So, no women members allowed – unless you're saving our club from bankruptcy!

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: When it comes to women's rights and equality, golf probably isn't what you'd immediately think of unless you're a woman golfer and have had "experiences" with "men only" clubs (we both have) …

Before becoming a mom, Red was an avid golfer for decades. She had learned to play from our parents on local public courses when she was barely a teenager and had a natural talent and love for the game. Consistent with her being a straight-A student, she spent lots of time practicing and became a better-than-average golfer. Fast forward to post-college, when Red moved back home and worked for a non-profit photography museum in New York City. The job paid little, but she had four weeks of vacation, so off she went, by herself, to Scotland on a golf adventure,

I planned for the trip for almost a year and went from one great course to another. From St. Andrews to Turnberry to Royal Dornoch, although I was a woman traveling alone, I always was made to feel welcome. At Gleneagles, the foursome was made up of me and three men traveling together from New Jersey, one of whom made it quite clear to me that he was a member at Pine Valley Golf Club and how I'd never be able to play the course. I can still remember looking at him saying how I'd never even heard of it and then proceeded to hit my tee shot onto the green on a long par 3. At the time, I didn't think any more of it until I got home and mentioned it to my Dad, who then proceeded to tell me all about Pine Valley.

Black, on the other hand, was also introduced to golf by our parents but had little interest in it until she graduated business school and quickly realized the importance of "business golf". For her, golf had a specific purpose, and she became an extremely competitive player, rarely playing for the "fun" of it,

Living in Houston and working in the "good 'ole boy" oil and industry, it was not long before I was made aware of Lochinvar, one of the most exclusive private clubs in Houston. And men only. Of course, knowing that golf is a mind game, I was prepared for men in my foursome to nonchalantly mention the club thinking it would bother me. And then one day, I got roped into playing a women's tournament and decided to rattle the competition by using a golf bag from Lochinvar with the club's name written in such large bold letters you could not miss it. From that day on, I used it all the time.

Oh, and what about Helen Crump Street being the first women member at Pine Valley? When Axios first announced Pine Valley finally allowing women members, Black wanted to know more and learned that the club almost went into bankruptcy in the early 1920s but was saved by the founder's sister, who was then given a lifetime membership. But that was a century ago … with no other women members allowed … until now.

Ok, let’s be clear (pun intended) … Communication is critical. Whether in your personal life or in business, not to mention communication skills are transferable between the two (Black even suggested Red hold family “business” meetings). And what better time to work on how we communicate, and maybe even have a new attitude toward vocabulary and “50-cent words” (Red loves those, but terminology scares her!?), than during Effective Communications Month.

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