South Hadley golf course superintendent representing region at U.S. Women’s Open

One local woman is on the golf trip of a lifetime this week as she represents our region as a trailblazer in her field.
Published: Jul. 5, 2023 at 3:06 PM EDT
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SOUTH HADLEY, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - One local woman is on the golf trip of a lifetime this week as she represents our region as a trailblazer in her field.

It takes hard work, dedication, and elbow grease to prepare a golf course.

“Anything from filling divots to make it look good to mowing grass. There’s so much work that goes into it that you never even think about,” said Amanda Fontaine, superintendent of Ledges Golf Club in South Hadley.

“We get here at between 5:30 and 6 every day in the pro shop and she’s already been here for two hours out there grinding,” added Sean Doyle, assistant director of golf operations at Ledges Golf Club.

For Fontaine, it requires her going above and beyond seven days a week.

“You gotta try twice as hard to prove yourself,” Fontaine explained.

As the superintendent at Ledges Golf Club in South Hadley, she oversees maintenance operations.

“The place is in fine shape. As a retired person, I get to play a lot of courses in this area and this matches up with any of them,” said Sherry Webb, a member of Ledges Golf Club.

From March to November, Fontaine works tirelessly to manicure Ledges, but this week, she’ll take a swing at one of the world’s most iconic courses. She and 34 of her female counterparts from across the country received a call to join the crew at Pebble Beach to help set up the world-famous course for the United States Women’s Open.

“I don’t even have words to describe it…It’s surpassed everything that I was thinking,” Fontaine noted. “The views. Everything here is just unbelievable.”

Women make up just two percent of superintendents nationwide and in a male-dominated industry, Alexis Fagan, a member of the maintenance crew at Ledges Golf Club, added, “it’s nice to have someone to relate to like when someone drives by and asks if we have beer in our cart. No, we have shovels.”

Fontaine told Western Mass News that this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is a chance to exchange ideas and grow the game.

“It’s definitely super cool to have a lot of like-minded people going through the same thing…We all come here because we’re qualified to. We have all the same skills and knowledge as any guy in the industry,” Fontaine added.

Friends from back home shared their support and some thoughts on how she can bring a piece of pebble back home.

“I know she’s very deserving of this. She works very hard and I’m so excited for her,” Fagan said.

“Her representing the club is really special,” Doyle said. “We gotta see how the greens are rolling out there, see if we can get them that quick over here.”

“There are a couple places I would like mowed a little shorter if she wouldn’t mind,” Webb explained.

The tournament gets underway Thursday and will wrap up on Sunday.