A new breed of long-hitting lady golfers, younger, athletic, stylish, competitive, perfectionist are dominating the fairways.
They bomb their drives in their swinging short skirts, laser line their putts, do celebratory fist pumps and yoga stretches, while waiting for their turn.
And they are with the Tagaytay Highlands Ladies’ Team, as prescient luck would have it, biologically.
Presumably, no other golfing ladies’ team has a spawning history like the TH Ladies formed 18 years ago. Belonging to a multi-generational golfing clan, media executives Team Captain Sandy Prieto-Romualdez and mom Marixi Prieto, are the original mother/daughter duo.
The three daughters of dermatologist Lilibeth de Villa—Linnel, Debbie, and Angela—were jungolfers, who contributed to the Highlands team’s wins during the WGAP and Ladies Federation Games. Now eldest daughter Lilet recently joined one of the country’s winningest ladies’ golf group.
“Lilet just started playing a year ago, because hubby loves golf. She hated it before when sisters were into it. But got inspired by her hole-in-one in Midland’s hole #3 January this year, ahead of me at that,” beamed Lilibeth.
Golf is also a clan sport for Farah Imperial. Daughters Chesca and Tara inherited their mother’s genes in all ways. Chesca mirrors her mom’s prowess from tee to green. Tara’s swoon worthy vocal chops serenade the team après golf.
“As they say, a family who prays together..plays together..stays together,” smiled Farah, who also guides her daughters in the family businesses.
The Imperial cousin, tall and lean Kyla O. Laurel, is in the same league of this new breed of dominating young women golfers. Her sports bio includes college softball.
Guess winning golf games is a requirement of father-in-law golfer Arsenic Laurel.
Kyla is the picture of today’s empowered woman. She owns The Olive Tree Corporation, making custom bed and table linens plus two smaller businesses, Ola Haus for bags, and Ola Bebe for baby clothes. Also a freelance fashion, event and portrait photographer, she has a two-year-old daughter named Barcelona.
Jessalynn Tan’s daughter Patricia or Patty plays a mean game since she was a Highlands’ team member in her high school days. Now back in Manila after graduating from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, she signed up anew to play with the team.
“I look forward to spending more time together and being part of the same team. I think it is nice to have Mom in the same team as we go through the challenges of the game, and hopefully the victories that will come!,” said Patty.
Just last year, Jackie drives mom Mabek Kawsek to the scenic golf course by the lake within a lake.
Into fashion and food businesses, Jackie opined, “My mom and I are like yin and yang. Our personalities are polar opposites—she’s creative and bubbly, I’m more methodical and serious, she’s a risk taker and I’m more conservative, but what could be seen as a handicap is actually one of our greatest strengths!”
She added: “On the golf course, our differences make us better together! Her short game is amazing and my long game is more consistent. I can go for the green and she plays safe. We both enjoy the sport so much individually, but since we’ve started playing together with Team Tagaytay Highlands, we’ve gotten much closer- bonding during the drives to and from tagaytay, talking game tips and strategy, and meeting new friends together. Our Tagaytay Highlands golf games are weekly highlights for me, not just because of the game, but even more so because I get to spend quality time with my mom.”
Philippines’ golf tourism advocate, Connie Mamaril of Regent Travel Inc., played with daughter Christel in the Tagaytay Highlands Ladies team before the latter left for Florida as a sports therapist.
“It was a great way to spend quality time with Mom and to get to learn from someone who has been playing golf longer than I have been,” Cristel said.
A few years before, golfer now scuba diver Hedy See suffered back injuries, daughter Hannah also suited up for TH’s competitive games.
This year, the princess of businesswoman/artist Mathilda or Matê Sun named Kathleen, is poised to join the team.
“After years of encouraging Kathleen to play golf, she finally agreed! She is very focused and quite a perfectionist so it may take a while to let her join tournaments. For now, my heart is full. I can’t wait to see the day when she’ll beat me. That would definitely still be a big win on a larger perspective,” declared the joyful mom Matê.
How about grandmothers and granddaughters?
Team Tagaytay Highlands will soon have them, too!
In the wings are Dionne Cu and 15-year-old Katie Cu Yaw, who claims “I can beat my Bubu (grandmother in Shanghainese) in golf.”
Meanwhile, Cathy and granddaughter Gabby Borja, 15, have been hoisting trophies in several tournaments.