Passion ignited for good: Zahra Patel (‘26) and her journey as a Girls Golf eLeader


Parth Mishra

Her time at Girls Golf has reaffirmed Patel’s love for golf, and has taught her countless useful skills such as coaching and engaging effectively with children.

To Zahra Patel, golf was an on-and-off indulgence, one she engaged in whenever she felt like it. A few years ago, however, she picked it up once again, and hasn’t let go of it since.

Perhaps she had grown mature enough to truly appreciate golf, or perhaps it was more fun this time around, but for some reason, Patel stuck to the sport. At some point in time, she even began to dream of joining the Amador Valley High Varsity Golf team.

With her passion ignited and her ambitions affirmed, Patel did not hesitate to take advantage of the opportunity to become an eLeader for Girls Golf—an organization dedicated to teaching young girls the sport of golf—when it came knocking.

“I never thought I would ever be doing this or having this experience. And it’s really interesting to help build the girls’ confidence, teach them new skills and see them have fun,” said Zahra Patel (‘26).

Zahra’s history with golf

Golf has been a part of Patel’s life ever since she could wrap her fingers around a golf club. Her brother, her mother, and even her grandmother are all avid golfers.

“I’ve been playing golf off and on since I was five or six. My mom, my grandma and my brother all play. So I was just kind of playing with them,” said Patel.

A few years ago, after she committed herself to the sport, Patel began thinking about high school. She hoped to one day be part of the esteemed Amador varsity golf team.

“My goal was to get on the Amador Girls Golf team. I applied over COVID actually, because golf is something that you don’t need to be with other people to do. I was practicing a lot the summer before I applied to the team. I took some lessons too,” said Patel.

Afterwards, in her search for volunteering opportunities, Patel came across Girls Golf, where she could apply for the eLeader program. It’s a national mentorship opportunity for girls aged 13-18 who have a passion for golf and are looking for volunteer work connected to the sport.

“I actually joined the Tri Valley First Tee first. That’s where I found Girls Golf, and that opened up the opportunity to become an E-leader, and to get involved with the Girls Golf events,” said Patel.

Responsibilities as an e-Leader

Some of Patel’s first tasks as an eLeader were determined by her seniors at the Pleasanton Girls Golf site. They mostly consisted of teaching the girls core fundamentals of golf or setting up drives to expansive golf courses.

Usually as a Leader, we volunteer at our local Girls Golf site, and we help out with whatever is needed, like teaching some of the girls or setting up activities or cleaning up, just volunteer work,” said Patel.

After volunteering at Girls Golf for some time, Patel was approached by the organization with an opportunity to be one of the ten eLeaders selected to be part of the  board of directors.

“So this year, they gathered a group of 10 girls who are a part of the E-Leader program, and we basically meet monthly to come up with ideas to attract and gain members,” said Patel

As part of the board of directors, Patel is primarily responsible for planning events on both a local and national level. With this responsibility comes a scope of influence that allows her to provide an engaging and inventive golfing environment for the young girls.

“We coordinate national events, and we also get involved with growing the Girls Golf organization within our communities…I’m actually helping plan an event this fall for National Baking Week at the First Tee,” said Patel.

The future

Her time at Girls Golf has reaffirmed Patel’s love for golf, and has taught her countless useful skills such as coaching and engaging effectively with children. The organization has a special place in her heart, and she endeavors to continue her good work.

“I want to continue to motivate young girls, and definitely continue to be an E-Leader and help out with the Girls Golf location in Pleasanton,” said Patel.

She isn’t stuck contemplating the future, however. Patel is very much rooted in the present, where she is busy guiding the next generation of female golfers in the bay area with a simple yet effective technique to help them get better at the sport. 

“My main goal is for them to have fun and enjoy the game. If you don’t enjoy it, and if you don’t have fun, then you won’t get better because you won’t have the confidence and the strength it takes to become your best self,” said Patel.