By Brian Heyman
HARRISON – The row of girls stretched across the practice range under the blue and white sky Monday at Westchester Country Club. And there was Monique Thoresz, helping grow the game of golf on the grass, working with Danielle Cohen on her swing mechanics.
The 14-year-old from Scarsdale swung her hybrid club around and made contact.
“Better,” said Thoresz, the director of instruction at The Apawamis Club in Rye. “Best one yet.”
There were three stations along the row — short irons, driving and chipping and pitching. Behind the clubhouse, tips were being handed out to another group on the putting green.
Welcome to the sixth annual Girls to the Tee, a clinic sponsored by the Women’s Metropolitan Golf Association Foundation. There were 16 professionals on hand to instruct and more than 100 girls, from the pint-sized age of 6 all the way up to 18.
“It’s so important for them to see other girls do play golf,” Thoresz said. “Some of them don’t belong to clubs, and even the ones that do, the numbers are strongly in favor of boys. They don’t ever get to see this. Girls are a little bit different. They just need to see other girls. It’s so social for them.”
Gary Weir also hoped the tips make it more enjoyable for them.
“Kids do things because they enjoy it, particularly sports and recreation,” said Weir, the director of instruction at Westchester Country Club.
Diane Mock, the junior girls chair of the WMGA and vice president of the WMGA Foundation, wants to see Girls to the Tee expand from here to Long Island and New Jersey.
“Golf teaches a lot of life lessons along the way, and we are very interested in bringing girls to the golf course,” Mock said. “And we think that this, at a young age, will do it.”
Amanda Dolis came to the course from Crestwood.
“I learned how to do a correct approach to the ball,” the 11-year-old said.
Pasqualina Tartaglione came down from Pine Bush, a 14-year-old with LPGA dreams, hoping this was a step “to help be successful with my goal.” Shawna Noto, a 15-year-old New City resident who plays for Clarkstown South, said she found the instruction “very beneficial.”
“I like golf,” Noto said. “I always play with my dad. He loves golf. It’s fun to play with him and my cousins.”
Cohen competed for Edgemont this past spring as a freshman. She said this clinic taught her “to turn my body more and shorten my swing, have more control of my power.”
“It’s really nice,” Cohen said. “I want to learn more and this is really helpful.”