WMGA Celebrates 125 Years of Service in the Region

The Women's Metropolitan Golf Association marks its milestone anniversary with special tournaments and more.

Since its founding in 1899, the Women’s Metropolitan Golf Association (WMGA) has never averted its eyes from its mission to foster women’s participation in the game. This year, the WMGA celebrates its 125th anniversary with special tournaments at many of the founding clubs, an enthusiastic embrace of fun and camaraderie on the course, and an ever-stronger emphasis on bringing girls into the game.

“From clinics to college scholarships, the WMGA is all-in on girls’ golf,” says LPGA star and golf broadcaster Dottie Pepper.

The association, the second oldest women’s golf group in America, has a proud history of achievements. One of the earliest WMGA members was Westchester-born Beatrix Hoyt, the first winner of the US Women’s Amateur Championship, who took home the trophy for three consecutive years, the last of which played at Ardsley CC in 1898. Another member, Helen Hicks, began winning WMGA events as a teenager in the 1920s and was the first WMGA member to turn professional. She became one of the founding members of the LPGA in 1950.

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Today, the WMGA has about 2,400 members and 180 member clubs in the metro area. The association holds some 30 tournaments and other events throughout the year, beginning with extraordinarily popular team matches where more than 800 women compete to start their season in the spring.

A highlight of this year’s schedule is the 120th WMGA Match Play Championship, which will be held at Ardsley CC, one of the original 23 founding clubs. Ardsley member Amy Bender won the event in 2022 and was runner-up last year to Tiya Chowdary.

Also receiving extra emphasis this year is the WMGA Foundation’s college scholarship program, which has awarded more than $1 million to nearly 200 girls to aid their college careers. “Our scholarships have been really well funded the last few years,” says WMGA Executive Director Sarah Niemeier. “We’re very excited to help girls go to college, especially those who are outside the private-club universe because it’s based on financial need.”

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