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Joanne Walker
NWGA Join Date – 2007
Club Rep Foxland Harbor Golf & Country Club 2015/16; 2nd VP 2009-2010; 1st VP 2011-2012; President 2013-2014; Future Policy 2015-2022; Honorary Life Member
TGA Women's Competition Committee Chair 2014-2015


There really are no words that can express my appreciation for the opportunity of being President of NWGA!  I feel truly blessed to have had this opportunity.  ‘Thank you’ to each one of you who has been so supportive and been a part of my life during this time.  Together, we have celebrated our first 90 years of NWGA and had a lot of FUN.

 We had a primary focus on our NWGA purpose during my term which resulted in creating a New Member Application form as well as a Junior Golf Strategy.   And, we migrated to a single source email for member communications.  We brought in 21 new members during 2013-14.

 We had an option to buy NWGA logo shirts during 2013.  And, our focus throughout 2014 was on our 90th Anniversary celebration.   We had guest speakers at our membership meetings and collected NWGA history for our website.  We closed out 2014 with a Bella ball marker designed based on our original NWGA logo design.

 Golf is a game of integrity, a game of fun, a game where we meet our friends!  The game of golf truly helped me through difficult times.  God has given me so many blessings through the game of golf, and the game of golf has given me lifelong friends.  I am so thankful for each of you.  I have laughed with you, I have cried for a few, and I have listened to your ideas and your advice during my term.  You will always be in my heart, and a part of who I am!

 Some of my best friends I would not even have known had I not been a part of NWGA. 

I look forward to playing golf with each of you in our future seasons.  And remember, if you ever need anything, I am here for you. 


Joanne Walker

Mary Bush NWGA Join Date – 1998
President 2011-2012; Honorary Life Member February 8, 2014

As past president, I have been asked to reflect on thoughts and memories of NWGA.
As I think back, I decided to just write from the heart as well as to let my dry sense of humorcome through too. So--- here goes.

 I became a member of NWGA in 1998. I was a member of Carnton Country Club, a small clubin Franklin,TN. We did not have as many clubs in NWGA at that time. I remember we hadBelle Meade, Hillwood, Woodmont, Old Hickory, Temple Hills & Richland.

It was amazing to me to be able to play these different courses. Each club was unique andchallenging, and I admit new people were unique and challenging too. Unless you went andplayed in individual club Ladies Invitationals back then, you only played at home.

Ohhh, Belle Meade, seemed to have more sand traps than any other club, but the sand wasbeautiful, white, fluffy!!!!!! I recall one day playing there it seemed all I could do was hit inthese beautiful little sand traps on every hole, so the day was a challenge of sand traps-- baredown, get out of the beautiful little traps, ended up shooting a 80 for the day, felt great and theladies I played with tolerated me. What fun, what a great organization in NWGA.

As time passed, more clubs were added; Legends, Fairvue, Five Oaks, Westhaven, Foxland,More opportunity for good golf and good acquaintances.

 In 2010, I was asked to be President of NWGA, did not feel qualified, as had never even beenclub rep, but regardless I accepted and thought I can do anything for a year only to learn that itwas a two year stretch! Oh no, Mary you should have gotten the facts-- O K I can do this too.

As President, NWGA grew to be a whole different organization. I discovered the members,
you know the people that make up the organization. I saw a passion for the game of golf, morethan ever before. I saw how all different personalities could take this game of golf and meet thechallenge of playing the best that they could and still be human enough to relax and enjoy thesheer fun of playing!

My second year as President brought personal challenges. My husband got sick, numeroussurgeries and treatments, had elderly Mom who needed more attention, had personal illness andhospitalizations. Could I be a good President for NWGA? My goodness, yes there were over150 ladies in this organization and when I could go play golf they were there! Not mushy,gushybut hugs,support-- a real group of women who not only loved golf but cared!!

There were a couple of times that I recall that were special to me. One was the Lad & Lassie atFive Oakes. To me at Five Oakes it seem that every hole is up hill and long. My husband and Istarted on hole #7, par 4, I took an eight, my husband par the hole, hunker down Mary-- endedup shooting an 80, husband did his part, guess what we won!!

Because of the humor of it, I have added the second memory. Playing Legends, first hole, getready, put tees in pocket, can't find pocket, oh no skort on backwards, nobody looking, secluded ,change skort around, skort stretchy material hard to get over cleats, yeh got skort on right, gotpockets, got tees in pockets! The other three girls just look at me and laugh and we proceed tohave a great day of fun and golf.

