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THIS IS OUR TIME!  PLAY WELL AND HAVE FUN!

(COPYRIGHT NANCYBERKLEY 2008 -- ALL RIGHTS RESERVED -- MAY ONLY BE USED WITH PERMISSION)

NANCY BERKLEY

BERKLEY GOLF CONSULTING -- www.berkleyconsulting.com

 

PRESENTED TO THE

THIRD ANNUAL BUSINESS GOLF FOR WOMEN SEMINAR

POPPY RIDGE GOLF COURSE

TUESDAY, JUNE 3, 2008

 

THANK YOU FOR THAT NICE INTRODUCTION.  IT'S A PLEASURE TO BE HERE.  THE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA GOLF ASSOCIATION IS NOT ONLY ONE OF THE OLDEST GOLF ASSOCIATIONS IN THE COUNTRY, BUT ALSO ONE OF THE MOST RESPECTED.  I SAY THAT HAVING ATTENDED NATIONAL GOLF EVENTS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY.  YOU ARE ALL VERY LUCKY TO BE PART OF THE ASSOCIATION.

YOU ARE ALL BUSINESS WOMEN; SO, LET ME BEGIN IN A BUSINESS-LIKE WAY BY STATING MY GOALS FOR OUR TIME TOGETHER TODAY.   IT'S NOT ABOUT TEACHING YOU THE GOLF SWING.  I CAN'T DO THAT. 

MY GOAL IS TO INSPIRE AND MOTIVATE YOU TO PLAY THIS GAME.  ALONG THE WAY, I WANT YOU TO LEARN A LITTLE MORE ABOUT THE HISTORY OF WOMEN'S GOLF - DON'T WORRY - NOT THAT MUCH HISTORY.  AND, I WANT YOU TO BE AWARE OF SOME OF THE CURRENT TOPICS SURROUNDING WOMEN'S GOLF THAT AFFECT US ALL.    BUT I WILL DEAL WITH SOME OF THE NUTS AND BOLTS OF THE GAME - OR THE BALLS AND TEES.   AND, I AM GOING TO WEAVE MY GOLF STORY IN AND OUT OF MY TALK WITH YOU TODAY.

HOW DID I BECOME A GOLFER?  AND HOW DID I END UP SPEAKING TO WOMEN GOLFERS?

WAY BACK WHEN.... THAT'S AS MUCH AS I WILL SAY ABOUT MY AGE,  I WAS A FRESHMAN AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA.  YES, I WAS BORN AND RAISED IN ST PAUL MINNESOTA.  AS A FRESHMAN, I   WAS REQUIRED TO PICK A PHYSICAL EDUCATION COURSE.  CHOICES WERE SOFTBALL, VOLLEYBALL, SWIMMING - THE REGULARS FOR WOMEN SPORTS, AND GOLF.

I HAD SWUNG A GOLF CLUB A FEW TIMES AND I THOUGHT THAT GOLF WOULD BE AN EASY WAY TO FULFILL THE REQUIREMENT.  SO I SIGNED UP FOR GOLF.  NOW, WHY DID A 17 YEAR OLD IN 1960 THINK ABOUT GOLF?  AND WHY WAS IT BEING OFFERED TO WOMEN?

WELL, PATTY BERG WAS FROM MINNEAPOLIS.  HAVE ANY OF YOU HEARD OF PATTY BERG?  SHE WAS A VERY FAMOUS GOLFER.  ACTUALLY, SHE WAS ONE OF A SMALL GROUP OF WOMEN THAT FOUNDED THE LPGA IN 1952.  SHE WAS VERY POPULAR AND IN OUR LOCAL  PRESS. 

SIMILAR TO TODAY, WOMEN ARE MOTIVATED TO PLAY GOLF WHEN THEY SEE ATTRACTIVE AND TALENTED WOMEN DOING SOMETHING WELL AND ENJOYING IT.

NOW WE ARE GOING TO TAKE A DETOUR.  READY?  WE JUST HAD A LITTLE TEST.

I USED A TERM THAT I DON'T THINK EVERYBODY IN THIS ROOM KNOWS.  THE TERM LPGA.   IT STANDS FOR THE LADIES PROFESSIONAL GOLF ASSOCIATION - THE OLDEST WOMEN'S SPORTS ASSOCIATION IN THE WORLD.

WHEN I USE A WORD THAT YOU DON'T KNOW.... AND THERE WILL BE A LOT OF THEM.  HERE'S WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO.  JUST RAISE YOUR HAND... I'LL SPOT YOU.  AND THEN I WILL SPEND A MINUTE EXPLAINING THE TERM.

ACCORDING TO JAN, THERE ARE ALSO SOME WOMEN HERE WHO ARE EXPERIENCED GOLFERS.  IF YOU HAVE PLAYED MORE THAN 8 TIMES ON A REGULAR COURSE - AT LEAST 9 HOLES - OR IF YOU HAVE BEEN PLAYING GOLF FOR MORE THAN 3 YEARS, RAISE YOUR HAND.

