GottaGoGolf March 2012: Join The Club Guide

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Join the Club Guide Go ahead, ask for a discount, upgrade or weekly massage. With owners hurting, you call the shots. MARCH I 2012

CONTENTS ∑ COVER PACKAGE: 4 KINDS of clubs 16 7 QUESTIONS for private clubs 20 LESSONS from our staff 24 HOW TO start your own 19 FANTASYLAND for females 12


When it’s better to be nice than to be competitive 28


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NEW TO YOU: LPGA goes young 6 GLOSSARY: A bad word 9 READ: Get "Courage" 11 GARB: Bright future 34


9 great new products from the PGA Show 30


Where women are more than welcome 38


Our very own caloriecounting cocktail 44

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WELCOME In search of our own golf gang A note from the publisher

The online magazine for women who love the game Susan Fornoff

Publisher and Editorial Director

Cheryl Stotler

Web Director and 19th Hole Editor

Anne-Marie Praetzel


ne study concludes that prime motivation for women to play golf is the social interaction inherent in the game. Another study finds that one of the main reasons women don’t play more golf is, “I don’t have anyone to play with.” Women travel alone, go to movies alone, buy homes alone — yet, even in 2012, it’s unlikely many will step up to the pro shop counter and say, “Single.” In golf, there’s safety in numbers, especially the number 4. So even the greenest beginner will be looking for a group to join, an association, a club — maybe even before she owns a 3-wood. And there are hundreds of USGA-licensed choices in women’s groups, thousands if we add in the coed groups and men’s groups and unlicensed online groups that welcome women. Please accept GottaGoGolf’s guid-


Art Director

Bill Burnett Copy Chief

Emily Kay

Equipment Editor

Michelle Smith, Gail Rogers ance as you shop for a club — a rewarding pursuit for bargain hunters these days — and then try to settle in. Michelle Smith outlines the various kinds of clubs and their pros and cons, GottaGoGolf contributors tell about their joining experiences, Gail Rogers relays her club’s unique member qualification, and Kathie Dyson has her own take on the kind of club no woman could resist. And when all else fails, our newest contributor, Terri Leonard, has a book for us to read. It’s called “Courage.” — Susan Fornoff

Staff Writers

Katharine Dyson, Terri Leonard Contributing Writers PHOTOGRAPHY


Cathy Bowman, Mark Armstrong CONTACT Magazine online home:; Corporate online home: For information about advertising partnerships and rates, call Susan Fornoff at 510.507.3249 or email.

Copyright GottaGoGolf, 2012

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For permission to reprint, repost or redistribute any material in this issue, please email us at feedback@ GottaGoGolf with a description of the use requested.

ON THE WEB GottaGoGolf’s first issue of 2012, and more We believe the digital magazine is the magazine of the future, but GottaGoGolf is not building a strong base of subscribers and advertisers fast enough to justify financing another full year of the format. So, we bring you our “Join the Club” Guide this month and the promise of more great themed issues…in 2013. Until then, we’ll build the brand and our subscriber base as we search out sponsors who value the women’s golf community. And here’s why that’s good news for our current readers: We’ve launched a lively new website full of content at GottaGoGolfMag. com. Here, you’re going to find stories already published in GottaGoGolf, as well as a regular influx of fresh new stories and items from the same writers you’ve come to enjoy in our digital pages. also offers two features we hope will be a hit in the women’s and

So instead of a new GottaGoGolf every month, you’ll find new GottaGoGolfMag every week, maybe even every day. We’re also inviting guest columnists to have their say in our space, so that GottaGoGolf will become the go-to source for social networkers looking for something to talk about. We’ll still email our subscribers, but just once a month with the top headlines of interest to women who play golf for fun or want to. So please recruit your friends and sign ‘em up. We promise to come up with some cool giveaways along the way. Thanks for your support of GottaGoGolf. ladies golf community: an interactive, searchable Women-Welcome Events calendar and Keep your ideas and feedback coming, on an interactive, searchable Women-Welcome our Facebook page or via email. And don't Directory of businesses. Nonprofit, charity and forget to... free events may be entered for free on the calendar; businesses with female-appeal may list in the directory for only $300 for an entire year.

