Long-Term Members Love the SaddleBrooke Lady Niners

Maria Byers

Gloria Franklin

Wanda Ross

The SaddleBrooke Lady Niners is such a fun golf league that a few of our members have been golfing in this group for over 20 years. Now that’s commitment.

Gloria Franklin joined 27 years ago, in the summer of 1994. She estimates that there were fewer than 800 houses in SaddleBrooke at that time; how our community has grown over all these years. When Gloria moved here, she was young and looking for new friends. She liked the idea of playing only 9 holes of golf, as it was a shorter time commitment. We all know how easy it is to get overly busy in SaddleBrooke.

Right away, Gloria realized that the Lady Niners is a wonderful group of ladies. Gloria stated, “We came here young, grew up together, and still are golfing together after all these years. I continue to golf with the Lady Niners for friendship and fun.” What a great gift of life this golf league has provided for our members, and it continues to provide.

A highlight for Gloria over the years has been participating in the planning and organization of annual invitational tournaments. Planning began in autumn for invitationals in March. The women worked closely together to plan all the details of these events. Unfortunately, we were unable to hold invitational tournaments last year due to COVID, but they will be back. Gloria’s biggest joy is the lifelong friends she has made through Lady Niners. Gloria is still golfing with the Niners, with plans to continue playing. She has moved to forward tees but still loves the game and our group.

Gloria is pleased that the Lady Niners haven’t changed much over the years. The president, officers, and committee members change, but the ladies remain the same. It’s a fun place to meet each week for a round of golf. Many of the ladies stay after golf for coffee and/or brunch at the RoadRunner Grill. With the restrictions for COVID lifted, we are happy to be back for our after-golf socializing. It’s a great way to get to know the ladies with whom we golf.

Maria Byers joined 21 years ago, in 2000. She had started playing golf but didn’t have much opportunity because she was very busy working and raising her children. Maria stated, “My husband introduced me to golf and created a monster. I’m addicted! The Niners ladies are my ladies. They are the people who keep me here because they are so friendly and supportive.” Maria likes that the Lady Niners league is not super competitive. We follow the rules and proper golf etiquette, but we have fun. She says, “Even when the game is rotten, we have fun.” She also very much enjoys staying after golf to have lunch with the ladies.

Maria is a two-time past president of the Lady Niners, having served as president both in 2005 and 2017. She also was invitational tournaments co-chair for 2014, 2016, and 2020, and co-chair of the Rally for the Cure in 2007 and 2008. How grateful we Niners are that Maria has contributed so much of her time and leadership to our golf league.

Maria is impressed by how many ladies help with Niners’ tasks. This teamwork has made her leadership roles much easier, for which she is most appreciative. Maria knows that the more you put into the Niners, the more you get out of it. She is amazed at the amount of support and friendship offered by members of the SaddleBrooke Lady Niners. Maria noted, “After shoulder surgery in 2017, I had an unbelievable number of get-well cards, phone calls, and encouraging conversations.” She, and many others, have given lots of time and energy, but it has been completely worth it because this is such a wonderful group of women.

If you are a golfer who hasn’t joined a league yet, or you are learning to golf and your instructor says you’re ready for more formal play, then join us. Details are at www.sb9ers.org; click on How to Join. We look forward to welcoming you.