BACK TO WHERE WE WERE - IN MINNESOTA IN MY GOLF CLASS AND PATTY BERG.

I KNEW BACK THEN THAT GOLF WAS A GAME THAT GIRLS COULD PLAY.  THERE WERE ALSO SOME GOLF COURSES AROUND WHERE I LIVED.   AND SIGNING UP FOR GOLF WAS PROBABLY EASIER THAN SWIMMING AND DRYING MY HAIR IN ORDER TO GO OUTSIDE IN SUBZERO TEMPERATURES.

TODAY, YOU ARE GOING TO GO OUT AND PLAY AND PRACTICE ON A REAL GOLF COURSE.  WELL, I LEARNED MY GOLF SWING ON A BLACK RUBBER MAT IN A BIG GYM.   AND, IN ORDER TO PASS THE CLASS, I HAD TO PLAY THREE TIMES ON THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA GOLF COURSE.  AND THAT IS HOW I WAS INTRODUCED TO GOLF AND PLAYING ON A GOLF COURSE.  AS I THINK BACK ABOUT IT, I DON'T REMEMBER WHO TAUGHT ME THE RULES.  I NEVER REMEMBER AN EVENT LIKE THIS GATHERING TODAY.

ALL OF YOU HERE TODAY ARE MUCH MORE TYPICAL OF TODAY'S WOMAN GOLFER.    LET'S FIND OUT A LITTLE MORE ABOUT US. 

•·         HOW MANY TOOK YOUR FIRST LESSON AS A JUNIOR AGES 5-17? [THE HOTTEST SEGMENT INGOLF TODAY- GIRLS AGE 5-12-SEE GOLFER GIRL MAGAZINE]

•·         HOW MANY ARE BETWEEN THE AGES OF 18-29? [SEGMENT WITH THE MOST GROWTH

•·         HOW MANY 50 AND OVER? [THE BABY BOOMERS ARE COMING - OR ARE THEY?]

•·         HOW MANY PLAY MORE THAN 8 ROUNDS A YEAR? [THESE ARE CALLED CORE GOLFERS - INDUSTRY FAVORITES]

•·         HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE TAKEN A PRIVATE LESSON? [WOMEN TEND TO TAKE MORE GROUP LESSONS]

•·         HOW MANY HAVE TRIED THE GAME BEFORE AND ARE COMING BACK TO IT? [OF COURSE! WOMEN COME AND GO IN THIS GAME AND THE INDUSTRY HAS TO ACCEPT US AS GOOD CUSTOMERS IN SPITE OF THAT]

•·         HOW MANY THINK GOLF WILL HELP THEM BE MORE SUCCESSFUL IN THEIR BUSINESS WORK - DAY TO DAY - GETTING CLIENTS - MAKING SALES. [GOLF AND BUSINESS WORKS - BUT IT IS CHALLENGING] [THINGS TO DO THAT SEND OUT SIGNALS THAT YOU ARE A GOLFER:  A SLEEVE OF BALLS, A PHOTO FROM TODAY]

•·         HOW MANY THINK GOLF WILL HELP THEM MAKE FRIENDS AND ADD A NEW DIMENSION TO THEIR LEISURE LIFE. [YES! YES! YES!]

•·         HOW MANY THINK GOLF IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH? [I THINK SO - BUT NO REAL GOOD STUDIES.  LOOK AT SENIOR WOMEN GOLFERS AND THEIR POSTURE AND BALANCE.]

•·         HOW MANY OF YOU THINK THAT MEN GET BETTER TREATMENT AT A GOLF COURSE THAN WOMEN? [YES! YES! YES! BUT WE CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT.  MORE ABOUT THAT LATER]

 

BACK TO MY STORY:

AFTER GRADUATING FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA,  I WENT ON AND GOT MY TEACHING DEGREE AND TAUGHT ENGLISH AND HISTORY TO HS STUDENTS FOR SEVERAL YEARS.  I THINK YOU WILL SENSE, THAT I AM A TEACHER HERE TODAY.  I AM TRYING TO TEACH YOU TO LOVE GOLF.  AND TRYING TO GIVE YOU THE CONFIDENCE TO PLAY THE GAME AND ENJOY IT WITHOUT INTIMIDATION.

AFTER TAKING SOME TIME OFF TO RAISE MY CHILDREN - BY THE WAY I PLAYED GOLF AS A MOM.  YES, I HIRED BABY SITTERS AND PLAYED GOLF.  I PROBABLY DIDN'T DO OTHER THINGS. AFTER THE KIDS WERE ALITTLE OLDER AND I HAD DONE MY SHARE OF COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER WORK, I WENT TO LAW SCHOOL. 

I WORKED AT A VERY BIG WALL STREET LAW FIRM AND THEN WENT TO PRUDENTIAL WHERE I WAS BOTH A LAWYER AND THEN ENDED UP ON THE BUSINESS SIDE - MARKETING AND STRATEGIC PLANNNG. 

