As the Executive Women’s Golf Association looks to become invigorated on the Grand Strand, beginning with an informative meeting Thursday, a splinter group is growing and giving women on the Grand Strand another option for both competition and fellowship.
Many of the members who comprised the former Myrtle Beach chapter of the EWGA, including the president and board of directors, broke away a few months ago to form the Grand Strand Women’s Golf Association.
The GSWGA has a lower dues structure and continues to play Wednesdays at Arrrowhead Country Club – which the group also did as the EWGA chapter – and travels the Strand to play Saturdays.
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Dues are $45 annually for full-time residents and $25 for women who reside on the Strand six months or less per year, and the bulk of the group are retirees, though some working women are also members.
“We found the reduced rates to be more competitive with other area groups, both mixed and women only, and [we’ve] had an increase in interest and many new members since the dues were lowered,” said Barb Azzaretti, president of the GSWGA and past president of the Myrtle Beach chapter of the EWGA.
Azzaretti said the EWGA chapter had more than 90 members before disbanding and the new GSWGA has 105 members and has been averaging 32 to 40 players per outing this winter.
The GSWGA has joined the Women’s South Carolina Golf Association and some members play in the state organization’s tournaments around the Palmetto State.
Azzaretti said the GSWGA plans to annually hold a dozen or more special events including a member/member, member/guest, two-day Solheim event, club championship and several interclub tournaments in which it will face other women's leagues in the area.
It will also host late afternoon nine-hole “Nine & Dine” events during the summer that working women can attend.
Shan Coughlin, who is assisting with the rebirth of the EWGA chapter, said Monday that the chapter will indeed become active again and the first event should be scheduled by the end of April. Coughlin can be reached at 843-685-2867 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.ewga.com for more information.