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Mary Leneweaver

General Manager, Ed Oliver Golf Club, Wilmington, Delaware

Q: When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up and please explain if there was a story around that.

A:  Growing up, I wanted to be a political campaign manager.  I think I’ve been able to find the aspects of that job in a much more friendly environment at the golf course. I like the idea of building a community much more than fighting against an opponent.

Q: Who got you into the game of golf and what was your first experience at a golf course/range?

A:  I worked at golf courses for two and a half years before golfing, so I’ve only been playing for about four years. I always thought I wasn’t good enough to play to be honest – the first time I ever swung a club was at a Women’s Golf Day event at Delcastle Golf Course’s Driving Range. The event was not well attended but our teaching pro at the time gave me my first lesson that day. That really gave me the confidence to start practicing on my own. The long-tenured employees at Delcastle were the people who helped me stick with the game when it could have been easy to get frustrated and give up. I started playing with the golf staff regularly and I still play in the employee tournament every year.

Q: Who did you look up to either when you were younger or as you progressed in your career? 

A:  I have always looked up to my parents. They taught me my most important values of hard work, integrity, and commitment. I still go to my parents when I need advice both in the workplace and general life advice.

Q: How long have you worked for Troon and what has been your career progression and what do you love most about your job?

A: I began working at Rock Manor Golf Club as a beverage cart attendant and bartender in 2016. In 2018, I moved over to Delcastle Golf Course as the Food and Beverage Manager. After a few years there, I was offered the Director of Catering and Event Sales role at Ed Oliver Golf Club and transitioned into a Director of Food and Beverage position. Rock Manor, Delcastle, and Ed Oliver are municipal golf courses located within a ten-mile radius in Wilmington, DE. A lot of our customers play all three municipal courses in the area, so it’s really great to have the same customers that I had when I was working the beverage cart. The thing I love most about my job is the community. We don’t have members in the same sense as private clubs, but it’s awesome to see how invested our guests are in the overall success of the club. Ed Oliver GC is a uniquely Wilmingtonian institution that I am lucky to be a part of.

Q: You are the first female GM at Ed Oliver which is very exciting! What do you do in your daily job or life to inspire other women or minorities to get them interested in the game of golf or into the golf business as a career? 

A: I don’t think I would have ever been a golfer had I not worked at a golf course. There are unfortunately still a lot of barriers to the game, and there is still a lot of work that needs to be done in this area to ensure equitable access. We actively encourage our employees to take advantage of free golf privileges. I think employees become more invested in their job when they feel a part of the overall community here. We also have two key partnerships at Ed Oliver that have helped get more children, women, and minorities into the game. We are the home course for The First Tee of Delaware and extremely fortunate to have Becky Dangler (PGA/LPGA) as our Pro. I really lean into those partnerships because both Becky and The First Tee have been instrumental in diversifying and expanding our guest base to be more representative of our surrounding community. We still have a lot of work to do, but Ed Oliver Golf Course is the most welcoming and inclusive course that I have ever been a part of. I can’t wait to keep building upon these stepping stones!

Q: What is your dream foursome for golf (you and three others)?

A: While I enjoy watching professional golf, I do not enjoy a competitive style of play. I look at golf as a true leisure activity – it’s a way to connect with nature, get a little exercise, and hang out with people I enjoy. My dream foursome would be my three favorite people to play golf with. Those are my dad, my boyfriend, and my friend Glen who I worked with at Delcastle Golf Course. They’ve all been so supportive and helpful as I started playing. I play with my dream foursome regularly.

Q: What is one interesting fact not many people know about you?

A: I do freelance graphic design and calligraphy in my spare time. I think aesthetics and branding are extremely important. I don’t get to use these skills very often, but it’s a fun creative outlet for me!


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