When I became President, I was given this tub of papers that had all the history and events ofNWGA from the beginning. I read every one of the papers and did you know they used to putpictures in the Tennessean of the ladies events of NWGA back then? It was amazing to read allthe material and it gave me respect and gratitude for the ladies that came before me.

As I have grown older and reflect back on NWGA, I thank God that it has been a part of my life.I don't play as well as I once did and I never reached the game I wanted to achieve but I havelearned a lot about golf and life from the players that were better than I, and I have learned a lotabout golf and life from the players that were not better than I. To me this is NWGA! A great game called golf and a great group of ladies!!!May it go another 50 years.

Respectfully and grateful,Mary Bush

Debbie McDuffie NWGA Join Date – 2003
Club Rep Bluegrass CC 2005-2006
1st VP 2007-2008; President 2009-2010; Future Policy 2011-2018; Honorary Life Member Debbie McDuffie
President ,Nashville Women’s GolfAssociation 2009-2010

What a privilege to serve our association! I had anoutstanding group to work with including the ExecutiveBoard, Standing Committee Chair women and ClubRepresentatives. I also had many excellent leaders whowent before me that paved the way to having a successfulterm of which I am very grateful.

As an additional way to support one of our key statues,“To encourage Junior Golfers” our membership waschallenged to add $10 to their dues if possible thatwould be earmarked for donation and support of thatgroup. I am pleased this has continued each year.

We had some member club changes during my tenure.Regretfully, Belle Meade Country Club, a foundingmember club, changed NWGA’s status to an “outsidegroup with a fee increase” and the decision was madeto remove them from our member clubs. Ravenwoodfell below membership requirements and with no further membership interest and they were also removed frommember club status. Both clubs were given a year
of “grace” to return to participation but sadly were notreinstated.

We quickly replaced these 2 membership deficits
by temporarily lowering the membership handicaprequirement and inviting each club to submit 2 newmembers for consideration. New excitement filled ourOpening Day with many new ladies enjoying the benefitsand camaraderie of our wonderful organization.

We began early talks with representatives fromWesthaven Country Club in Franklin Tennessee whorequested consideration for NWGA member club status in2011 after the completion for their clubhouse.

Again, I want to thank this wonderful group of ladies, pastand present for the opportunity and privilege to serve astheir president. This organization is a one of a kind placeto meet new friends from across the city of Nashville and create life-long relationships that all starts with thecommon love of the game of golf.

Respectfully submitted,Debbie McDuffie

Mary Kelly NWGA Join Date – 1999
Club Rep in 2001-2004 Ravenwood
1st VP 2005-2006; President 2007-2008; Future Policy 2009-2016; Honorary Life Member April 4, 2014

The first time I heard anything at all about the NWGA was while playing in the ladies league atRavenwood CC. I was on the tee box waiting my turn when one of the other girls began tellinganother girl about the league.

Of course I didn’t realize at the time that my 40 handicap precluded me from being part of theleague, but I did realize that she wasn’t talking to me. LOL

However, that short conversation definitely sparked my interest, and I knew then that being partof the NWGA was something that I would strive for and cherish.

As my children got older and I was able to play more golf, my handicap finally dropped to 15and I was in!!!! I was so excited. It was wonderful to play the other clubs and meet golfersfrom all over the city.

That is the best thing about the NWGA. The friendships we make.

 I’ve had my good and bad moments on the course. I will never forget having the shanks atBrentwood CC, and one of the ladies I was playing with suggesting we quit and go shopping.She felt so bad for me. I guess she had probably had the shanks herself at one time or another.

The first course I ever broke 80 on other than my home course was Old Natchez. I was hopingto do that on all the courses, but I’m afraid it might never happen at Nashville Golf and AthleticClub. Love that course, but it sure has my number.

I guess my best moment on the course was when I was President and I had a hole in one at ourOpening Luncheon at Five Oaks. It was my first and only hole in one. Thank goodness DonnaRobers was there to document the whole thing. That was before we all had cameras in ourphones. I still smile when I think about that day.

I was very fortunate that I was President after Gail Smothers Smith. She was so organized andhad everything running so smoothly. Following in her footsteps was a breeze.

I am very proud to have been President of the NWGA. I am proud of what our organizationstands for and what we strive to accomplish. Most of all, I feel blessed that I have met and gotten to know so many wonderful women fromaround the city.

Mary Kelly

Gail Smothers Smith NWGA Join Date – 1996
Club Rep 2001-2002 for Vanderbilt Legends
1st VP 2003-2004; President 2005-2006; Future Policy 2007-2014; Honorary Life MemberTGA Women’s Competition Committee Chair 2012-2013
Executive Committee Officer 2013-Present January 1, 2014

The focus during that time was communicating more directly by using email. I used mail mergeto individually email each member with information.