I PLAYED GOLF IN ALL MY BUSINESS ROLES.   AND TO BE HONEST - IT'S NOT ALWAYS EASY BEING THE ONLY WOMAN.

WHEN I WAS IN THE NEW YORK IN THE MID-EIGHTIES - A BIG WALL STREET LAW FIRM, WE HAD A GOLF OUTING.  I THINK IT WAS THE FIRST TIME THEY HAD A WOMAN PLAYING.  I NOTICED THAT THEY WERE ONLY GIVING OUT ONE LONGEST DRIVE PRIZE - FOR MEN.  I WENT TO THE LAWYER HEADING UP THE OUTING  - WHO I KNEW - AND SAID, YOU HAVE TO A WOMAN'S LONGEST DRIVE.  (OF COURSE, I KNEW I WAS THE ONLY WOMAN GOLFING AND WOULD WIN - BUT THAT WASN'T THE POINT).  IT WAS IMPORTANT TO ME BACK THEN - TWENTY YEARS AGO - TO BE AN ADVOCATE FOR WOMAN'S "RIGHTS" ON THE GOLF COURSE.

 

HERE'S ANOTHER STORY.  WHEN I WAS AT PRUDENTIAL IN THE NINETIES, WORKING AS AN ASSISTANT GENERAL COUNSEL IN THE LAW DEPARTMENT, THE LAW DEPARTMENT HAD A GOLF OUTING - MAYBE 50 PEOPLE.  I WAS THE ONLY WOMAN.  

 

SO WE GET TO THE GOLF COURSE, WHICH IS A FANCY PRIVATE COURSE, AND OF COURSE THERE WAS NO ONE TO SHOW ME TO THE LADIES LOCKER ROOM WHERE I HAD TO LEAVE MY CLOTHES FOR OUR EVENING COCKTAIL PARTY.

 

LET'S TAKE A LITTLE DETOUR FOR A MINUTE.  WHERE SHOULD YOU CHANGE INTO YOUR GOLF SHOES?  IN THE PARKING LOT OR IN THE LOCKER ROOM OR BACK AT HOME?   WELL, LIKE SO MUCH ABOUT GOLF.  IT DEPENDS.  IT DEPENDS ON THE SITUATION.  MORE ABOUT SITUATIONAL GOLF LATER.  BACK TO MY STORY.

I FIND MY WAY TO THE LOCKER ROOM.   OF COURSE, I DON'T KNOW WHERE TO LEAVE MY REGULAR SHOES - OR MY POCKET BOOK - ALL THESE LITTLE THINGS THAT WE CAN SORT THROUGH LATER.

  SO I ASK A WOMAN IN THE LOCKER ROOM -  A MEMBER WHO HAPPENED TO BE AROUND - ABOUT WHAT LOCKER I CAN USE.  OH, SHE SAYS, USE THAT ONE - IT'S SUZIE'S.   BUT I LOOK UP NOW AND SEE THAT IT'S NOT SUZIE'S NAME AT ALL ON IT, IT'S ANOTHER WOMAN.  SO I GO BACK TO THE MEMBER.  "I THINK I MUST HAVE THE WRONG LOCKER, IT'S NOT SUZIES, IT SAYS JANE.  "OH SHE SAYS, JANE'S BEEN DEAD FOR YEARS, WE NEVER CHANGE THE NAMES!"  I KNOW NO MALE AT OUR LAW DEPARTMENT OUTING HAD THAT EXPERIENCE THAT DAY.  THERE ARE LOTS OF DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN GOLFERS.  BUT NOT GOING TO DWELL ON THAT.

WHAT'S MOST IMPORTANT IS THAT FOR MOST WOMEN, GOLF IS A SOCIAL EXPERIENCE.  AND LEARNING HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THAT PART OF THE GAME IS SOMETIMES AS IMPORTANT AS YOUR SWING.

LET'S TAKE A SOCIAL BREAK.  YOU ARE ALL AT TABLES.  INTRODUCE YOURSELF - LIKE YOU ARE JUST MEETING ON THE TEE FOR YOUR FIRST SHOTS.  LET ME GET YOU STARTED.

HELLO"  I'M NANCY.  I'M A GOLF CONSULTANT AND SPEAKER".  - HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR YOU TO FIND OUT ABOUT EACH OTHER'S GOLF GAMES.   WHO IS GOING TO SAY:  "I DON'T PLAY THAT WELL"   "I DON'T UNDERSTAND THE FORMAT"   TAKE ABOUT 3 MINUTES TO GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER.  DID YOU BRING BUSINESS CARDS?

OK, AND I NEED FOR YOU TO NUMBER YOURSELF SO THAT THERE ARE 4 PLAYERS.  COULD BE TWO NUMBER ONES, ETC.

