Women's movement in Md. golf strengthens MSGA's newest division to oversee championships

November 19, 1995|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

When the Maryland State Golf Association conducted its first championships in 1921, there was a men's amateur tournament and a women's amateur tournament.

Women did not get another MSGA championship to call their own until a separate one-day Seniors event was added in 1985, but since then modern wheels have spun a little faster. Fast enough, in fact, to have spun off a Women's Division.

"We are the Maryland State Golf Association -- Women's Division, a part of the organization and subject to its constitution and by-laws," said Pat Kaufman, from Potomac CC, the newly elected president, during the group's first formal meeting at Rolling Road Golf Club last week.

"We will, however, be relatively autonomous, with our own officers and budget, and we will run our own tournaments. The nice thing is we received support from the Maryland State, and our talks with their officials were cordial and friendly."

The Women's Division will begin working immediately, and will conduct three championships -- Women's Amateur, Women's Seniors and Two-Woman Team -- beginning next season. The MSGA already has secured its dates for the next two years, but the Women's Division will be responsible for site selections for its events beginning in 1998.

Events leading up to what Kaufman called, "an historic day for Maryland golf," included an informal meeting at Woodholme Country Club in 1990, and the introduction of the Two-Woman Team tournament in 1992.

Last January, Carol Davis, of Bethesda CC, as president of the (Washington) Women's District Golf Association, attended the annual meeting of the United States Golf Association in Los Angeles, sat in on the women's committee sessions, and asked questions.

After her return, a committee of Kaufman, Davis, Ann Berquist, Jane Mason, Rose Marie Vargo, and Joan Winchester began formulating the plans for a women's division.

Berquist, of Kenwood CC, whose past activity had included working successfully toward a Maryland State Women's Seniors championship, most recently was involved as a rules official at the Two-Woman Team event at Green Spring last month.

"We had several meetings with Maryland State officials, and were supported by Jack Emich, the executive director, and Randy Reed, the president. They were in favor of our program, and were straightforward and candid about it," Kaufman said.

Reed, from Gaithersburg and Norbeck CC, responded later, saying, "I think the key thing was they were so well organized, with a clear idea of what they wanted to do and where they wanted to go.

"They had as many as 20 people in committee work, some of them established players whom we knew, and support for the idea was clear. Additionally, with the growth of all our tournaments, it made sense for the women to take over the handling of their events."

The officers, in addition to Kaufman, are Mason, Nassawango CC, vice-president; Vargo, Norbeck CC, recording secretary; Davis, corresponding secretary; and Winchester, Rolling Road GC, treasurer.

MAPGA notes

Mike Ahrnsbrak, of Shenandoah Valley Golf Club, Front Royal, Va., was elected president during the annual fall meeting of the Middle Atlantic PGA held last week in Fredericksburg, Va. He will be joined in the new cabinet by Chuck Bassler, Willow Oaks CC, Richmond, Va., vice president, and Allen Wronowski, Hillendale CC, secretary.

Wronowski, an area native, is a graduate of Patapsco High School, and attended Essex Community College, Towson State, and Western Maryland. He entered the golf business in 1974, serving first at Rocky Point GC. He went to Hillendale as an assistant in 1979, and was named head professional in January 1990, following the retirement of Bill Clarke.

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