PGA Hopes to Inspire Greatness for Female Golfers
Generation W’s own Donna Orender was part of the “Inspiring Greatness” panel during the PGA’s Merchandise Show. “Men were there first, and so therefore the culture around the game of golf is very male-oriented,” Orender said. “No blame, no judgment. It is what it is. But (the sport didn’t evolve) with the kind of things that women find enjoyable. We’re much more about comradery than necessarily winning. Women find a barrier there.” The panel, which included PGA Secretary Suzy Whaley, Golf Channel executive producer Molly Solomon, KPMG vice-chair Lynne Doughtie and LPGA member Paige Mackenzie, discussed what is keeping women from taking up golf, and what can be done to level the playing field so that more female executives can take advantage of the networking and business relationships formed from playing golf.
Here’s an excerpt from a recent article on PGA.com:
“Certainly when it comes to welcoming women into the game and speaking a different language,” Whaley said. “I think we’re more aware of the things we’re saying that perhaps might turn them off or intimidate them.”
When women overcome that initial reluctance, they usually learn to love it, Mackenzie said. Golf is challenging on so many levels, which makes it so addictive.
“There’s nothing about golf that can ever be perfected and I think that’s probably way it’s filled with perfectionists,” Mackenzie said. “You can’t bowl a 300 in golf.
“When you introduce the game to somebody, there needs to be an emphasis on the process, and that there are stepping stones. And celebrate each of those stepping stones, and not try to be the very best the first time out. Enjoy the process and the game of golf.”
“You may be really comfortable at a level where you are and that’s OK,” she said. “It’s OK to stay there. But it’s also OK to want to get better.”
If there’s one thing Mackenzie would like to see is more business women involved in golf. The PGA of America’s partnership deal with KPMG, kicking off with the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Westchester Country Club in June, is a key first step in the process.
“I play in pro-ams every single week and I can count on one hand the number of women executives I play with,” Mackenzie said. “The most elite companies, their CEOs, the top clients are there — and it’s such a great opportunity to network and build relationships in business. And it’s something I think there’s a ton of room for growth on the women’s side. So I’m really happy we’re bringing business to golf as well.”
Click here to read the entire article.
Tell us, are you a female golf player? What led you to take your first steps onto the course?