Don't think tennis and golf mix together? Try telling that to these ladies.
By Kasey Connors
The dreary May day started out with eight teams of four women, all tennis players. Yet these ladies were not headed to the court, they were on the course for the 2nd Adams Ladies Golf Scramble held at Conestoga Country Club in Lancaster, Pa. Some had never played golf, or were fairly new, while some had been avid golfers for years.
Lani Ward, the tournament organizer, started this event two years ago as a way to get her tennis friends playing golf as she no longer could play tennis due to a knee injury.
“I thought it would be a fun way to introduce a lot of these girls to the sport by doing a scramble format that is conducive to beginners and played in a team format,” she said. “Personally, I think tennis and golf go hand in hand. A lot of the girls are playing both sports.”
Ward’s husband, John, is the President of Adams Golf, which provided prizes and giveaways for the event. Ward has been integral in Adams' sponsoring of the Koser Jewelers Tennis Challenge
, a USTA Pro Circuit event in Landisville, Pa. This year’s golf scramble was a fundraiser for the Koser event.
My foursome consisted of Nancy Balmer, Anne Dana, and Cathy Shaak. As Cathy and I were very new to tennis, our two veteran golfers were amazing assets.
It may have been a rainy day, but that didn't stop a big group of from hitting the course.
My golf cart mate for the day was Anne Dana – a ladies golf legend in Lancaster. She is one of just a few women to have won the Lanco Ladies City County Individual Championships three times in a row. Dana has been playing golf since she was 5 years old, learning from her mother and father. When she was asked at the age of 7 if she would rather go to the driving range or the pool she replied with, “I would like to go to the driving range, and then the pool.” That’s when the love of the game was born. She began playing tennis years later.
Nancy and Anne were kind and genuine in teaching us the game. From explaining which clubs to use and technique for the grip and swing, they continually offered words of encouragement, tips, and even turned an eye when we whiffed!
It was truly amazing getting to watch both of them hit the ball so crisp and with ease. Many times I stood in awe watching them hit a great shot. Just like in tennis when a player connects with the sweet spot, a great golf shot includes the swish of the swing and the ping of the ball on the club.
All the best parts of tennis were felt that day- laughing, having fun, learning and being social. Yet this format may have been even better. In tennis when you hit your ball horribly into the net, the point is over, but in a scramble, you either get a mulligan, or don’t worry about it as you know someone from your team will have a better shot to use.
As a true beginner it was easy to pick up the basics, and when you do finally have that connection with a ball or even just a great putt, it is an amazing feeling.
Even though the day was mostly raining and cold, it was a truly great experience. At the 18th hole I felt accomplished and had made new friends. I also sunk the last shot - even if it was from 5 inches from the tee.
I know that I will be back on the golf course again someday soon- probably after a lesson or two!