WEST ORANGE, NJ — The newly re-formed West Orange Women’s Club held the first of what its members hope will be many golf clinics for women at Rock Spring Golf Club on March 20 and 21.
In 2019, discussions to re-form the WOWC began. The effort was spearheaded by Board of Education Vice President Jennifer Tunnicliffe, who currently serves as president of the WOWC. The original club opened its doors to the women of West Orange in 1931 and remained active for 85 years. In 2016, the club disbanded and donated $50,000 to the West Orange Scholarship Fund to provide funds to graduating West Orange High School seniors in perpetuity.
“As a new organization we didn’t have longstanding, established fundraisers to fall back on, and we needed creative ideas that were pandemic friendly,” WOWC Vice President Jacqueline Ward said. “We tasked each member of the board to come up with three fundraiser ideas, and my idea of a golf clinic came from a culmination of my husband’s golf expertise and passion for the game, his experience in developing beginner golf clinics and recognizing the importance of getting women active in golf.”
Slots filled quickly, leaving a waiting list of more than 30 women.
“What the pandemic proved is that there is a high interest for golf, and women are missing out on playing and being part of business opportunities that golf outings can provide,” Ward said.
Jacqueline Ward’s husband, Greg Ward, a former golf pro and current director of sales and marketing for KemperSports in Union County, was excited to support the WOWC and offer his services. KemperSports is the company hired by West Orange Township to help run Rock Spring Golf Club. After getting the support of his employer, Greg Ward put together a program for the women to teach them the basics and improve their swings.
“During the clinic, I taught the students the golf swing fundamentals — grip, stance and posture,” Greg Ward said. “I did this by teaching them the fundamentals in a way that is easy to understand and can produce immediate results. I taught them the easiest way to return the clubface to square, which will produce straight, airborne shots. We had beginner ladies making some really good, repeatable golf swings.”
The group discussed golf outings, women in golf and general golf terms. A handout was sent via email with pictures, terms and local facilities. Greg Ward and the event received such excellent feedback that many women signed up with local courses to continue golf-swing education.
“I was very proud of the product that we produced, and it was my pleasure to teach the clinic and raise much-needed funds for some very worthy causes,” Greg Ward said.
“Since we did not use our rain dates for the first event, we are considering adding a second event this year, and we hope the WOWC ladies golf clinic will become one of our continuing fundraisers going forward,” Jacqueline Ward said.
To find out more about the West Orange Women’s Club, upcoming events and membership, visit www.westorangewomensclub.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.