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Teeing Up Diversity: Golf Clinic Aims to Empower Women of Color Fir State Golf Club


Teeing Up Diversity: Golf Clinic Aims to

Empower Women of Color Fir State Golf Club, Professional Women of Color Network and local golf courses work together to change the game for beginner golfers, especially focusing on empowering Black and other women of color.

In a bid to diversify the golfing landscape and encourage more Black women onto the greens, Jenefeness Franke, a member of both Fir State Golf Club and the Professional

Women of Color Network, decided to offer FREE LESSONS at the beginning of COVID in November 2019. “We were all so isolated, confused and eager to get outside. But, with everything shut down it was hard to have human interaction. The golf courses were one of few places still open.” Says Franke.

Jenefeness worked with experienced golfers from Fir State Golf Club to create a golf clinic to demystify golf for women of color. Using the connections at the Professional Women of Color Network, they created cohort-based sessions for four weeks and graduated more than 120 women. Bill Patterson, the primary Coach and guide with Fir State Golf Club is retired from Boeing and chooses to pour into the next generation of golfers in his free time.

Franke now hosts local "Hit and Sip" meetups where she gets a bucket of balls, offers clubs and allows women to come and hit balls while networking. This approach demystifies the golf course and the method for getting out and playing on a course.


Similar initiatives like We Black We Golf and Black Girls Golf have shown tremendous success in making golf more accessible and inclusive. Franke's clinic aims to build on this success, providing a supportive environment for beginner women golfers to learn and enjoy the game.

Representation matters, and seeing more Black women on the golf course can have a profound impact. It not only breaks down barriers but also inspires others to take up the sport. Golf provides a unique platform for networking, skill-building, and personal growth, and initiatives like these are crucial in ensuring that everyone has equal access to these opportunities.

"I always looked at golf as a sport for white or rich people" said Monika C Matthews, one of the local black business owners who is a participant in the clinic. "But this clinic gives us a chance to show that we belong here too. I am getting comfortable enough to be on the course and kae deals and connections"

Aside from the social benefits, golf also offers significant physical health benefits. It's a great way to stay active, improve cardiovascular health, and even enhance mental well-being. The Women's Golf Clinic at Meadow Park aims to highlight these benefits and show participants how golf can be a fun and rewarding activity for everyone.

The free cohorts have evolved into a more in-depth nominal fee clinic. Franke has now partnered with a local Golf Pro Hagen Wilkinson to host a five-week Women's Golf Clinic at Meadow Park Golf Course, starting March 24. Women are encouraged to sign up at www.bit.ly/FSGCWomen.

Wilkinson says, “It is always great to see more women on the course and I am happy to be helping them build the confidence to get out there!”

With a focus on inclusivity and empowerment, Franke and Wilkinson are excited to welcome women of all backgrounds to join them on the course. The clinic promises to be a great opportunity to learn, grow, and connect with others who share a passion for golf.

About Fir State

Fir State was established in 1947 to provide a means for minorities to learn and compete in the sport of golf. In 1954, Fir State became one of the founding clubs of the Western State Golf Association (WSGA), which now boasts thirty-two (32) member clubs in seven (7) states. WSGA is nationally recognized for its junior golf programs and tournaments, as well as its collaboration with the National Minority Junior Golf Program.

As the oldest club in WSGA, Fir State enjoys a rich history of accomplishments, dating back to 1955 when Bill Wright Jr., one of the club’s first junior golfers, placed second in the Seattle High School Championship. In 1959, he went on to capture the prestigious U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, becoming the first black golfer to achieve that distinction. In 1994, a tradition was continued when high school freshman and Fir State junior golfer, Tyson Lanore won the same championship and a spot in the national Maxfli Junior Championship.

Among our exciting activities was the annual Celebrity Tournament, inaugurated in 1992 by host, Tiger Woods and since hosted by Ken Griffey, Sr., Warren Moon, Dale Ellis, and Nate McMillian. Funds raised benefited the Fir State Junior Golf Foundation, and supported our junior golf and scholarship programs.

For more information about the Women's Golf Clinic at Meadow Park Golf Course, visit www.bit.ly/FSGCWomen.

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