Twice As Nice

Patty Jewett 18-Hole Golf Club comes back for seconds as CGA Women’s Club of the Year

By Gary Baines – 12/16/2021

The CWGA first gave out its Women’s Club of the Year award almost five years ago, recognizing what the inaugural honorees had accomplished on a variety of fronts in 2016.  

With the CGA taking over presenting the honor after the two organizations formally joined forces about four years ago, the Women’s Club of the Year award this fall is being presented for the fifth time, with the 2020 and ’21 years combined due to the effects of the pandemic, which kept many club members from meeting in person in 2020.

So it must say something that Patty Jewett Women’s 18-Hole Golf Club this fall is becoming the first two-time honoree as the CGA’s WCOY. The Colorado Springs-based club shared the inaugural honor for 2016 with Fitzsimons, a course that has since closed, and now Patty Jewett is winning on its own for the combined 2020-21 seasons.

“That tells me I’m very fortunate to lead a group of women who care to be important — not only in the community, but within the state … in supporting the sport of golf,” said Deb Barry, the current president of the Patty Jewett Women’s 18-Hole Golf Club, who was also in a leadership role when the club received the award in 2017. “One thing I’m proud of my club for is they like to give back. They like to give to the community. They want the community to know that there’s a non-profit golf organization out there that cares not only about golf but other (organizations and people) who are in need in our community.”

Indeed, the Women’s Club of the Year honor is presented in part to recognize such philanthropic groups within golf. It’s awarded to a club that has demonstrated a commitment to golf and/or its community through innovative fundraising, programs or competitions.

(Note: While the Women’s Club of the Year honor has been presented since 2017, the first CGA Men’s Club of the Year award also is being given out this fall. The story about the club that earned that honor will be published early next week.)

In the case of Patty Jewett, its 18-hole women’s club just this month presented a contribution for $3,180 to the Children’s Literacy Center in Colorado Springs — in addition to many children’s books for the Center’s gift bags and library. And though Covid-19-related restrictions established by the City of Colorado Springs kept the club from holding its Benefit Tournament in 2020 and ’21, that event raised $10,000 for Partners in Housing in 2019. The plan is for the 2022 Benefit Tourney to raise funds for Peak Vista Women’s Health Center.

Of course, 2020 and ’21 have been particularly challenging for groups such as the PJWGC to do their usual charity with restrictions being placed on the type of gatherings where such money tends to be raised.

“It’s been a tough two years with all the restrictions that have been put upon us — and everybody,” said Barry, the club president for the last year. “I’m sure all the golf clubs have had to work through different strategies in order to keep the club together and continue to play. There were things that were taken away from us that we do normally. In 2020 and ’21, we couldn’t do our Benefit Tournament; that’s our huge fundraiser.

“So that that kind of knocked us over a little bit. That has been the largest highlight of our Club of the Year application in the past. We did our best to overcome these situations and do what we can do for the community, for our club, for our members and to keep our membership alive. And I think we did a pretty good job of it.”

It hasn’t hurt, during this predictable time of the pandemic, that Barry is a retired City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services employee (1984-2009). That department oversees the city’s golf courses, including Patty Jewett, one of the oldest public courses west of the Mississippi, dating back to 1898.

“I knew these people and I try to understand why things get done,” she said of navigating the choppy waters of Covid-19 governance.

In 2019, Patty Jewett Women’s 18-Hole Golf Club raised $10,000 for Partners in Housing through the club’s Benefit Tournament.

The Patty Jewett Women’s 18-Hole Golf Club currently includes about 80 members.

“We’re very proud of what we’ve done over the last two years,” said Barry, who’s been part of the Patty Jewett 18-hole club leadership for more than a decade. “I’m especially very grateful as president to have an opportunity to reach out to our members and try to keep their interest, try to keep them playing golf, and try to keep happy times during a time when things were different. It’s important to keep people happy when things are different. That was a goal of mine from the very beginning — to keep up the communication, to keep our members together as much as possible. We continued to work with our pro shop staff and the City of Colorado Springs to make this happen the best way we could — keeping us safe, alive (as a club) and playing golf.

“What I’m really proud of is that our charity committee and our benefit tournament committee and our board of directors all hung really strong in making sure our beneficiary, Peak Vista Women’s Health Center, was kept on board and (informed) that as we can do the benefit tournament, we want them still to be our beneficiary. It didn’t disappear because that’s a major, major event for us where we do a lot of work for the community.”

In addition to other charity work the women’s 18-hole club at Patty Jewett does, it has a couple of its members who work regularly with Special Olympics Colorado’s golf program — Betsy White and Trish Skrdla.

“That’s huge,” Barry said. “They’re supporting golf and using their expertise and their love for it and sharing those experiences with the club so the club can keep on top of how important it is to become involved outside of just playing the game every Thursday.

“That’s our club. We want to give. Outside of our playing golf, we want to give to our community. We want our community to know that we love Patty Jewett and golf, but we also love the community. And we want to give back — typically to women’s and children’s charities. … I can’t say enough about the generosity and dedication the members of the PJWGC contribute to our community.  It’s not just all about golf; it’s about community.”

Here are the all-time CGA Women’s Clubs of the Year:

For 2016 — Patty Jewett 18-Hole GC and Fitzsimons GC

For 2017 — Saddle Rock GC

For 2018 — Valley CC

For 2019 — Denver Chapter of LPGA Amateur Golf Association

For 2020-21 — Patty Jewett 18-Hole GC