OK.  NOW LET'S TAKE IT TO THE NEXT STEP.  YOU ARE ALL ON YOUR TEE.  HERE'S TODAY FORMAT.  IT'S A SCRAMBLE - THE MOST POPULAR FORMAT FOR A GOLF OUTING.  HERE'S HOW IT WORKS:  [EXPLAIN FORMAT]

NOW.  I AM GOING TO GIVE YOU SOME SITUATIONS.  GIVEN YOUR GROUP AND YOUR PREVIOUS CONVERSATION, LET'S SEE HOW YOU WILL ANSWER.

HERE'S THE SITUATION:

PLAYERS NUMBER ONE, YOUR DRIVE IS GOOD.

PLAYER NUMBER TWO, YOU ARE THE NEWEST GOLFER AND YOU SAY, I KNOW I CAN'T HIT ANY FURTHER, I'M JUST GOING TO SKIP MY TURN.

 WHAT DO THE OTHERS SAY?

IT IS SO EASY TO BE INTIMIDATED IN THIS GAME.

IN A RECENT SURVEY, WOMEN WERE ASKED TO COMPLETE THIS STATEMENT:  YOU WOULD PLAY MORE OFTEN IF... ALMOST 60% OF THE WOMEN CHOSE THE RESPONSE:  "IF I PLAYED BETTER."

WOMEN GOLFERS - LIKE WOMEN MANY WOMEN IN OTHER PHASES OF OUR LIVES, WE UNDERESTIMATE OUR ABILITY.  

WELL, LET'S JUST GET OVER IT.  OF ALL THE SPORTS THAT WE CAN PLAY, GOLF IS REALLY VERY INDIVIDUAL.  IT'S PERSONAL.  EXCEPT FOR TEAM EVENTS,  IF YOU ARE PLAYING WELL - IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT OTHERS IN YOUR FOURSOME ARE DOING.  AND IF YOU ARE PLAYING POORLY, IT USUALLY DOESN'T MATTER.  IT'S YOUR GAME. 

I AM NOT A CHAMPIONSHIP GOLFER.   ON AN AVERAGE COURSE, I CAN USUALLY SHOOT IN THE 90'S FOR 18.  AND MID 40'S FOR 9.   YOU CAN FIND OUT ANYONE'S HANDICAP ON http://www.ghin.com/ AND THEN GO TO "HANDICAP LOOKUP".

LET ME TELL YOU AN IMPORTANT FACT ABOUT WOMEN GOLFERS.  ONLY 10% OF GOLFERS WHO KEEP HANDICAPS SHOOT IN THE EIGHTIES.   

THE AVERAGE WOMAN GOLFER DOES NOT BREAK 100.  IF THERE IS ANYTHING YOU REMEMBER FROM TODAY, I HOPE THAT'S IT.

GOING BACK TO CONFIDENCE, TODAY, FOR EXAMPLE, ALMOST HALF OF YOU SAID THAT YOU WERE BEGINNERS.  I HAVE TO TELL YOU THAT WOMEN THINK OF THEMSELVES AS BEGINNERS FOR A VERY LONG TIME.  AT LEAST YOU HAVE COMPANY.

HERE'S ANOTHER SITUATION.  WHAT WOULD YOU DO?  ITS'S STILL A SCRAMBLE FORMAT.

PLAYER ONE, TWO AND THREE ARE HITTING OK.   PLAYER 4 TAKES 4 PRACTICE SWINGS, THEN ASKS HER FOURSOME IF SHE HAS THE RIGHT CLUB, THEN TAKES TWO MORE PRACTICE SWINGS, AND HITS. 

YOU ARE PLAYER THREE, YOU HAVE NOTICED THAT THERE ARE GROUPS STACKED UP BEHIIND YOU.  YOU ARE SLOWING THINGS DOWN.  WHAT DO YOU SAY TO PLAYER 4?  ANYTHING?

WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT ABOUT YOUR GOLF GAME AS A BEGINNER IS THE SPEED AT WHICH YOU PLAY.   IF YOU ARE JUST LEARNING THE GAME, AND ASSUMING YOU AREN'T A NATURAL... SOME ARE, THEN SO LONG AS YOU KNOW WHEN TO PICK UP YOUR BALL, YOU CAN PLAY WITH ANYONE... ALMOST ANYONE .

IT ALSO HELPS TO BE INFORMED.  HERE ARE SOME FACTS THAT I WOULD LIKE YOU TO KNOW.

•·         GOLF IS 400 YEARS OLD AND FOUNDED BY A WOMAN - MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS.

•·         THERE ARE ABOUT 6 MILLION WOMEN GOLFERS AND ABOUT ANOTHER 2 MILLION THAT ARE NOT CONSIDERED GOLFERS - BECAUSE THEY ONLY GO TO RANGES OR PLAY ON NON-REGULATION COURSES.

