Hey all! My name is Leia Schwartz and I am the NCCGA Women's Golf Ambassador for 2017. I am extremely honored to have this opportunity to work with the Nextgengolf staff, leadership team, regional coordinators, presidents, and golfers across the nation this year. I’m really excited to work on continued growth, improvement, and opportunities in the game that we all love.
I am currently a junior at Stetson University in central Florida where I am majoring in Music and Communication & Media Studies, pursuing minors in Sport Business and Digital Arts. I was born in Monte Carlo, Monaco and grew up in Miami, Florida. Golf has been one of my biggest passions in life since I started playing at 12 years old. In high school, I was captain of the varsity golf team, taught golf to children with Autism and Down-Syndrome, and was very active with The First Tee program.
When I got to college, I knew that I wanted to keep playing golf, but not at the D1 level. I was surprised to find a lot of people at Stetson in the same situation. This is when I discovered the NCCGA and founded the Stetson Club Golf Team, which is currently a co-ed team.
Unfortunately, I was injured right after getting the club golf team started, spending our first season going through a long recovery and eventual surgery. Even though I couldn’t play, that didn’t keep me away from the course - as President, I traveled to all of our regional tournaments and learned the ins and outs of the NCCGA, often assisting our Regional Coordinator.
Although I can’t wait to get back out on the course, I’m glad I had this time to sit back, observe, and really learn what an incredible organization Nextgengolf and the NCCGA is.
Outside of the NCCGA, I am the assistant for Stetson’s D1 Men’s Team, a Student Ambassador working with our undergraduate admissions, and am involved with Greek Life. When I’m not on the golf course or at a Stetson sports event, you can often find me at Disney World (lucky it’s only an hour away from campus!). My other love in life aside from golf is music - I play piano and am a singer/songwriter. If I don’t become the next Taylor Swift or Adele, hopefully you’ll catch me as the first female Commissioner of the PGA Tour, second female commissioner of the LPGA, or coming at you live from the Golf Channel.
As NCCGA Women's Golf Ambassador, my main goal is of course to get more women involved in both club golf and the game of golf in general. I spent last summer interning at the LPGA, and hope to be able to tap into some of those resources to help grow the NCCGA as well. I look forward to working with everyone on helping female college students feel more welcome, comfortable and involved in this sport that is often seen as male dominated - it’s a team effort!
I’m also exploring ideas of implementing a separate division, low woman medalist, or some other incentives to encourage more women to compete. I want to make sure that people of all levels, regardless of ability or gender, feel like they can participate and be involved.
Like many people, the NCCGA has become a huge part of my time in college, and I’m really looking forward to giving back to make this year and the future ones even better. If anyone ever has any questions, feedback or ideas, please don’t hesitate to reach out! I’m always happy to chat about golf and life. :)
**Leia Schwartz is the NCCGA Women's Golf Ambassador for 2017. She can be reached on Twitter @NCCGAWomensGolf or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.