Whitney Helping Open Doors For Others
By Rebecca Calderara, USGA
Eugene, Ore. – Even as Sarah Whitney of Hingham, Mass., competes in her first USGA championship this week at Eugene Country Club, she has her eyes on giving others the chance to play the game.
Whitney, 19, a sophomore at the College of William and Mary, is an avid supporter of girls’ golf who hopes to serve as a role model for not only her golf skills but her commitment to making the game more accessible for young girls.
On Aug. 13, Whitney will host the South Shore Girls Junior Invitational, the first-ever all-girls tournament at her home club of South Shore Country Club in Hingham. She has organized not only the golf outing, but has also gotten local businesses involved to sponsor the tournament.
Whitney, already a volunteer at the girls’ golf clinics held at her club, felt it was important that girls were given the opportunity to compete locally.
“When I was younger most of the tournaments I played in locally were for boys,” said Whitney, the co-runner-up at the New England Women’s Amateur in June. “There were not a lot of local tournaments for girls. We need to get more girls involved.”
Whitney’s efforts to expand girls golf in Massachusetts extend beyond South Shore Country Club. In 2005, she founded the Hingham High School girl’s golf team, choosing to start a new team rather than join an existing team in the area.
Promoting girls’ golf is a high priority for Whitney for a variety of reasons. As an accomplished golfer, she understands the benefits and longevity of the game, not just for those who plan to pursue a professional golf career.
“Golf is a great sport that you can play for the rest of your life,” she said. “It is really important for business, networking and just having fun.”
Roberta Bolduc, a native of Massachusetts and chairman of the United States Golf Association’s Women’s Committee, is also an avid advocate for girls’ golf.
“The game of golf teaches values, discipline and persistence, qualities that apply to life,” said Bolduc. “What better way to develop those qualities than to play the game of golf. Golf is a wonderful way to teach girls these lessons.”
Lessons that, thanks to Whitney’s efforts, will be reaching even more young female golfers.
Rebecca Calderara is a first-year Fellow in the USGA in the USGA Grants Initiative program. She can be reached at email@example.com.