One of the fastest growing segments of the sport just got supercharged by the WMGA. The venerable Women’s Metropolitan Golf Association opened its doors to golfers who are not members of the area’s private golf and country clubs effective April 20. Now, amateur women golfers who are not members of a WMGA club can apply for “Independent Membership” in the organization.
“It’s been in the works for a long time,” says WMGA President Cheryl Brayman. “It’s very exciting,” The creation of the new membership had been debated for several years and required a change in the organization’s bylaws this spring. A maximum of 50 independent memberships will be granted.
Prospective independent members must have a USGA Handicap Index of 23.0 or below and either reside in the New York Metro area or play the majority of their golf within the WMGA territory. Independent members can register for any tournament (except team matches) and are eligible to win trophies and compete for WMGA awards including Player of the Year. Annual dues are $200 and entry fees for tournaments are generally $75 per day.
“Our tournaments are very inclusive,” says WMGA Director of Operations Sarah Relyea. “They break down into A and B class and the B class often includes golfers new to the game.” Another innovation at the WMGA this year is creation of a “B” Player of the Year award.
The WMGA was founded in 1899, making it the second oldest golf association for women in the U.S. Currently, 204 clubs with about 2,400 golfers are members of the organization. The WMGA conducts some 30 competitions each year. Growing the game is one of the organization’s top priorities.