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Potential Unification

Dec 2018

 1. What is the “unification” of the PWGA, WGANC, and NCGA all about?

The United States Golf Association (USGA) has appointed the Northern California Golf Association (NCGA) to be the official “Allied Golf Association” for the Northern California region. This designation requires NCGA to oversee all course ratings, govern the issuance and maintenance of official USGA handicaps for clubs/golfers in the region, conduct rules education, enforce rules for amateur status, and conduct USGA qualifiers. 

With this change, our three organizations, the Pacific Women’s Golf Association (PWGA), the Women’s Golf Association of Northern California (WGANC), and Northern California Golf Associaton (NCGA), have been working together during a two-year collaboration period with the goal of unifying our associations in 2020, should the memberships of PWGA and WGANC approve of the unification. During the collaboration period, all PWGA and WGANC members are also NCGA members and receive NCGA membership benefits, which, in addition to the handicap, include significant discounts at Poppy Hills and Poppy Ridge, access to a comprehensive tournament schedule, opportunities to play in member outings at premier golf clubs, the quarterly NCGA GOLF magazine, rules of golf education opportunities, and other golf discounts.

Our three organizations have formed a transition team of directors and staff to address several important issues, should unification occur. These include preserving the unique history of each association, improving service to all members and all clubs, continuing the support of WGANC’s and PWGA’s tournaments and events, and retaining volunteers. NCGA understands how important major tournaments, Open Days and Play Days are to WGANC and PWGA members, and is already working with the current WGANC and PWGA leadership to ensure retention of these events under a unified association.  Additionally, the team has discussed forming a Women’s Committee to support and promote the current and future programming for women.  

2. As members of PWGA and WGANC, what changes should we expect if the organizations unify with NCGA?

Although some issues remain to be resolved, at this point the transition team is optimistic that the programs and services you currently enjoy would not change in any significant way. Historical championships and events put on by PWGA and WGANC are expected to continue, staff from each association would be offered employment, and we hope the vast majority of volunteers would continue to support the events. You can expect to see additional programming and services developed for women members, such as weekend events providing enjoyment and competition for working women and those newly retired.

3. What will happen to the charities that PWGA and WGANC have supported in the past?

The unified organization would continue to support existing benevolent projects of the two women’s associations. It may be beneficial to bring those projects under the umbrella of the NCGA Foundation, as the foundation is set up as a 501c3 non-profit corporation, making all future donations tax deductible.

 4. When will a final decision be made regarding unification?

We expect that PWGA and WGANC will conduct a formal vote of their respective member clubs in May of 2019. 

 5. When would the unification be effective?

January 1, 2020, if approved by the PWGA and WGANC member clubs.

 6. When will we hear from PWGA or WGANC leadership about the details of this vote?

We expect the leadership from each association will be in contact with the clubs and members with a detailed timeline sometime in February.

 7. What would happen if PWGA and/or WGANC do not unify with NCGA?

Should the organizations not unify, the leaders of those organizations would need to consider other alternatives to continue to offer member tournaments and events for an additional fee. Since PWGA and WGANC cannot issue USGA handicaps as part of their association membership, individual members and/or clubs would still be required to join NCGA separately to retain their USGA handicap and all the benefits of NCGA membership.

Events/Tournaments and Tournament/Membership Fees

 8. What traditional PWGA and WGANC events will continue?

NCGA has committed to continue all events (including major tournaments, Open Days, and Play Days) through at least 2025, assuming a similar participation level and continuation of volunteer support at a level sufficient to run the events. None of us can anticipate, however, whether we would have sufficient volunteers after unification to continue running specific tournaments, Open Days or Play Days until the actual occasion arises. As with other NCGA events, the staff and committee would evaluate continual improvement opportunities and modifications to formats. For example, WGANC added a team match play tournament in 2018 that proved more popular than the individual match play event offered in previous years.

 9. Should we expect pricing of tournaments or events to change?

 We are working with courses to keep entry fees consistent with the historical event pricing.

 10. Where do I sign up for tournaments and events?

 In 2019:

  • The process for event sign up will be the same as in the past. 

  • PWGA members will use the PWGA websites or call the PWGA office; WGANC members will use the WGANC website or call the WGANC office. 

  • PWGA and WGANC members can use the NCGA website or call the NCGA office to sign up for specific NCGA program/events/tournaments.

In 2020:
The team is evaluating how to manage tournament and event registration under a unification model, using one website. You can expect to see online registration similar to what you use now.

11. What is the price for membership?

While many clubs package WGANC, PWGA, or NCGA membership with other benefits and often charge more, the annual NCGA membership fee for these associations is $39.

  • All existing/renewing members are charged $39.

  • New or lapsed members who join a club are charged a one-time $10 initiation fee.

