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For more information on LPGA Women Who Play Central Oregon, visit www.ewgaco.com

Mary Wallis came across what’s now LPGA Women Who Golf’s Central Oregon chapter when she moved to Oregon four years ago.

She joined the group after attending a newcomers event, quickly realizing it was a great place to make friends, as well as hit the greens.

“I did it and three months later I was on the board,” said Wallis, a Tumalo resident who is a member at Eagle Crest. “It’s great to always have women to play with.”

Wallis, who served as the group’s president last year, was one of the group’s members who took part in a noon May 26 round at Juniper Golf Course. The 60-member chapter had been part of the Executive Women’s Golf Association before a recent rebranding as part of a strategic alliance with the Ladies Professional Golf Association.

“We have a lot of support from the LPGA Foundation,” said Pam Fortier of Bend, the organization’s current president.

The rebranding hasn’t impacted the group’s mission of growing the game among women, Fortier said.

“A lot of it is just the camaraderie, and you’re meeting women of all different levels of play,” she said.

The chapter plays on 15 sponsor courses, with several events per week, mostly in Redmond and Bend but with Prineville, Sisters and elsewhere represented.

“It just gives you an opportunity to always play with somebody,” Fortier said. “You can play competitively if you want, but you can also play socially, which is what the majority of our members do.”

The chapter’s next scheduled event is Thursday at Awbrey Glen in Bend, with a return to the Redmond area at Eagle Crest’s Resort Course Saturday.

The women come from different backgrounds and age groups, with members ranging from their 30’s to their 80’s, Fortier said. Some are working, while others are retired.

“Our mission is to learn and grow the game of golf,” she said. “We’re always looking for women to join in Central Oregon.”

Wallis said she prefers the laid back atmosphere of LPGA Women Who Play to a competitive league.

“I just want to have fun playing with my friends,” she said.

— Reporter: 541-548-2186, gfolsom@redmond spokesman.com

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