Times Union: July 23, 2021 - Link to Article
Georgia Kelly, an advisory board member for Capital Region Women@Work magazine and network, regularly attended a golf memorial tournament for a young woman who died of cancer. She wasn’t able to play this year because of a previous commitment, but went to McGregor Links in Wilton to visit a friend who was playing in the tournament.
“As I was leaving I looked around and realized there was only one woman playing in the tournament,” she said. “And I was shocked because in previous years there were a number of women players. And I drove away and said, ‘I'm going to create a women’s golf tournament.’ ”
The next day she met Terry Nawrot of Insightpath on a Zoom call. Nawrot told her she lived on McGregor Links.
“I used to call it irony and then I called it serendipity and now I call it destiny,” Kelly said. “So I said to her, I want to create a women’s golf tournament, will you be in? And she said absolutely.”
The pair formed a committee and Links to Leadership was born. The mission of Links to Leadership is “to inspire connection and engagement through the game of golf. Our vision is to create a continuum that supports women and girls through community, mentorship and education.”
The honorary chair for the event is Kay McMahon, LPGA Teaching Hall of Famer and PGA teaching professional who gives lessons and supports the golf community in the Capital Region. McMahon is offering five hours of instruction for anyone not playing in the tournament who wants to learn or improve and be a part of the charity event.
The proceeds will support the Women's Employment and Resource Center (WERC), a non-for-profit organization that works to advance women's success in the workplace by building their economic and personal independence.
“The idea is for every year to choose an organization that serves the needs of women and girls,” Kelly said. “And we hope to get more women on the golf course and really for the next generation, to keep teaching girls to come together. By playing in the tournament or participating in Kay’s clinic, everyone gets the opportunity to share in the game of golf.”
Links to Leadership plans to not only hold golf events and raise money for worthy causes but also be an organization that brings women together and foster conversations about women and girls in leadership.
Jumping into the game of golf itself mirrors the dynamics of women in the workplace: Getting over the fear factor of playing and learning the ability to foster work relationships.
“Why are we still talking about the glass ceiling? Why are we still talking about diversity and equity? That’s where we are coming from. Golf is a great way to foster the conversations about relationships and the movement. We want to make sure we are teaching women that are employees of organizations how to get involved in what is going on and how to have conversations inside the organization,” Kelly said. “In addition, we want young girls who are growing up and in high school and then going off to college eventually choosing organizations that match their values and beliefs and not taking a job for the sake of taking a job.”
In June, Marcella Hammer at Palette Cafe on Broadway in Saratoga Springs hosted an information session about Links to Leadership and the upcoming tournament. Attended by many members of the Palette community, the event attracted younger professionals who are looking to try golf for the first time or simply support the event.
McMahon described the clinic as a hands-on introduction to the game.
“You would be perfect for my clinic,” McMahon told many in attendance who said they’ve never played. “If you want an easy and fun way to get introduced to the game, this is it.”
The tournament will be held Monday, Sept. 13 at McGregor Links Country Club. For information on Links to Leadership sponsorships and events, contact Kelly at email@example.com.
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