The current WGANC and PWGA leadership is researching what the anticipated yearly membership fee would be to remain a WGANC or PWGA member should member clubs vote not to unify. The anticipated figures will be provided to membership prior to the vote. 

 12. I am a member of more than one club and/or more than one association. Do I get a discount? Will NCGA offer “multi-member” rebates/discounts? 

Currently, NCGA does not offer rebates to members who have multiple club memberships. Members of multiple clubs or organizations would still need to pay a membership fee for each club under unification. Members of the transition committee have asked NCGA to look carefully at a program to provide a partial rebate to individual members who have multiple club memberships, similar to what PWGA is currently offering. Details are expected to be confirmed prior to the unification vote, and would go into effect in 2020 if approved.

Staff, Offices, Communications and History

13. I am a PWGA or WGANC member. During the transition period, before unification, who should I call if I have questions about handicapping or other association-related business?  What about after unification?

You should continue to contact the PWGA or WGANC offices for your questions in 2019. If unification is approved, handicapping questions in 2020 and thereafter can be directed to the NCGA offices. The PWGA and WGANC offices would remain open after unification, however, and we expect and hope the existing staff members stay with the unified organization. Specific questions regarding historical PWGA and WGANC events can be directed to those respective staff members and offices.

 14. Are the PWGA and WGANC staff still employed? 


15. What would happen to the WGANC and PWGA staff if the associations unify?

 NCGA has committed to hire PWGA and WGANC staff. 

 16. How will the unified organization retain the history of the PWGA and WGANC?

The unified organization under NCGA would retain a section of the website that celebrates the history of both PWGA and WGANC. The Women’s Committee can help provide content. Additionally, NCGA would display PWGA and WGANC trophies in the Poppy Hills trophy area.

 17. What will happen to the PWGA or WGANC names, brands, and logos should unification be approved?

 NCGA has proposed that:

  • Any PWGA and WGANC exclusive event would retain its traditional PWGA and WGANC name.

  • PWGA and WGANC logos would remain on existing trophies, and logos would remain on marketing materials (co-branded with NCGA) through 2022. PWGA and WGANC tournament names, but not logos, would remain with the exclusive events beyond this time frame.

  • All PWGA and WGANC volunteers would receive NCGA volunteer attire beginning January 2020.  PWGA and WGANC volunteers can chose to wear their existing WGANC/PWGA attire for a two-year period (2020 and 2021).

18. What will happen to the websites?

Beginning in 2020, the organization would have one integrated website,, with sub-pages devoted to women’s events, PWGA and WGANC exclusive events, and history of the women’s associations. Existing PWGA and WGANC website addresses would remain active through January 2022, but users would be diverted to the appropriate NCGA pages for women’s events.

19. Will there be different policies and procedures post-unification between historical PWGA or WGANC clubs versus NCGA Clubs?

Post-unification, all members and all clubs would be managed under a consistent NCGA policy. This relates to dues, billing procedures, member and club benefits, etc. 

Volunteer Involvement, Boards, and Committees

 20. How are the leaders of NCGA, PWGA and WGANC working together?

  • A transition team has been established to manage the collaboration plan and unification proposal, and the actual transition should members vote for unification. This team includes 12 people, four from each association (three board members and the executive director from each association).

  • PWGA and WGANC members currently serve on the NCGA Course Rating and Handicapping Committee, Operations (Rules and Competitions) Committee, and Growth (Marketing and Membership) Committee.

 21. What will happen to the PWGA and WGANC volunteers if unification is approved?

We all hope that volunteers would continue to support traditional PWGA and WGANC tournaments and events within the unified organization. In fact, we have already successfully unified the Course Rating volunteers. We are pleased that the vast majority have continued to conduct course ratings, and are enjoying the camaraderie of rating together. 

 22. What will happen to the PWGA and WGANC boards and board members if unification is approved?

The current PWGA and WGANC boards would no longer exist, but there would be PWGA and WGANC sub-committees working with their respective former staff members to conduct major tournaments, Play Days, Open Days, and a variety of meetings for their respective members. We hope that all volunteer leaders continue to be involved and support the unified organization. PWGA and WGANC would have representation on the NCGA Board of Directors, and the new Women’s Committee, not just to preserve the history and events, but to identify future opportunities for women’s golf overall.

 23. How would PWGA and WGANC be represented on NCGA’s Board of Directors after unification?

WGANC and PWGA will be represented on the NCGA board, as NCGA would reserve one board seat each for WGANC and PWGA in 2020 (applications must be received by June 30, 2019, in order to be included on the proposed 2020 slate). NCGA has committed to have representation on the board from each association for at least six years. In addition to the six-year commitment, NCGA intends to have continual representation from women members and clubs on the board.

If you have any questions please reach out to us at