THE BLOG
10/13/2014 01:01 pm ET Updated Dec 13, 2014

Golfing Your Way to Success: The Power of Connections Through Sport

Have you ever wondered what golf has to do with success? If, like for many of us, it has never crossed your mind, allow me to share the new insights I have gained about golf through the online Global Latino Summit.

On day seven of this month-long conference celebrating the Hispanic Heritage Month, we heard from the passionate golfer and entrepreneur Azucena Maldonado. Through her session, "Breaking The Glass Ceiling with a Golf Ball", she shared her commitment to empowering the next generation of women by exposing them to the game of golf.

Maldonado first began by providing safe spaces for groups of women to learn about golf together and now it has grown into the Latina Golfers Association in Southern California. This association organizes classes for novice and experts alike and connects Latina golfers with young inner city kids for a mentoring experience as they learn a new sport. Among other things, they sponsor golfing events for members of the association and they even bring golf to kids at the park.

For Maldonado playing golf is much like living life. She strongly believes that the way people show up and carry themselves at the golf course reflects the way they approach life. With golf, people have to be present in the moment and willing to continue aiming for the target they envision even when previous trials do not go as intended. What do successful people do when working towards their personal and professional goals? Exactly the same thing. They learn from their mistakes so as to not repeat them and they remain persistent. Practicing golf can be a tool to increase the emotional intelligence that contributes to influential leaders' success.

In addition to being a fun way for people's character to shine and an indirect training in emotional intelligence, golf enables people to foster life-long relationships. "Once you bond with a golfer, you are golf buddies for life!" said Maldonado in her interview with Deborah Deras, the host and producer of the conference.

Maldonado's vision is for everyone to know and to benefit from the opportunities that the sport of golf offers. "This beautiful thing cannot be exclusive to men. We need more women to start golfing." Maldonado is certain that once women start playing, they will start being included in the business deals taking place during golf.

She is determined to create safe spaces for everyone to learn because she believes that we all belong at the golf course. She wants women to have access to success through the collaborative interactions and strong relationships at golf courses throughout the world

"Golf is a transformative sport for women. Once they understand it and start enjoying it, women gain the confidence and access to areas at work they did not see easily. This experience should be available for everyone in the community who wants it." Maldonado will continue to provide the access and connections essential for success one golf ball at a time.

If you are feeling inspired and missed Maldonado's session, don't worry! You can easily purchase the audio and transcripts of all the insightful conversations taking place online through the Global Latino Summit by going to the conference website.

Are you a passionate golfer like Maldonado and would like to support her efforts? If that sounds like you then consider partnering with Maldonado to empower the next generation of women to have a place where decisions are made.

You can easily contact Maldonado to share your interest in supporting her mission to increase interest in golf among girls and women. Your support can range from words of encouragement, to participation in golf clinics, to donations, or connections to individuals and organizations who can help expand the Latina Golfers Association nationwide.

Do you want to give golf a try for the first time? Then go online to her website and connect with the Latina Golfers Association in Southern California. Their online resources and community can help you get started regardless of where you are in the country.

We go to school, conferences, and events to connect and create relationships so why not give golf a try? If we can have fun and learn something new while connecting with other people, then there is nothing to lose and everything to gain.