Women represent a huge new potential market for the golf industry, and the PGA’s Connecting with Her initiative for the industry-wide Golf 2.0 growth strategy attests to that organization’s interest in tapping into it. Entrepreneur Shawn Jardine recognized the void out of personal experience; recently launched Diva Golf in Colorado Springs, Colo.; and has chosen Phoenix as the first city for the company’s planned expansion into 20 markets. “It’s a natural choice for expansion,” she says. “You can play year ’round, it’s a large market [due to its] large population, and there are a lot of courses.”
Women taking up a sport traditionally dominated by men gain access into an aspect of doing business, Jardine observes, noting that, in the corporate setting of playing golf with a client, just knowing golf etiquette is very important. She developed Diva Golf to “give people confidence.” The membership organization combines sport and networking, offering weekly golf events that start with a short lesson from a golf pro (“Enough to help with one thing at a time, such as putting”), followed by 9 holes of golf and ending with a glass of wine. Additional networking and social events will round out the schedule for the year.