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Women Learn To Mix Business With Pleasure On The Golf Course

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FUQUAY-VARINA — Women are the largest group of people to join the club -- the golf club, that is. They are taking up the sport for different reasons, like relaxation and exercise, but there is a growing group of women out there who are teeing off to get ahead in the business world.

TheExecutive Women's Golf Associationis a national organization with over 15,000 members, 175 in the Triangle area. The group was formed to help women learn the game and use it as a business tool.

"I'm playing mostly for the friendships and camaraderie, although it's led to a couple of business contacts that have been excellent for me," says Pat Everhart, president of the Executive Women's Golf Association.

The group meets every week at different golf courses around the Triangle.

"If you look at like a Forbes report, 98 percent of all the executives said that golf was their favorite game," Everhart says. "If golf was the favorite game of CEOs and you really want to advance through the ranks, it would seem to be very important that you learn how to play and be comfortable in the environment."

Belinda Colville, a systems consultant in an office filled mainly with male co-workers, joined the group four years ago. She says being a golf association member has given her an advantage.

"I wouldn't be able to talk about what a green is versus a tee box and what the rules are and making sure I keep up with the golf," Colville says.

There is more to the organization than golf fundamentals and business relationships. The regular outings serve as a way to relieve stress, and the women talk about everything from kids to demands at work.

"It's not something you necessarily want to take home and talk about so it's nice to have friends to talk about it who understand the pressure of being a woman in an executive role," says Cyndie Bennett, events chairwoman of the Executive Women's Golf Association.

Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Executive Women's Golf Association can call919-380-7715. Membership dues are $75 a year with a one-time initiation fee of $20.

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Lynda Loveland, Reporter
Lynn French, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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