Pioneer Valley Girls Golf to begin 13th season

Reminder Publications submitted photo
Pioneer Valley Girls Golf members (right) enjoy a group photo taken after a teaching event utilizing the Start New at Golf (SNAG) golf equipment.

EAST LONGMEADOW " The Pioneer Valley Girls Golf Program (PVGGP) will kick off its 13th season on April 25 at Fenway Golf on Allen Street from 10 a.m. to noon.

This event is free to any girl between the ages of seven and 17. The program will offer different stations: putting, driving range and chipping for each girl to try, followed by refreshments.

Each attendee will receive an event schedule and membership application.

If a girl chooses to join the program, the annual membership will remain at $20 and each playing event costs $6. Golf club rental is available to those who do not own clubs.

The PVGGP is part of a national girls golf initiative sponsored by the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPFGA) and the United States Golf Association (USGA). The local program is based at Fenway Golf in East Longmeadow and is led by site director LPGA Professional Susan Teitel.

The program also uses other venues of golf for regulation play.

The continuing mutual efforts of the LPGA and the USGA are to develop new audiences and participants for the game of golf. This program is a developmental junior program for girls age seven to 17 and is the only national initiative of its type.

PVGGP encourages girls to learn to play golf, build friendships and sample competition in a supportive and positive learning environment. Currently, more than 2,400 girls in 98 locations around the country participate in this program. Each girl is also enrolled as a junior member in the USGA.

PVGGP is an expanded program modeled after the LPGA Girls Golf Club which was established in Phoenix, Ariz., in 1989 by LPGA Teaching and Club Professional member Sandy LaBauve. The LPGA Girls Golf Club became a national initiative of the LPGA and the LPGA Foundation in 1994.

Through PVGGP, the USGA and the LPGA are seeking to increase the number of local, regional and national organizations bringing girls to the program.

The activities of the PVGGP site include six teaching events in May, taking each girl from the basics of holding a club to hitting a ball using short and long game. A segment on playing out of sand and a lesson on putting are also included.

After the six teaching events, girls head out to the golf course to utilize the skills taught at the range. The PVGGP utilizes many different fun programs throughout the year, and end the year with a Family Scramble event and dinner banquet. It also utilizes training equipment called Start New at Golf (SNAG) as a tool to teach the game of golf to all level learners. PVGGP offers a weekly playing event at Pine Knoll golf course to mentor new golfers and help refine the more accomplished players. These are only a sampling of the events offered.

In addition to this, there is also another schedule of events set up for the more accomplished girl golfer where a regulation nine-hole course is reserved. This part of the program will be coached by Michelle Abell, Assistant Women s Golf Coach at the University of Hartford.

The older girls are also given opportunity to mentor golf to our local Special Olympic athletes one night a week during the summer months. A few of our members have gone on to play as a unified partner during the Olympic games. PVGGP will host approximately 50 events this year between the two schedules.

Call Teitel at 896-0596 or Lisa Kallaugher at 525-3297 to make a reservation. Other questions may be directed via e-mail to

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