You can always donate to Mass Golf here.