Mass Golf Celebrates Women's History Month - 2024 - MASSGOLF

Honoring Trailblazing Women Throughout The History Of Golf In MASSACHUSETTS

The story of organized amateur golf in Massachusetts starts with women. The Women’s Golf Association of Massachusetts was founded in 1900, three years prior to men forming their own organization, the Massachusetts Golf Association. While both organizations have since merged to form Mass Golf, the legacy that was built by the women in Massachusetts is far from forgotten.

In many circumstances, some of the most noted female names in Massachusetts golf history remained affixed to titles of championships, tournaments, and awards given to today’s amateur golfers. Others have stepped up to serve more than just the game, but their communities and their country as well.

Throughout the month of March, we will celebrate the accolades and stories of the women who have made Mass Golf what it is today: one of the largest state golf associations in the country, as well as one of the most storied.

Pat Bradley Hits Solheim Cup’s First Shot

In 1990, Massachusetts’ own Pat Bradley had the honor of hitting the first-ever tee shot in the inaugural Solheim Cup at Lake Nona Country Club in Florida.

Team USA defeated Team Europe in the competition, 11.5-4.5.

Caren McGhee Breaks The WGAM Color Barrier

In the 1970s, Roxbury native Caren McGhee became the first Black member to join the Women’s Golf Association of Massachusetts. As a standout junior golfer, she also became the first Black player to win the Massachusetts Girls’ Junior Amateur Championship (1972) and represented Team Massachusetts in the Girls’ Junior Inter-City Team Matches.

She played out of both Franklin Park and Ponkapoag Golf Course and received guidance from several of the area’s best players at the time to develop her sound, powerful swing. She also picketed in protest of deteriorating conditions at Franklin Park, hoping her play and advocacy would one day convince more Black youth to take up the game.

Harriot Curtis’ Contributions To Golf & Community

Harriot Curtis left her mark on the Women’s Golf Association of Massachusetts. Serving a presidential term on the board from 1914 to 1915 and posthumously being inducted into the Massachusetts Golf Hall of Fame in 2014 alongside Margaret. She even drove a ball through a picture window at The Country Club during the WGAM’s 50th anniversary celebration.

The Curtis’ legacy carries on through the Curtis Cup matches. These matches stimulate rivalry among the women golfers of other countries.

Outside of their contribution to golf, Harriot and her sister Margaret were successful in service. During the war, Harriot helped raise funds and medical supplies for the Red Cross.

CLICK HERE to read the full story.

Claudette LaBonte Becomes The First Female Golf Professional In Massachusetts

For years, Claudette LaBonte drove a Mercedes-Benz with the license plate “LPGA 1” signifying her accomplishment as the first woman to serve as a golf professional in Massachusetts.

In addition to spending nearly a decade teaching at The Club at New Seabury, LaBonte was a stockbroker, real estate broker, stamp collector, and entrepreneur.

CLICK HERE to read the full story

2024 Introduction


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