© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Latina breaks barriers in golf with CT Latinas Golf Team

(From left) Estela Morales, founder of CT Latinas Golf Team, works with Pat Williams and Eilene Jimenez during at Goodwin Park in Hartford.
Maricarmen Cajahuaringa
Connecticut Public
(From left) Estela Morales Segarra, cofounder of CT Latinas Golf Team, works with Pat Williams and Eilene Jimenez during at Goodwin Park in Hartford.

Leer en Español

Golf is often considered a sport that attracts rich white men, but more women are engaging in this activity. In Connecticut, the CT Latinas Golf Team is recruiting Latina teens.

Estela Morales Segarra is originally from Mexico. She's been in Connecticut for almost 20 years. Her father taught her to play golf when she was 8. He wanted a partner on the green while he was playing and making business connections.

"He took me to the course, and I just fell in love with the game,” Morales Segarra said. He saw that and, thank God he was able to have somebody to coach me like a professional golfer in Mexico, and I also competed in tournaments and that was part of my life.”

Morales Segarra is the cofounder of CT Latinas Golf Team with Lena Rodriquez, Carmen Sierra. This summer, her group is training diverse young girls in empowerment and discipline through golf. So far, 16 young girls are now training, and 11 of them have been sponsored to play and train with the support of partners like First Tee and other CT Latina Golf Team members.

Luna Adrian is a 14-year-old from Hartford. She joined the team last winter, and so far, she is fascinated with the sport.

“At first, I didn't want to play golf, but now that I do, I feel good. So I do recommend it,” Adrian said. “Just try something new. You'll never know if you’ll like it.”

Eilene Jimenez is an 11-year-old from Hartford. She said sports makes her feel empowered, alive and happy.

“Try and see if you like it,” Jimenez said. “Because this year I tried so many sports and I saw that I really like them.”

According to the National Golf Foundation, 37% of today'sjunior players are women. And more than one-quarter of junior players are people of color, more than double from 20 years ago.

Morales Segarra said Latinos are breaking the stereotype, as organizations like the PGA and The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) have seen growing interest from those communities. The LPGA, for instance, said they are committed to changing the face of golf, making the sport more diverse, accessible, and inclusive.

“We are breaking that barrier,” Morales Segarra said. “70% of our group is Latinas. But everybody's welcome to join.”

Corrected: July 10, 2023 at 12:37 PM EDT
Corrections: An earlier version of this story identified Estela Morales Segarra, as Estela Morales. She prefers to be identified as Estela Morales Segarra. This story also had identified Estela Morales Segarra as the founder of CT Latinas Golf Team, she is a cofounder with Lena Rodriquez and Carmen Sierra.
Maricarmen Cajahuaringa is a journalist with extensive experience in Latino communities' politics, social issues, and culture. She founded Boceto Media, a digital Spanish-language newspaper based in Connecticut. Maricarmen holds a Bachelor's in Social Work from Springfield College, and a Master's in Journalism and Media Production from Sacred Heart University. As a reporter for Connecticut Public, she is dedicated to delivering accurate and informative coverage of the Hispanic/Latino population in the region. Maricarmen is an experienced and passionate journalist who strives to bring a voice to the stories of her community.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content