•·         ONLY ABOUT 6 PERCENT OF ADULT WOMEN N THE US PLAY GOLF.  THAT'S NOT A LARGE PERCENTAGE.   THE INDUSTRY HAS TRIED FOR MANY YEARS TO SEE IF THEY CAN GROW THE WOMEN'S GAME.  BUT IT SEEMS STUCK AT AROUND 23%.  THE REPORT IS THAT WOMEN COME INTO THE GAME AND THEN DROP OUT.  HELLO??  OF COURSE WE DO.  I HAVE BEEN URGING THE INDUSTRY TO TRACK THE TOTAL NUMBER OF WOMEN GOLFERS OVER A 5 YEAR PERIOD.  THAT'S A BETTER SENSE OF OUR POSITION IN THE INDUSTRY.

 

LET'S GET TO SOME MORE BASICS ABOUT THE COURSE.  LET'S LOOK AT THE POPPY RIDGE GOLF CARD ON YOUR TABLES.  THERE IS LOTS OF INFORMATION ON THIS CARD. 

GOLF COURSE IS ABOUT SIZE OF A SHOPPING MALL.  120 ACRES. 

A GOLF GREEN IS ABOUT THE SQUARE FOOTAGE OF A LARGE HOUSE - 6000 SQ FEET.

THERE ARE SOME MAGIC WORDS:

"PAR" - FOR WHOLE COURSE AND FOR HOLES

"HANDICAP"

DIFFERENT SETS OF TEES FOR DIFFERENT SKILLS AND RATED FOR MEN AND WOMEN DIFFERENTLY.

I'LL TAKE ANY QUESTIONS HERE ABOUT ANY TERMS OR WORDS.  [GREEN,ROUGH, FRINGE]

BACK TO MY STORY.  I LEFT OFF WORKING AT PRUDENTIAL.  IN 1998, MY HUSBAND WAS RETIRING AND I DECIDED TO TAKE TOOK ADVANTAGE OF A GOOD PROGRAM PRUDENTIAL HAD JUST PUT IN PLACE AND WITH TEN YEARS OF WORK, I WAS ABLE TO RETIRE.

NOT LONG AFTER I RETIRED, MY GOOD FRIEND, ANITA,  AND I WERE PLAYING GOLF...  I REMEMBER IT EXACTLY.... I WAS MARKING MY BALL AND SHE SAID YOU KNOW MOST WOMEN DON'T KNOW ALL THIS STUFF ABOUT PLAYING GOLF.  WELL, I HAD SOME TIME.

I DECIDED TO START GIVING SEMINARS TO WOMEN GOLFERS - ON ALL THE SOFT STUFF.  THE CULTURE PART.  BECAUSE I AM AN ACADEMIC SORT OF PERSON, I WANTED TO LEARN ALL THE STATISTICS ABOUT WOMEN GOLFERS.  I WENT TO THE NATIONAL GOLF FOUNDATION IN JUPITER, FLORIDA, TO FIND OUT.

ALONG THE WAY, I REALIZED THAT GOLF COURSES WERE NOT REALLY VERY WOMEN-FRIENDLY.  THEY JUST DIDN'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT US. 

ONE THING LED TO ANOTHER, AND I WAS ASKED TO WRITE A BOOK ABOUT MARKETING GOLF TO WOMEN.  IT IS THE BEST REFERENCE BOOK IN THE INDUSTRY ON HOW PROFESSIONALS CAN MAKE THE GAME MORE WOMEN FRIENDLY. 

THERE ARE ABOUT 28,000 GOLF PROFESSIONALS.  ONLY ABOUT 2000 ARE WOMEN.   I BEGAN AS AN ADVOCATE FOR WOMEN'S GOLF AND NEXT THING I KNEW, I WAS REALLY TRYING TO CHANGE THE INDUSTRY.  AND I STILL AM.  IT'S MORE THAN JUST MAKING SURE THE REST ROOMS ARE CLEAN, IT'S ABOUT THE RIGHT ATTITUDE THAT WE SENSE WHEN WE WALK INTO A SHOP OR MEET THE STARTER OR TAKE A CLINIC.

MY GOAL IS VERY SIMPLE:  I WANT THERE TO BE MORE WOMEN PLAYING MORE GOLF.  AND THAT INCLUDES THE WOMEN HERE TODAY WHO ARE AMONG THE BUSIEST.  YET, YOU KNOW THAT GOLF AND BUSINESS GO TOGETHER.  SO LET ME SHARE WITH YOU SOME POINTERS SPECIFICALLY FOR BUSINESS GOLF.  THIS ISN'T THE WHOLE STORY, BUT IT SHOULD HELP.

HERE ARE MY TIPS FOR PLAYING BUSINESS GOLF:

TIP NUMBER ONE: BE PREPARED TO STAND OUT IN THE CROWD. AT MOST CORPORATE GOLF EVENTS AND EVEN ON MOST COURSES, THERE WILL NOT BE MANY WOMEN. YOU WILL BE NOTICED. FOR STARTERS: WEAR AN OUTFIT THAT YOU ARE COMFORTABLE IN. CONFIDENCE IS VERY IMPORTANT IN THE GAME OF GOLF.

