Hail to the New Chief

At first glance, the 2016 Greater Cincinnati Women’s Golf Association executive board president might seem like an odd choice.

But look a little bit closer and Gloria Landry appears to be an inspired selection. Her experiences in the game appeal to a broad cross section of area women golfers.

Landry took up golf only a dozen years ago in the wake of her first husband’s death. She joined the former Royal Oak Country Club with a friend and often played at public courses, too, particularly enjoying a par-three league at Little Miami Golf Course in Newtown.

Now a member at Ivy Hills C.C., Gloria received some of her earliest lessons from GCWGA legend Carol Johnson.

“On good days I can thank her for that,” Landry said. “On the bad days she wouldn’t want to know what I’ve done.”

Landry carries a 24 handicap with a goal to getting to an 18 and playing legitimate bogey golf.

She spent 42 years with Kroger – career, husband and family were some of the reasons she didn’t play golf sooner than she did – before her retirement five years ago.

“I developed a broad range of business and organizational skills that translate very well to the board,” she said. “This is a good way to give back to the game I like and love.”

What does she like and love about golf?

“I love the social aspect, but I also love the competitive side,” Landry said. “That’s what the GCWGA does very well with our team play and our tournaments. There’s something for everyone. Stroke play and match play. Competitive or not as much. There’s room for everyone.”

There’s also room for improvement.

“One of my 2016 goals to increase participation in our events by our GCWGA members,” she said. “That’s an ongoing goal.

“A lot of women golfers don’t really like to compete, but they like the social aspect of it. There’s also a whole group of members we’re not touching because they’re working every day. So we’re looking at the possibility of some evening events that will target these groups, specifically.”

Landry also is passionate about continuing the work of the GCWGA Scholarship Foundation and promoting the corresponding SHE tournament that helps raise funds.

“Last year we awarded ten $1,500 scholarships,” she said. “It’s really gratifying to know we’re not just playing golf for ourselves. We’re supporting young women golfers – public and private – to help them with their education. That’s important to me and to our board.”

Despite her relative newness to the game, Landry is no stranger to the GCWGA board. Prior to becoming president, she served as secretary (2013), assistant tournament chair (2014) and tournament chair (2105).

Landry looks for the excitement of the much-celebrated 100th anniversary of the Ladies Met in 2015 to carry over this year and beyond.

“Seeing (2015 Ladies Met champion) Hannah Lee hugging people, cutting up with her family and friends and everyone taking pictures after she won was great,” she said. “That kind of excitement is infectious.

“I want to see it continue as the premiere women’s amateur golf tournament in Cincinnati. I’d love to see more publicity. And really, with how many great players we have moving up, I’d really like to see more exposure for our Senior Met, too. We have some great stories to follow.”

Landry will be working with some new and familiar faces on the board. Eve Enders of O’Bannon Creek G.C. assumes the role of website/media chair; she hopes to share some of those story lines Landry mentioned.

“We want to make our communication more fluid and more frequent,” she said. “If we can get to people through our website and social media, and make them aware of the benefits of playing – whether it’s competitive or not – we will broaden our appeal.”

Enders took up golf at age 13, playing with her mother on a nine-hole course in Michigan. She joined at O’Bannon about 20 years ago, where she played socially with her late husband. Now she plays with the club’s 18-hole ladies group.

Even though she’s more of a social golfer, Enders won her flight of the 100th Ladies Met last year at Cincinnati C.C.

“While I was working I took vacation days to play in GCWGA events,” she said. “It was a great way to catch up with friends I’ve made through golf all over the city. Now that I’ve retired, though, I feel very strongly about giving back in my role as publicity chair.”

Past president (1990) Sue Detzel of Coldstream C.C. returns to the GCWGA board as the new assistant tournament chair.

“I’m happy to get involved again,” she said. “(Husband) Joe and I will have been married 50 years this this September. Golf has been a big part of my life – of our lives – for 50 years now.”

Detzel’s main goals include targeting young players for tournaments and making sure veteran GCWGA members know they have plenty of outlets to play.

“It’s not just the Met or the senior Met,” she said. “We have the Crystal Bowl as a two-man event and the Kent as a four-man team competition.

“I would love to see and encourage younger girls to play more competitive golf on a local level. You can’t spend four hours on a golf course with somebody without getting to know something about that person. It’s a great sport for building relationships, both personal and in business.”

GCWGA: Where history and the future meet.