Subscribe to the newsletter! GottaGoGolf I MARCH 2012 I 5


NEW TO YOU YOUNG GUNS FIRE UP THE LPGA EARLY The stage was set at the end of last year for a 2012 shootout between a teenager and the LPGA Player of the Year, only it wasn’t Lexi Thompson who was giving Yani Tseng the early test at the season’s start. Jessica Korda, who wasn’t rookie of the year last year as an 18-yearold, took the season opener in Australia before Tseng finally got over herself to win in Thailand the next week. We joke about the amiable Tseng turning diva

— hard it is to imagine, but, she said, her entourage accused her of “being mean” after she started in Thailand with a disappointing first round. “After last year, I have World No. 1 and I had 12 wins and that pressure keeps going on and on,” Tseng said. “I kind of drove my team crazy. They were thinking I feel so much pressure. So sometimes I wasn’t happy and I wasn’t quite nice to them. They keep telling me, “You have some pressure, you need to relax yourself” and we kind of had a team meeting to keep

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Lexi Thompson, the new face of Puma, looks like the LPGA's poster child for 2012.

me relaxed and not feeling like I had pressure.” As for Thompson, let’s not cry for her. The 17-year-old made only a

little over $10,000 while Korda stole her thunder in Australia, but back in the states, the thunder was still all Lexi’s — she’s the

face for Puma this year and had a larger-thanlife presence at the PGA Merchandise Show earlier this year.

IT’S ALL ABOUT US — AND MONEY Getting more women to play will pay for golf courses. The PGA of America’s Connecting with Women initiative and the Little Family’s latest report provide powerful evidence of the financial gain available to the PGA professionals and golf course operators who get women golfing. Donna Orender, the former WNBA commissioner and PGA Tour executive consulting with the PGA on Connecting with Women, makes her point this way: “Women spend $4.6 billion of the $24.6 billion spent on golf equipment, green fees, apparel. And

they influence the rest.” The golf courses most likely to get women to come out and spend, it turns out, may be the ones that are observing “best practices” established in earlier research: four or more sets of tees, coed staff, greeters at the first tee, healthy food, family days, child care and after-hours socials, among others. The 2011 Women’s Golf Longitudinal Study compared financial figures as well as female loyalty and happiness at the 15 courses observing 80 percent or more of its list of best practices with the results of 15 control courses. And even in a down year for

golf, the best-practices courses performed better. Check out the study at — you might find support for changes you want your course to make. WHAT’S IN AN N? Ryann O’Toole, meet Ryan O’Toole. The budding LPGA star hadn’t met her male namesake yet at the PGA Show in Orlando, though he was hard at work promoting Footjoy’s new lines. Or maybe she hadn’t met him BECAUSE he was promoting Footjoy — she, after all, is endorsing Kikkor shoes. “All my friends have been giving me a hard

Ryan O'Toole on the left, Ryann O'Toole at right.

time,” said Ryan, an Acushnet sales rep from Minnesota. “When she won on the futures tour, guys were sending me her picture and saying, “Wow, you look great, I didn’t

know you stopped working for Footjoy.” Ryan, a 12-handicapper who is single, said he would be delighted to play a round with Ryann,

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whose name has oft been misspelled with a single N. “Just think,” Ryan said, “if we hit it off, neither of us would have to change our name.” And just think of the confusion in that household. Karrie Webb's fan club saved her a couple of strokes and got a smile.

