Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina has been committed to the health and wellbeing of North Carolinians for more than eighty-five years by encouraging people to live more active and engaged lives, which is why they are the perfect fit to sponsor the final stage of the 2018 Q-Series at Pinehurst, North Carolina.
“We’re committed to promoting female leadership, focused on supporting these rising stars of the game, and that’s why the Q-Series is a great fit for us,” said Reagan Greene Pruitt, Blue Cross NC Vice President of Marketing and Community Engagement. “We’re all about living fearless, and so we want folks to get out of their comfort zones, test their limits and pursue their dreams with confidence. That’s what the Q-Series is all about. These athletes are an inspiration to girls and women across the state and country. They truly know how to live fearless.”
And taking the company motto to “Live Fearless” to heart, Reagan and her team started to put together the first LPGA-sanctioned, all-female pro-am in the United States with the hope that she can fill the gap female professionals leave behind when they turn down the invitation to golf.
“It’s so infrequent that women say yes, and that they’re actually on the golf course,” Reagan realized. “I played in a tournament locally, and we had one hundred golfers and only three of them were female.”
The issue, Reagan believes, lies in the fact that many women think they are not good enough golfers—or that they need to be golfers, period—to participate in pro-ams. So, to combat that mental hurdle, Reagan and her team had to get creative with their messaging.
“We’re trying to create an atmosphere of acceptance and inspiration and motivation,” she said of the pro-am. “There are going to be some people who cannot hit the ball off the tee, and we’re already trying to communicate now that that’s okay—that that’s why we’re doing this.”
That unwavering passion is a clear characteristic of hers. Born and raised in Dunn, North Carolina, Reagan developed a strong affinity for athletics and health, which was a natural foundation for her career path.
But the more she progressed up the corporate ladder, she realized she was missing out on something she feels is a critical part of business.
“Generally, in my role, I get a lot of invitations for golf,” Reagan explained, “and I turned them down over and over.”
Her response probably comes as no surprise to many women in leadership positions. See, Reagan didn’t play golf when she was younger—she didn’t really have access to it. It was a sport she always wanted to get involved in, but the opportunity to learn never made its way through all the invitations to play.
“Finally, one day, I decided that I was going to figure out a crash course on how to play golf, so I could say yes and be out there and play.”
With her mind made up and her best friend in tow, she signed up for the golf academy at Pine Needles and began an intensive, full week of golf instruction, which gave her enough confidence in her golf game to finally say yes.
“I’m not the best one out there,” she admitted, “but I’m one of the few females playing, and I feel very confident in my game.”
Now, Reagan wants other women to find for themselves the same confidence she discovered through golf because this mission hits close to home.
The love of Reagan’s life is her eight-year-old daughter, Harper. When Harper was four, she saw her mom playing golf and immediately wanted to be out there too. Of course, Reagan invited her to play along her side.
With her little partner in crime joining her out on the golf course, Reagan hopes to focus Harper’s attention away from pure competition and score and more on what she herself takes away from the game.
Reagan firmly believes, “It’s not about how far you hit or how good you are or what your score is . . . it’s learning leadership and how you leverage golf to get there.”
An all-female pro-am like this is the first of its kind, and she hopes it isn’t the last. The idea is that the women could use this pro-am, jam-packed with networking and confidence-building opportunities, as an empowerment tool, so the next time they find themselves facing an invitation to golf, they will be more apt to say yes, because they already have this pro-am experience under their belt. But ultimately, Reagan wants to encourage North Carolinians to feel healthier, live better, and see the potential in their own selves through golf.
Reagan Greene Pruitt’s vision became a reality on Monday, Oct. 29, when 36 female amateurs joined her and 12 LPGA and Symetra Tour professionals to tee it up at Pinehurst No. 7. The atmosphere offered a sense of comradery and empowerment as the women played alongside one another in the history-making event. Through opportunities like this, Reagan hopes golf involvement will continue to grow and inspire more women to pick up the game in the future.