Linda Reid has been a school teacher and has worked in the corporate world.
She has been a paralegal and has worked in real estate.
Over the last 30 years, she has also been very involved in golf – playing the game at a high level, serving on the board of the Sacramento chapter of the Executive Women’s Golf Association, and serving on the board of directors for The First Tee of Greater Sacramento.
Reid had a job with Golf For Women for four years, reviewing golf courses for the publication.
“I’ve been golfing probably 30 years,” said Reid, a resident of Roseville, who plays at least three times per week. “I have played competitive golf for a long time. I’m 72 now, so I don’t hit the ball the way I used to hit it, but I still compete.
“I got really involved with the golf community through the Executive Women’s Golf Association here.”
It was about four years ago when Reid, who at the time was with The First Tee of Greater Sacramento, met Ken Morton, Sr., the Chief Executive Officer for Morton Golf LLC, a PGA Master Professional, the National PGA Professional of the Year in 1998, a member of the National PGA Hall of Fame, and a member of the Northern California Section of the PGA Hall of Fame.
Morton has also been the recipient of the National PGA Junior Golf Leader Award, National PGA Horton Smith Award for PGA Education, and the California Golf Writers Golf Person of the Year Award.
“The First Tee and the Morton Golf Foundation are very closely linked, as well as the city courses and the First Tee,” said Reid. “He and I got a chance to meet and talk about programs. I was just trying to find my way. I think Ken just kind of made me feel very welcome.”
The First Tee of Greater Sacramento “serves juniors from the ages of 3-18 with a variety of programs, including summer camps, after school and Saturday programs, California Eagles (Special Olympics), adaptive physical education classes, a competitive junior golf tour, Swing Club for the Blind, First Tee School Program,” according to its website, www.firstteesacramento.org. It reaches over 58,000 juniors each year and there are 11 locations where programs are offered in the area.
Reid and Morton attended some of the meetings together. During that time, Reid heard from Morton and others, expressing their concerns about the fewer and fewer numbers of women playing golf in the Sacramento area.
“He knew that that was a passion of mine,” said Reid. “They talked about the lack of women in the golf community, at the city courses and how the home clubs were dying because the members were aging out of the game and just doing other things.”
Reid had a thought: “I actually realized that if we were going to build the women’s golf program here at Haggin Oaks that I had to create my job and pitch it to them. And that’s exactly what happened.
“I met with the management team and kind of pitched this position.”
Reid took on a new job, going to to work for Morton Golf in 2017 as the Women’s Golf Ambassador for the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex, a 36-hole facility that features the Alister MacKenzie Golf Course, Arcade Creek Course, a driving range that is open 24 hours with 100 hitting stalls and target greens, the indoor Player Performance Studio, Club Performance & Repair Center, MacKenzie Putting Course, and the Haggin Oaks Golf Super Shop.
Morton Golf manages Haggin Oaks Golf Complex, Bartley Cavanaugh Golf Course, Bing Maloney Golf Complex, and William Land Golf Course.
“We have a great crew here. I really enjoy coming to work,” said Reid. “It is a good time for golf, absolutely.”
Reid has her own team – 20 mentors who volunteer their time, playing and helping out with “new, newer, and returning women golfers to help them transition from lessons and classes to actually playing on a golf course,” according to the Haggin Oaks website, www.hagginoaks.com.
“Her passion to share the game has touched more than 500 women who play in the weekly leagues. The goal is to teach every golfer the nuances of the game, along with the rules, so they will feel comfortable playing with anyone – on any golf course.”
In her position, Reid oversees women’s golf leagues at Haggin Oaks – “Wednesday Morning Women’s Play Group,” “Thursday After Work Women’s Play Group,” and “Fun Friday Golf! for Women.”
There is a definite surge in the number of people getting out and playing, with the rosters for the three leagues combining for 525 players.
“They’re seeing the value in this. They get some exercise. They get to be outside. They get to meet new people. The mentors help them learn the game,” said Reid.
“I think the mentors make it so easy for them to relax. That’s why the mentors are so important.”
The surge in golf this year can be felt at the national level as well.
The National Golf Foundation reported: “The August rounds played report shows that rounds were up 20.6 percent year-over-year. That sets another record for the biggest increase in a peak season month since Golf Datatech began tracking rounds two decades ago. We’re talking about a lift of roughly 10 million rounds in August alone, which comes on top of a burst of 17 million added rounds in June and July compared to a year ago. It’s been quite a summer for golf.
“For the second straight month, every state in the continental U.S. saw a play increase of at least 2 percent.”
Reid is seeing it first-hand at Haggin Oaks.
“I think COVID has a lot to do with it,” she said. “I get new faces every week and they’re all different levels of players, from never having been on a course to former club champions. We try to make it work for every level of golfer. And that’s where my mentors come into it. The facility can handle that much.”
Reid sends an email out to the players in each league. Players reply if they want to be added to the pairings.
“I do the pairings and I send out the pairings and tee times the afternoon before we play,” said Reid, who added that Haggin Oaks will be switching to Golf Genius Software, which “provides innovative and reliable software solutions to private clubs, public courses, resorts, and golf associations around the world,” according to golfgenius.com.
“I tend to be very organized. And I have an uncanny memory for names and faces, even with masks and hats. These gals all feel welcome.”
The “Wednesday Morning Women’s Play Group” plays year-round on the Arcade Creek course starting at 9 a.m. The mentors help assist the golfers “who want to learn more about navigating around the course – the right way! They help each golfer learn course management, protocol, tips to improve pace of play, proper alignment, grip, club selection … all while playing 9 holes with the ladies,” according to www.hagginoaks.com.
The “Thursday After Work Women’s Play Group” is a nine-hole league that goes from April through September. It’s a very popular league, with play taking place on both the MacKenzie and Arcade Creek courses.
“Fun Friday Golf! for Women,” a nine-hole league starting at 9 a.m. on the Arcade Creek Course, is geared for those with flex schedules, according to www.hagginoaks.com.
The leagues continue to grow, said Reid.
“The whole reason they keep coming back is because they enjoy the group so much,” she said. “The Thursday night after-work league is a much younger crowd. These gals come running in and change clothes in the lounge and go and play. We usually shut the grill down on Thursday night. It’s a very fun group. I would say the majority of the players are in their 30s and 40s.
“The majority of the players in the morning league are probably in their 50s and 60s. A lot of them have told me, they just didn’t have time when they were raising their kids, or they were working, or caring for
family members. And now they have just made their own time, so they can actually write this on their calendar every week.”
There are no dues and no weekly commitment for the players.
“They play when their life schedule allows them to,” said Reid.
Reid was with the Executive Women’s Golf Association – which is now LPGA Amateur – for 20 years. She was with The First Tee of Greater Sacramento for four years.
She taught seventh and eighth grade English in the San Jose area for seven years.
She was a regional manager for Chicago Title Company in Sacramento. For more information, contact Linda Reid at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Marty James is a freelance writer who makes his home in Napa. He retired on June 4, 2019, after spending 40 years as a sports writer, sports editor and executive sports editor for the Napa Valley Register, a daily newspaper in Napa County. He is a 1979 graduate of Sacramento State and a member of the California Golf Writers & Broadcasters Association. He was inducted into the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Hall of Fame in 2016.