Women's Golf Week Spotlight: Jennifer Greggain

This is part of a series of feature articles celebrating Women’s Golf Week. Women’s Golf Week is an annual initiative running May 30 to June 6, 2023, to engage, empower and support women and girls in golf, culminating in International Women’s Golf Day on June 6. Facilities and professionals are encouraged to register for Women’s Golf Day and support the established network of facilities participating around the globe.

New this year, Dexim Golfwear and the Association will be awarding bursaries to support Women’s Golf Week celebrations in BC. Four bursaries of $700 will be awarded to recipients, one from each region of the province: the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, the Interior, and the Kootenays & Northern BC. Bursaries will be awarded to facilities and professionals that host women’s golf events, tournaments or celebrations during or around Women’s Golf Week 2023. Winners will be drawn live on Instagram at 12 p.m. on May 24. Please click here to enter your facility into the draw.

May 19, 2023

RICHMOND, BC (PGA of British Columbia) - Jennifer Greggain started her golf career at the University of Washington in the 1990s, where the American-born competitor excelled. After an impressive run which saw her recognized as the 2000 NCAA Sportsperson of the Year, Greggain turned professional in 1999 and joined the Futures Tour, which at the time was a feeder for the LPGA Tour. Following her competitive career, where she earned status on the LPGA Tour, Greggain has excelled in the coaching world. She now serves as Associate Coach with the Team Canada Women's golf team.

“I turned pro right after I graduated from the University of Washington in 1999. I played on what was known as the Futures Tour, which is now the Epson Tour, and had a few years of LPGA Tour status. I started coaching in 2009 and I absolutely loved it,” said Greggain. “I wasn’t sure that it was going to be something I had a lot of passion for, but I just loved helping people. I found so much passion in that ability to really encourage people to play the game and I always wanted to bring more people into the golfing world.”

Greggain credits her time playing at the highest level for her success as a coach, including her ability to forge meaningful relationships with her athletes. Her coaching philosophy prioritizes strong relationships between coaches and athletes, while promoting collaboration among golfers.

“My tour experience is one of my greatest assets as a coach because I feel that I understand a lot of the situations the athletes are going through. I draw upon those experiences all the time. I think my experience brings some really great perspective for me to understand the struggles and pressures they’re dealing with.”

Not only does her experience on Tour benefit her students, but also helps Greggain handle adversity and navigate through life’s challenges. She said that having dealt with high-pressure environments on the Futures and LPGA Tours, she is better equipped to deal with those environments today.

“One of the things that competitive golf has really taught me is resilience. Being comfortable in the uncomfortable situations, because it’s not always easy out there. When facing difficult situations in my life, I feel equipped and prepared because I’ve accomplished some pretty amazing things under pressure. I find that I can rely on those skills: controlling emotion and focusing on the process, not the outcome. My competitive experience has helped me in all aspects of my life.”

Greggain has coached at Chilliwack Golf Club, for the University of the Fraser Valley’s golf program, and now with Team Canada. She continued to compete with the PGA of BC following her LPGA career, and she is a three-time PGA of BC Women's Champion. Her experiences with the National Team have taken her to some incredible heights. Last year, she coached the Canadian juniors competing in the R&A Junior Open at Monifieth in Scotland. Toronto’s Eric Zhao, who also finished tied for fifth at the 2022 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championships at age 14, earned third at the Junior Open under Greggain’s guidance.

“As I continued coaching and teaching, I realized that I really wanted to pursue more high performance. I started adding things to my resume, and I knew pretty quickly that I wanted to pursue being a national team coach. Then the opportunity arose to apply for that position in 2020, that’s how it all started for me,” said Greggain. “I’m really proud of what my athletes accomplish. I enjoy seeing them succeed, but sometimes you have to see them struggle for a bit before you can see success. I enjoy being there when they’re having a great day or a great tournament, but I also value being there when it’s not going so well. I’m super proud of my athletes, they get me pumped up every day.”

Through her position with Golf Canada, she also serves as a leader with the Women in Coaching program. The initiative was created to address a need for greater women’s representation among golf coaches at every level. Several PGA of BC pros are participating in the Women in Coaching program this season: Kat Kennedy, Megan Ratcliffe, Michelle Waters, Leila Harman and Winnie Hyun.

“The program came about when we started to notice that there was big gap in the number of women coaching across Canada, including with the national team. We wanted to find a way to provide some opportunity through education and experience for more women to be involved. We’re empowering women in the industry with the confidence and experience to seek out coaching positions."

With her accomplished background and diversity of experiences, she is thrilled for the opportunity to give back and help others reach the same heights she did. Greggain shared some advice she gives to participants to help them land their dream coaching position.

“One of the things that I advise all the time, especially for those who want to break into a coaching career, is to find some really creative ways to build up your resume. You have to be intentional about adding experience,” said Greggain. “Call up your local university or high school and ask if you can help out with the team. Volunteer for the BC Summer Games or other national events. Anytime you can get coaching experience onto your resume, it will help drive your career forward.”

As women’s participation in golf grows, the need to prioritize their inclusion, comfort and experience remains the same. The establishment of dedicated women’s golf programs, spaces and communities is vital for the sport and can’t be ignored as more women join its ranks.

“If we can create a very comfortable environment for women to learn and play golf, and create a community for women at every club, that’s going to be the best way to include more women in the industry. So many women want to play golf and are curious about it, we just need to be inclusive and provide the opportunity and environment for them.”

To read about PGA of BC pro Rhona Law in the first article of our Women's Golf Week Spotlight Series, please click here.

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