Everyone knows they're coming on Tuesday mornings. Ladies in their visors and matching golf skirts. Ladies laughing and complimenting one another. Ladies making lunch plans and ordering to-go coffees. But what starts out looking like an LPGA fashion show near the entrance of Eighty8 Kitchen + Cocktails always transforms into something very different off the back patio.

"There's so much activity on Tuesdays," says Susan Blanton "that it looks like someone kicked a fire ant hill."

The players of the Women's Golf Association (total membership is about 180 and anywhere from 80-96 of them play on Tuesdays) have been converging at The Preserve on the same day at the same time for the past 30 years. While attendants line up carts in NASCAR formation, the ladies practice their putts and quietly size up each other's game.

"There are women who say they aren't playing to win," says Susan, who served as the WGA President in 2019. "But I think we have some wolves in sheep's clothing."

Susan isn't one of them. She openly admits to being competitive, not in a quest for prizes or trophies but because of this simple fact: She is always keeping score. She uses her backyard view of the 15th hole to see how the greens are running on Mondays because every stroke counts on Tuesdays.

"Some of us can be just a little... intense," says playing partner Lisa Carson, glancing over at Susan's cart. On the back of the cart is stuffed monkey named "Percy." Susan hauls Percy around the course as a reminder to keep things in perspective.

"To me," says Lisa Croteau, a third member of the eclectic foursome, "the different personalities and levels of play keep it interesting."

Some ladies grumble for not breaking 80 and some celebrate when they tally a 105. Around the course you hear a melting pot of accents — New England, the upper Midwest, the deep South, and the San Fernando Valley. And what exactly do 96 ladies talk about around the tee boxes?

"There's some truth that we might discuss someone's shoes or what we had for dinner last night," says Heidi Kraeling, "and we probably talk about home life more than the men do. But then again... we don't know what the men talk about."

A few of the ladies want to start a movement to require honesty on the course. No patronizing. If a tee shot is dribbled 30 yards forward? "Just say it stinks," says Susan. "No one wants to hear 'Hey, you're in the middle of the fairway, hon.'"

The group tells the story of a nameless player who recently hit a house, a cart, a tree, and a playing partner (off a ricochet and a roll), all on the same hole.

It's easy for this game to make you scream and cry," says Lisa Carson. "That's why I appreciate these girls. They have a way of making me laugh."

They also have a way of motivating each other. When Lisa Croteau retired recently, she went into another line of work: lowering her handicap to single digits. "Whether they know it or not, these women bring out my competitive side."

If the sight of a scorecard doesn't do the trick, then there could be some secret motivational sauce in a golf bag. "Whenever someone birdies," says Susan, "You might see us pull out a bottle and some plastic cups."

And they proceed to practice another approach to "shot-making."

"This isn't about beating everyone else," says Susan. "It's about being with the girls on Tuesdays."

Susan's friends look at her.

"Why are you looking at me like that?" she says. There are no secrets among friends.

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