An avid golfer since the age of 13, Mary Shepperd found herself looking for a group of women to play with when she first moved to San Diego nine years ago. Thrilled to discover the Torrey Pines Women’s Golf Club (TPWGC), Mary joined immediately.
Several years of new friendships and Tuesday morning rounds later, the TPWGC Board asked Mary if she would join as Rules Director, where she has now served for two years. Although there has been no shortage of challenges for the TPWGC Board, they’ve worked hard to overcome them and, in the process, have recognized their obligation to support the growth of the game.
Mary was no stranger to the women’s golf world in Southern California, even before she made the move to San Diego.
As an active member of the USGA Women’s Mid-Amateur Committee, and subsequently, the USGA Women’s Committee, Mary volunteered to work many of the USGA qualifying tournaments throughout the region. Along the way, she met and got to know Deb Long.
Also a SoCal native, Deb was a lifelong golfer and advocate for women and girls in golf. Her passion for developing youth through the game led her to create affordable playing, mentorship and scholarship opportunities for girls throughout Southern California.
“I quickly developed tremendous respect and admiration for her work, knowledge and commitment to women’s golf,” Mary recalls. “She was well-known and beloved by all. When she unexpectedly passed in 2019, it was devastating to the golf community.”
In honor of Deb’s legacy, the SCGA Junior Golf Foundation created the Deb Long Drive for Girls Golf – a fundraising campaign with the goal of bringing and keeping girls in the game.
“When the SCGA Foundation announced the Deb Long Drive initiative, I was thrilled,” Mary expressed. “What a perfect way to honor Deb’s commitment to the game and especially female junior golfers.”
Since the initiative’s conception, Mary has not only personally contributed but has influenced her club to get involved as well. In alignment with their goal to give back, the TPWGC Board excitedly approved Mary’s proposal to become regular supporters of the Deb Long Drive and SCGA Junior’s Girls Golf programming.
The TPWGC recognizes the importance of junior golf programs like SCGA Junior and Girls Golf.
“[SCGA Junior] provides such incredible opportunities for kids from all different types of backgrounds. And there are tangible benefits well beyond playing nice courses and winning championships. They are receiving coaching in behavior, etiquette, the importance of the rules and integrity, as well as physical conditioning and the benefits of practice and hard work."
The TPWGC Board is excited about their commitment to highlight and support volunteer opportunities in golf.
“It’s been a very positive step for the Board to move beyond just running our weekly events,” Mary said. “It reinforces the importance of giving back to the game we enjoy so much and has elevated our sense of accomplishment in our community.”
If your club is interested in getting involved with the SCGA Junior Golf Foundation or its Deb Long Drive for Girls Golf, please reach out to Jennifer Seislove at [email protected].