Want to grow the game? Look to Women on Course for some ways to do it. Women on Course (WOC) has grown participation by 400 percent in 12 months since the nation’s premier golf-lifestyle networking organization was acquired by Billy Casper Golf (BCG).
Roughly 20,000 women enjoy golf, lunch, happy hour and wine-spa activities in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Hartford, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Scottsdale, San Diego, San Francisco, Washington, DC and other major markets. “Play Days,” “Signature” and “Destination” gatherings highlight the programming at more than 1,000 events.
Corporate America is playing a large role in WOC expansion. Wells Fargo, Merrill Lynch, Golfsmith, Accenture and others are active nationally and in regions strategic to their businesses, leveraging WOC through corporate memberships, employee development programs and event sponsorships.
“Women on Course provides access for golfers of all skill levels to connect in fun and un-intimidating environments,” says Donna Hoffman, President of WOC, which she founded in 2005. “Thousands of smiles and new faces reflect the surge in members.”
WOC annual membership has never been more affordable. In addition to event privileges, “Individual” members ($129) receive a pair of Nike Golf shoes or a $50 gift card for Sport Haley, GG Blue, LIJA or Just4Golf merchandise. “On Course” members receive Individual member benefits plus a set of Wilson clubs (Ultra model, $299; Profile model, $359) and golf bag for up to a $600 value.
Members enjoy free gifts; special access to private clubs; discounts on greens fees, apparel, equipment, wine and other products; golf and educational resources; contests; and forums. Fashion, fitness, travel and luxury components surrounding the world of golf are incorporated into the WOC experience.
“Billy Casper Golf is committed to growing female participation,” says Peter Hill, Chairman and CEO of BCG. “Women on Course has the perfect recipe to introduce the golf lifestyle and its many wellness and career benefits.”
With women comprising one-third (33.2%) of all new golfers, WOC attracts and retains golfers by shifting focus away from score and competition. Members and guests are encouraged to learn and play golf at their own pace through:
• A “Play Your Own Way” choice allows beginners to add their own rules to relieve stress and keep up with more experienced golfers
• A “Score 5 to Survive” format – tee shot, fairway approach, chip, two putts – promotes using different clubs without slow play
WOC membership helps women golfers when it comes to
• Enhancing golf skills and etiquette for new business connections and career advancement
• Establishing lifelong friendships with like-minded women
• Making golf more accessible through discounted apparel and merchandise
• Helping beginning golfers with fundamentals and advanced players refine their games
• Prompting families to spend time together on and off the course
• Learning from dynamic guest speakers at events
• Mixing and mingling with women from all age groups with diverse and interesting backgrounds
• Becoming a corporate sponsor for client prospecting and entertaining, and brand awareness
WOC is owned by Billy Casper Golf, founded more than 20 years ago in cooperation with golf legend Billy Casper. The company is the largest owner-operator of golf courses, country clubs and resorts in the U.S. with more than 150 properties in 28 states. Headquartered in Vienna, Virginia with regional offices across America, BCG directs all aspects of course and property maintenance, staffing and training, clubhouse operations, food-and-beverage, merchandising, golf instruction, marketing and public relations, special events and financial management.
Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf