One morning early in the 106th Congress (1999), two women golfers who work for the United States Senate’s Committee on Rules and Administration lingered after a meeting on some now forgotten issue to shoot the breeze about golf and how it would be nice if there were a way to bring women golfers from the Capitol Hill community together. The conversation soon turned to ruminating over how to create opportunities for women to play more golf, take lessons in accordance with their skill levels, and foster a sense of fellowship in the unique professional atmosphere that surrounds Capitol Hill. While we enjoy our golf outings with men, we had long lamented the difficulty in finding women to play the red tees with. We were also mindful of the potential career benefits of golf proficiency and camaraderie for ourselves, as well as for our female staff colleagues on the Hill. For American men, golf had long been a staple of business and political life. For women, golf is a comparatively new frontier. While we knew there were a lot of women in Washington and on Capitol Hill playing golf, when looking to round out a foursome it seemed female candidates were always hard to come by. And so the Women’s Congressional Golf Association was born. First and foremost, we wanted the WCGA to be non-partisan. We got off to a good start in that regard insofar as one of us is a Republican and the other is a Democrat. The WCGA is non-political. It is all about golf and women golfers — who just happen to be associated with Capitol Hill. We also decided to open up the membership to include women who not only currently work on Capitol Hill but those who have in the past. Word of the WCGA quickly spread, organizational officers were selected, membership grew to a few dozen in the first year and it was clear that the WCGA’s potential was limited only by the members’ energy and imagination. In 2001, the WCGA will be able to boast of over 100 active, dues-paying members. Dedicated and dynamic women have come forth to take leadership positions to make the WCGA an even more rewarding experience for its members through increased playing and learning opportunities. We also aspire to one day sponsor charitable events through which the WCGA can contribute to enhance athletic opportunities for girls and women in the Washington, D.C. area. Washington has long been a beacon for the most ambitious, capable and accomplished women in America. Many start their careers on Capitol Hill. The Women’s Congressional Golf Association is where Washington women can get their golf game started and honed, associate with fellow golfers, and have an all-around great time in pursuit of whacking little dimpled balls hundreds of yards to, hopefully, roll into absurdly small holes cut into manicured patches of grass. By comparison, balancing the federal budget is a piece of cake.
Tamara S. Somerville, WCGA Co-Founder
Staff Director, Senate Committee on Rules and Administration
May 18, 2001
Golf Handicap: classified "Sensitive"