REMEMBER: WHEN YOU BEND DOWN TO TEE YOUR BALL UP ON THE TEE, THREE OTHER GOLFERS WILL SEE YOUR BACKSIDE. BE BRAVE AND CHECK THAT VIEW IN A MIRROR. YOU MAY DECIDE TO WEAR A LONGER SKIRT OR PERHAPS EVEN A SHORTER ONE! (IF YOU ARE A LEFT-HANDED GOLFER, YOU CAN RELAX. MOST TEE BOXES ARE SET UP FOR RIGHT-HANDED PLAYERS.

TIP NUMBER TWO: KNOW YOUR COMFORT ZONE. THAT MEANS PLAY IN SITUATIONS WHERE YOU WILL NOT FEEL INTIMIDATED. IF YOU ARE A SUPER GOLFER WITH A HANDICAP OF 10 OR LESS " ONLY 10 PERCENT OF WOMEN GOLFERS ARE IN THAT ZONE, YOU SHOULD ACCEPT AN INVITATION TO PLAY GOLF WITH ANYONE ANYWHERE. YOUR MALE BUSINESS COLLEAGUES OR CLIENTS WILL LOVE TO PLAY WITH YOU, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU TEE IT UP FROM THEIR TEES.

AT THE OTHER EXTREME, IF YOU HAVE PLAYED ONLY A FEW TIMES AND ARE STILL WHIFFING OR DUBBING BALLS, MY SUGGESTION IS TO DECLINE THE INVITATION UNTIL YOU IMPROVE YOUR SHOT-MAKING. I WOULD MAKE AN EXCEPTION IF YOU ARE INVITED BY ANOTHER BEGINNER GOLFER AND TOGETHER YOU CAN MANAGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS. I WOULD ALSO PROBABLY MAKE AN EXCEPTION TO THE COMFORT-ZONE-RULE IF YOU ARE INVITED TO A CORPORATE GOLF EVENT THAT IS ADVERTISED AS "FUN" AND USES A SCRAMBLE FORMAT

MOST WOMEN GOLFERS FALL IN BETWEEN THE EXTREMES.

SO HOW GOOD TO YOU HAVE TO BE FOR BUSINESS GOLF? HERE ARE MY GUIDELINES:

•·         MOST-OF-THE-TIME, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO HIT A BALL ABOUT 100 YARDS OFF THE TEE.

•·         HIT A MIDDLE IRON (OR HYBRID CLUB) AT LEAST 75 YARDS ON THE FAIRWAY,

•·         HIT OUT OF A BUNKER SUCCESSFULLY TWO OUT OF THREE TIMES,

•·         KNOW HOW TO REACH A GREEN WHEN YOU ARE 50 YARDS FROM THE FLAGSTICK,

•·         TAKE ONLY ONE PRACTICE SWING, MAYBE TWO.

•·         THREE-PUTT " OR LESS ON MOST GREENS,

•·         KNOW PROPER GREEN ETIQUETTE, AND

•·         KNOW WHEN TO GIVE UP AND PUT THE BALL IN YOUR POCKET.

•·         MOST IMPORTANT: TAKE THIS PACE-OF-PLAY TEST ON A DAY WHEN YOUR COURSE IS NOT BUSY. IF YOU CAN PLAY NINE HOLES JUST BY YOURSELF AND FINISH THE NINE HOLES IN 90 MINUTES OR LESS " OR 18 HOLES BY YOURSELF IN LESS THAN THREE HOURS, YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH TO ACCEPT MOST BUSINESS GOLF INVITATIONS. EVEN IF YOUR GAME IS NOT GREAT THAT DAY, YOU WILL NOT SLOW YOUR FOURSOME OR THOSE BEHIND YOU. UNLESS YOU ARE PLAYING IN SERIOUS COMPETITION, IF YOU ARE HAVING A VERY BAD HOLE IT IS USUALLY OKAY TO PICK UP YOUR BALL AND HOPE FOR MIRACLES ON THE NEXT TEE.Ï¿½

TIP NUMBER THREE: KNOW WHEN TO TALK ABOUT BUSINESS. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, MEN SELDOM TALK SHOP ON THE COURSE. SO, IF YOU ARE PLAYING WITH MEN DO NOT TALK ABOUT THE OFFICE OR YOUR NEW PRODUCT OR THE NEXT SALE UNTIL THE ROUND IS FINISHED " MAYBE OVER A DRINK ON THE 19TH HOLE. BUILD THE RELATIONSHIP ON THE COURSE, BUT MAKE THE SALE THE NEXT DAY.

THE BUSINESS-TALK RULE IS DIFFERENT IF YOU ARE PLAYING WITH WOMEN. WE ARE VERY BUSY. WE LOVE TO MULTI-TASK. IF WE CAN PLAY GOLF AND TALK BUSINESS AT THE SAME TIME, IT'S USUALLY A WIN-WIN.

