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Women's Tee Time Is Time to Network

Rapidly growing Executive Women's Golf League helps them get in the game

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AS morning rush-hour traffic whizzes by, Robin Lucero awaits two press visitors on the veranda of the posh Marriott World Center resort. A self-employed businesswoman, she has turned a patio table overlooking the golf course into a temporary desk until her guests arrive.

Lucero coordinates the activities of the Orlando branch of the Executive Women's Golf League, a national organization with 82 chapters and nearly 10,000 members.

''Most other leagues set up in cities throughout the country are geared for women who have flexibility during the week,'' she explains. ''The Executive Women's Golf League is geared to the working woman, with more events on weekends when women have a greater opportunity to play.''

For business-minded women like Lucero, the league is a way to mix pleasure with business, as often happens with men. In fact, she says the Orlando chapter is planning some networking breakfasts, at which topics such as banking, communications, and the training industry are discussed and business cards exchanged.

''Many of us are entrepreneurs, and if we can help each other, we do,'' says Lucero, who was the national account manager for a pharmaceutical company when she and her husband moved to Orlando in 1992. Today she is president of her own consulting business, Lucero Insight, which gives her more latitude to play golf and participate in EWG, the acronym the organization has adopted.

Part of EWG's purpose is to provide a ''positive environment of acceptance and camaraderie'' for career-oriented women who want to learn and enjoy the game.

Statistics compiled by the National Golf Foundation indicate that women are establishing a greater presence in the game. They account for 37 percent of all new American players since 1993 and number roughly 5 million out of a total US golfing population of 24.8 million.

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