By Sandra Zunino
For a select group of women, going green means something entirely different. That’s because golf is the game that kept a group of friends together throughout 20 years and sparked a 70-plus member league.
It was 1989 – or was it 1988?– when a group of bridge players who also liked golf, discussed how nice it would be to have a golf league. “We decided to meet at the (Blue Heron) clubhouse,” recalls original member Kathy Hovland. “There were 12 of us that day.”
Offered Tuesdays as a meeting day by the reigning golf management, the newly formed membership held out for Mondays, as Tuesday was their bridge day. From there the Blue Heron Ladies Golf League (BHLGL) took flight. What started informally soon blossomed to an organized league of 35 players.
“We advertised in the local paper,” recalls original member Kathy Cupps.
“I believe we played for about a year first before we really got organized,” says original member Marge Busch, who was the first BHLGL president. “Then we formed committees including a pairing chair, refreshment chair, tournament committee, etc.”
Whichever year they officially started, the League is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2009. Marge is working on a League history to commend it.
The league meets weekly at the Blue Heron Golf Course to play nine holes. Players are organized into foursomes, assigned a hole and sent out to play simultaneously. “They call it a shotgun,” explains Golf Operations Manger Eric Beaufait, “which means everyone goes out on the course at the same time and finishes at the same time.”
Once a month the league holds a tournament and has champion tournaments at the end of the year, but the rest is just social play. “Something new we have planned this year is a Rally for the Cure tournament,” says Jackie Roberston, current BHLGL president.
With members all over Queen Anne’s County as well as from over the bridge, the league now has about 70 members. Because it can hold up to 80 members, slots are available for newcomers.
The BHLGL accepts members of any golfing ability from beginner to pro. Beginners must understand the fundamentals of the game. Membership dues are $45, which covers the cost of the league tournaments and end-of-year tournaments. Weekly greens fees are $8 for members ages 55 and up and $10 for those under 55.
While the League plays at other area golf courses, Blue Heron is their home. In fact, when the league started, Blue Heron was the only golf course in the county. Originally owned by the Queens Colony subdivision, the course fell into disrepair until Queen Anne’s County Parks & Recreation took it over in 1983.
Since then, the course was expanded to 18 holes and a permanent clubhouse was built last summer. Blue Heron also has a men’s league and a senior men’s league. “The reason the golf course is where it is today is because of the leagues,” says Eric. “The ladies group in particular networks with political figures in favor of Blue Heron.”
Only four of the original members remain, Marge Busch, Kathy Hovland, Kathy Cupps and Ronnie Johnson. Others moved on, dropped out or passed away – most recently Provi McCauley, who passed away last November. “We will be honoring her at the luncheon,” says Kathy Hovland.
“There is a lot of camaraderie,” says Jackie, “I think that’s what brings people back year after year.”
For more information about joining the League, call Fina Laszewski at 410-643-1792 or email at email@example.com.