I wanted to get back some ladies who had stopped playing because pace of play was too slow.
I used a three tiered approach and called it Playing Golf Efficiently. The first step consisted ofasking “Are You a Slow Player”, which was several questions to answer to determine if youwere slow. I emphasized that if each group of 4 saved 30 seconds a hole, their round of golfwould take 36 minutes less. The next step was listing several ways to become a faster, thereforea more considerate player. I used the fact that we were guests of the member clubs and out of respect for the members we should play fast, tip when appropriate, and eat lunch wheneverpossible. Bad guests don’t get invited back! The third aspect of my approach was to narrow
in on the “Top Ten Rules You Should Know” in order to move around the golf course in anefficient golfer. If you have an issue on the golf course with hazards or cart paths, we all shouldknow how to proceed with relief quickly in those situations.

I also started the NWGA website. The local paper had stopped covering anything about NWGAdue to their focus on professional teams. At least we had a place to look for info and results, andI believe that it has become a valuable asset to our association.

As you know, I worked hard, but met more people and had a wonderful time. After being 1stVice President and then President, I am truly blessed to have met so many wonderful ladies fromacross Middle Tennessee that would not have been possible without the Nashville Women’s GolfAssociation.

Gail Smothers Smith

Kay Lunsford NWGA Join Date – 1993
Club Rep in 1998 for Old Hickory Country Club
1st VP 1999-2000; President 2003-2004; Future Policy 2005-2012; Honorary Life Member

The ultimate aim of golf and life lies not in victory or defeat, but in shaping the character ofthose on the journey. I did not recognize how many doors that golf could open. It truly has beenoutstanding, all the beautiful golf courses and the many wonderful people I have met and playedgolf with. It has been an honor to be an ambassador for OHCC and NWGA. I play regularly onboth leagues and some TGA events. It has been a blessing to play, have fun, able to see othermembers, share, compete and have a meal with them.

To find a person’s true character, play golf with them. Building friendships around the game ofgolf is a way to invite others to join you in learning about how great this game can be. The LPGA was in the Nashville area, to play in the Pro-Am and to volunteer to work theTournament was my highlight in golf. To volunteer your time, make contributions and have golfcharities events to help schools, Junior golf and the 1st Tee program has truly exemplified whatNWGA was founded on.

Everyone needs a second chance in golf and in life. Thanks to NWGA, it has been a privilege tobe a member of this association and the importance of its rank-ordered values.

Kay Lunsford


Linda McDugald
NWGA Join Date – 1985
Temple Hills

Secretary 1995-1996; 2nd VP 1997-1998; President 1999-2000; Future Policy 2001-2008; Honorary Life Member


“One of the most special memories I have from my term as President of NWGA is the preparation for our 75th NWGA Anniversary celebration.  I really enjoyed researching the history of NWGA and also getting to know all of the past presidents of the organization.  I contacted each one and extended a personal invitation to our 75th celebration.  Many were able to attend and share memories.  I also enjoyed getting to know personally all of the officers serving with me.  We spent a lot of time researching all of the “rules and regulations” of NWGA and discussing ways to improve our play days and make our organization as efficient and enjoyable as possible.”


Linda McDugald


Gen Williams

NWGA Join Date – 1970
Member @ Bluegrass Country Club
President 1997-1998; Future Policy 1999-2006; Honorary Life Member

October 16, 2014


 I wanted to type this, but my darn typewriter is acting up!  Hope you can read this—at 90 years old, my writing is bad!  Hope this that I have written is O.K. – just add or delete as you see fit.  Gen

 I didn’t start golf until later in life, but thanks to good golfing buddies, I learned how to play – and I soon became a member of NWGA.  I served on the board and then was elected President of this great organization.  So, I urge every member to readily accept the challenge of helping to lead the group when asked as it is a very satisfying situation to help this organization –

 Enjoy your golf!!

Gen Williams

Katherine Graham
NWGA Join Date – 1953
President 1965-1966; Honorary Life Member
Former USGA Women’s Committee
Tennessee Hall of Fame

April 9, 2014

Dear Joanne,

It was my plan to send you and NWGA a nice typed letter of congratulations on your anniversary.  But, alas, my typing machine is on the blink.

A note to tell you, again, the joy NWGA brought me many years ago – and the wonderful, lasting friendships I made.  Having been to and participated in golf events all over the world, I always think back in memory to NWGA and the joy it gave me.

I congratulate the group on another birthday!

Katherine Graham