LET'S MOVE ON TO SITUATIONS WHERE YOU DO THE INVITING.

TIP NUMBER FOUR: TIP NUMBER FOUR: IF YOU ARE A GOOD GOLFER, DON'T HESITATE TO INVITE FEMALE OR MALE COLLEAGUES FOR A ROUND OF GOLF. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BELONG TO A FANCY PRIVATE CLUB TO PROVIDE YOUR GUESTS WITH A GOOD GOLF EXPERIENCE. THERE ARE MANY FINE SEMI-PRIVATE COURSES AND EXCELLENT MUNICIPAL COURSES. IF YOU REALLY WANT TO PROVIDE YOUR GUESTS WITH A SPECIAL INVITE, CONSIDER HOSTING A VISIT TO A DESTINATION GOLF-SCHOOL OR A RESORT.

WHEN INVITING GUESTS TO PLAY, ALWAYS CHECK AHEAD TO FIND OUT ABOUT DRESS CODES, LOCKER ROOM FACILITIES, ON-COURSE AMENITIES INCLUDING BEVERAGES AND FOOL-PROOF DIRECTIONS. AND MAKE SURE THAT THE TEE YARDAGES WORK FOR YOU AND YOUR GUESTS. ALWAYS CHECK THE FORWARD TEES. ANY COURSE WITH A USGA SLOPE FROM THE FORWARD TEE OF MORE THAN 125 " OR ONE THAT PLAYS LONGER THAN 5,300 YARDS FROM THE FORWARD TEE " WILL HAVE CHALLENGING FEATURES FOR WOMEN GOLFERS.

TIP NUMBER FIVE: IF YOU ARE NOT A GOOD GOLFER YET, YOU CAN STILL COMBINE GOLF AND BUSINESS. LIKE YOURSELF, MANY WOMEN ARE INTERESTED IN LEARNING TO PLAY THE GAME, SO CONSIDER HOSTING A GROUP LESSON JUST FOR YOUR GUESTS. ASK A LOCAL INSTRUCTOR WHO YOU"VE MET AND LIKED TO GIVE ONE (OR A SERIES) OF GROUP LESSONS. INCLUDE LUNCH OR COCKTAILS IF WITHIN YOUR SCHEDULE AND BUDGET. SEE THE LPGA WEBSITE (http://www.lpga.com/) OR THE PGA OF AMERICA"S PLAY GOLF AMERICA (http://www.playgolfamerica/) TO FIND A TEACHING PROFESSIONAL IN YOUR AREA.   OR, TAKE A GROUP OF WOMEN TO A LPGA TOURNAMENT EVENT IN YOUR AREA - OR ONE OF THE MANY NCGA TOURNAMENTS.

IF YOU ARE BEYOND BEING A BEGINNER GOLFER, FIND A GOLF PROFESSIONAL AND COURSE THAT WILL PROVIDE A PLAYING LESSON ON A FEW HOLES FOR ABOUT AN HOUR FOR YOUR GUESTS. BASICALLY, YOU ARE HOSTING A MINI-OUTING THAT IS JUST RIGHT FOR BUSY WOMEN'S SCHEDULES. ALSO KEEP YOUR EYE ON CHARITY GOLF EVENTS IN THE AREA. MANY OFFER THE OPPORTUNITY TO SIGN-UP WITH A FOURSOME. INVITE THREE COLLEAGUES AND PLAY FOR FUN AND IN SUPPORT OF A GOOD CAUSE.

TIP NUMBER SIX: FOLLOW-UP, WHETHER IT'S A CALL THE NEXT DAY TO SAY, "HOW ABOUT THAT CONTRACT?" OR A "THANK YOU" NOTE TO CEMENT A RELATIONSHIP, THINK ABOUT YOUR GOLF EXPERIENCE AS AN ONGOING INVESTMENT. YOU ARE GUARANTEED TO MAKE NEW FRIENDS AND HOPEFULLY IMPROVE YOUR BOTTOM LINE.

I ALSO LIKE TO TALK ABOUT MY LITTLE GREEN GOLF PURSE.  HERE IT IS!  I DON'T LIKE TO SEE WOMEN DRAGGING BIG POCKET-BOOKS AROUND - EVEN THOUGH WE CAN PUT THEM IN OUR GOLF CARTS.  INSTEAD FIND A LITTLE PURSE THAT FITS IN YOUR GOLF BAG ACTUALLY.    BE PREPARED TO WALK WITH A PUSH-PULL CART AND EVEN A CADDY.

I WANT TO CONCLUDE WITH A LITTLE DISCUSSION ABOUT HOW TO MAKE GOLF A BETTER PLACE FOR WOMEN.  I DON'T LIKE WHINING OR COMPLAINING.  LET'S WORK TOGETHER TO MAKE IT A FRIENDLIER AND EASIER GAME FOR ALL OF US.

