Leslie Andrews’s ’82 love of golf has lasted for years. She has been a certified Ladies’ Professional Golf Association (LPGA) instructor since 2002 and served as the director of instruction at Randall’s Golf Course in New York for nine years. Now, she has brought that love back to the Wellesley community as the new director of golf at the Nehoiden Golf Course.
Nehoiden, owned by Wellesley College, is located a short distance from the main campus on Dover Road. After Andrews returned to campus for a reunion in 2017, management reached out to her and offered her the job. She says that at the time, Nehoiden was under new management, and they contacted her because they needed someone who had her level of experience with golfing.
“‘[They said] ‘Hey! We see you work in the golf industry! We want your help running the golf course!’” she laughed.
Andrews had known for a long time that she wanted to work in sports, having played field hockey, basketball and lacrosse at Wellesley. She majored in psychology as an undergrad and went on to get a degree in business from Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Afterwards, she worked several management consulting positions and a few marketing positions at ESPN before working at Randall’s.
Andrews credits her background in psychology for her success as a golf instructor.
“There’s a lot of psychology to it, there’s a lot of bits about establishing a relationship. Golf is a very mental game,” she explained. “And frankly, being a teacher, you have to be able to understand people.”
One of her missions as the new director at Nehoiden is to rekindle student interest in the golf course. Nehoiden plans on running a series of programs throughout the season targeted at students and alumnae for this very reason.
“I learned to play golf when I was 30, and I would have to say that as a student at Wellesley I think I knew there was a golf course across the street, [but] I’m not entirely sure that I knew that,” Andrews said. “It’s a nine-hole golf course, and it is owned by the college, and the college provides access to students and alums. And a lot of people don’t know that!”
Nehoiden has partnered up with Wellesley’s #TakeABreak initiative — an initiative sponsored by the college’s Wellness Outreach Collaborative, which consists of a series of events throughout reading period designed to reduce stress — to hold an event at the course called Women, Golf and Business on May 12.
At the event, Andrews will give a brief talk on the importance of golf in women’s careers and then participants can either take a beginner’s course on golf or play a 9-hole scramble, depending on their experience. Teaching women how to take part in informal networking events, like golfing, is something Andrews is passionate about and eager to discuss with her background in both business and golf. She wrote about it in her book “Even Par: How Golf Helps Women Gain the Upper Hand in Business.”
“It’s about leveling the playing field, and the way that the playing field is not leveled is sometimes very subtle and very nuanced,” she said.
The Women, Golf and Business event was inspired by a 2004 Catalyst study that found that 46 percent of women in business feel held back by being excluded from informal business networks, with the number one network being golf. According to Andrews, golf is an important form of networking, comparable to making phone calls to old colleagues or classmates. Being excluded from golf outings with colleagues can make it hard for women to get ahead in the business world.
“It’s like a skill set, right? I know how to use an Excel spreadsheet. I work on my public speaking. I need to learn how to play golf, whether I like it or not,” she explained. “Golf is just another arrow in the quiver for women in business.”
She also maintains that golf is useful not just for women going into business, but for people in general, explaining that “The motto of Wellesley is Non Ministrari sed Ministrare. I would argue that this is one of the skills that helps them, if I interpret that phrase as meaning that women are leaders, to be leaders,” she said. “For example, I have a sister who is a professor; she would tell you that golf has been important for her career as an academic. I would say if you’re running your local PTA, if you’re a stay at home mom…there are things you learn by playing golf. It’s a unique learning environment for certain skills,” she continued.
Andrews advised self-care during finals and reading period.
“One of the things that Wellesley does is they want students to try not to be panicked during reading period and to try to maintain some sense of balance in their life, so get outside! Exercise! Eat well! Get some sleep while you’re preparing for your exams!” she said.
She also encouraged students of all skill levels to come to the event.
“You don’t have to have any experience, you don’t have to have any equipment, all you have to do is come. I’m hoping people who have never held a club before who have never even dreamed about golf. No experience, no equipment, we’ll do everything else. And snacks,” she emphasized, “we’ll give snacks.”
Women, Golf and Business takes place on May 12 at the Nehoiden golf course. Students with questions about the event, or other questions about golfing at Wellesley, can contact Andrews at firstname.lastname@example.org.