HERE IS MY ADVICE FOR YOU:

        GET ORGANIZED.  THE KEY TO GETTING THINGS DONE AT A GOLF COURSE OR CLUB IS TO HAVE DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVES AND SOME FORM OF WOMEN'S GOLF ORGANIZATION - FORMAL OR INFORMAL. EVEN IF THERE ARE JUST A FEW WOMEN TRYING TO GET A PROGRAM ORGANIZED, DESIGNATE A SPOKESPERSON - OR SOME INTERIM OFFICER THAT CAN COMMUNICATE WITH THE LEADERSHIP OF THE COURSE OR ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED.  NOTHING IS MORE FRUSTRATING TO MOST GOLF PROFESSIONALS AND LESS LIKELY TO PRODUCE CHANGE THAN A DOZEN WOMEN PROPOSING INDIVIDUAL SUGGESTIONS TO THE PRO SHOP.

        THINK BEYOND  SELFISH.  THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT WAYS FOR WOMEN TO ENJOY THIS GAME.  YOU MAY BE A COMPETITIVE GOLFER, EVEN THOUGH MOST WOMEN ARE NOT.  YOU MAY LIKE 18 HOLES, WHILE AN INCREASING NUMBER OF WOMEN PREFER NINE.  YOU MAY LIKE THE NEW INSTRUCTOR, AND OTHERS DON'T. YOUR ROLE AS A LEADER IS TO BALANCE YOUR INTEREST WITH THE INTEREST OF DIFFERENT SEGMENTS AND SOMEHOW MAKE SURE THAT MORE WOMEN GOLF MORE AND ENJOY IT MORE.

        ESTABLISH REGULAR COMMUNICATIONS WITH OTHER WOMEN GOLFERS AND OVER-COMMUNICATE.  GET EMAIL ADDRESSES AND CARDS TODAY!  DON'T WAIT FOR A PROBLEM TO ARISE, THINK AHEAD AND BE PRO-ACTIVE.  SET UP REGULAR INFORMATIONAL MEETINGS WITH THE PRO STAFF  (INFORMAL - OVER BREAKFAST, LUNCH OR COCKTAILS) AND THE WOMEN REPRESENTING VARIOUS SEGMENTS OF YOUR WOMEN'S GOLF COMMUNITY.  MAKE IT AN OPEN DISCUSSION - ASK:  "WHAT'S WORKING WELL, WHAT'S NOT.  HOW CAN WE MAKE OUR GOLF EXPERIENCE EVEN BETTER?  HOW ARE WE MEASURING OUR SUCCESS?  COMMUNICATE REGULARLY WITH YOUR FELLOW WOMEN GOLFERS THROUGH NEWSLETTERS AND BULLETIN BOARDS.   

          BE A MENTOR.  TAKE NEW WOMEN GOLFERS UNDER YOUR WING.  IT GENERALLY REQUIRES ABOUT FIVE TO TEN ON-COURSE FRIENDLY, COACHING, MENTORING EXPERIENCES OFFERED BY A SEASONED GOLFER TO A NEW GOLFER BEFORE THAT NEW GOLFER FEELS COMFORTABLE TO GO OUT ON THE COURSE ON HER OWN.   THINK ABOUT HOW TO BE A GOOD MENTOR AND ENCOURAGE YOUR FRIENDS TO BE MENTORS ALSO.   

        PROMOTE WOMEN FOR LEADERSHIP ROLES.   FIGURE OUT WHAT'S THE BEST (AND MOST POLITICALLY EFFECTIVE) PLAN OF ACTION IS TO GET WOMEN ON THE GOVERNING BOARDS AND IMPORTANT COMMITTEES OF YOUR GOLF FACILITY OR ASSOCIATION.  MOST WOMEN-FRIENDLY COURSES HAVE WOMEN-FRIENDLY TOP MANAGEMENT.  I PERSONALLY HAVE OBSERVED THAT THREE WOMEN ON A COMMITTEE CAN PERFORM MAGIC - WHETHER IT'S A COMMITTEE OF 7 OR 77.

        IF ALL ELSE FAILS, MOVE ON.  IF YOU HAVE TRIED TO LEAD POSITIVE CHANGE AT YOUR GOLF FACILITY OR ORGANIZATION, AND CONTINUALLY MEET WITH RESISTANCE, MOVE ON.  THERE ARE MANY GOLF FACILITIES THAT WANT YOUR BUSINESS. 

AS WOMEN GOLFERS, WE ARE IN A WONDERFUL POSITION TODAY.  THE TOTAL NUMBER OF GOLFERS AND ROUNDS IS NOT INCREASING.  THE COURSES NEED OUR BUSINESS.  GOLF IS A GAME FOR LIFE.  IF YOU THINK YOU MIGHT LIKE IT NOW, I GUARANTEE IT WILL MEAN EVEN MORE TO YOU A DECADE FROM NOW.

THIS IS OUR TIME.  LET'S PLAY AND HAVE FUN.

I AM HAPPY TO TAKE ANY QUESTIONS.

THANK YOU.

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