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WHAT WOULD YOU DO? It sometimes happens that a big-mouthed fan distracts a pro golfer about to putt, and gets an angry glare in return. In Melbourne last month, Karrie Webb thanked a loudmouth on the 13th green for saving her two penalty strokes. She was about to putt and noticed that a group

FACEBOOK COMMENT What would prompt you to warn a pro player on the spot thatPLEASE she wasWITH about HERE to violate a rule?



of spectators engaged in a spirited discussion opposite her. Her caddie asked them to quiet down, but she still heard the buzz as she set up to stroke the ball. Finally, one fan piped up: Webb hadn’t properly replaced her ball after Yani Tseng had asked her to move her marker. “When I went to move it back, I told myself I had to move it towards me,”



Webb said. “I just blanked. I don't even remember moving it the other way but I guess I did.” It wasn’t lost on Webb that many a spectator wouldn’t feel certain enough about the rule to speak up or might be too shy to raise the flag. “I went over and gave him my ball and thanked him,” she said. “It was really quite courageous of him to speak up. I’m thankful that he did.” Webb, by the way, is Australian. We like to think she’d get the same treatment Nick Faldo has six majors and six skin-care products.

at the British or U.S. Open, but… FRAGRANCE OF FALDO? Wellness has emerged as one of the growing niches in the golf industry, with lotions and potions to protect skin, ease soreness

and soften rough patches. Nick Faldo has it all covered with his new Pro Care pack, containing six “major essentials” in reference to his six major titles. The nifty little pack clips to a golf bag and contains hand, foot, muscle, 30 spf sun, insect and lip protectors. Clearly packaged, designed and priced to appeal to men, at $39.99 for the set, the individual products ($2.99 to $11.99) might also have female appeal because their scent is so light and androgenous. “I like to smell good, especially at the end of the day,” said Faldo, who developed the line with the skin care company Kyoku. “I don’t really want to smell like a golfer when I get home.”

GLOSSARY: “Sandbagger”—this is not a load you want to carry Your club mates might ing too good. Yes, too be happy to see a sand- good. bagger when floodwaThe bad connotaters are rising at their tion for “sandbagger” doors. But, if they’re dates back centuries, using that word in ref- to when gangs of thugs erence to you on the would beat up their golf course, you may victims using sandbags already be in way over your head. Sandbaggers don’t shave strokes off their score so they can go home and say, “Honey, I just broke 100.” They miss short putts, pick up after six and post inflated scores so that they can go home and say, “Honey, I just won a trophy.” With these falsely inflated handicaps, they will receive too many strokes in tournaments as weapons. Later it to lose. And pretty became a not unflatsoon, they will become tering term in poker. the least popular playWhich, by the way, er in their club. Even might be a good outworse, they might at- let for the golfer who tract undue attention has been expelled for from the handicap sandbagging. chairwoman, who could —Susan Fornoff GottaGoGolf I MARCH 2012 I 9 sanction them for be-



A. Cheap rates. B. Lots of women just like me. C. Lots of women different from me. D. Lots of men. E. Family-centric events. F. Wine bar. G. Famously challenging golf course. H. A swimming pool VOTE NOW

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GOTTA READ by Terri Leonard


Overcoming Fear & Igniting Self Confidence



Author: Debbie Ford

t takes courage to play golf—courage to overcome first-tee jitters, courage to tee it up in a golf tournament, and, yes, even courage to join a new club. Gathering our courageous self in golf’s crucial moments can be almost next to impossible. Why is it that we never really work on bringing courage to our golf game? That’s what I thought when I picked up Debbie Ford’s new book, simply titled, Courage. In it she helps you take inventory of the things that hold you back, giving you what you need to stand armed and ready for anything life, including the intimidating game of golf, might throw your way. Ford, who is the national bestselling author of Dark Side of the Light Chasers and is known for having led tens of thousands of people along a transformational personal journey to honor their past (those good rounds and bad rounds), forgive their flaws and shortcomings (those missed putts and fairways), and make peace with who they are (a weekend duffer), could unwittingly here help the everyday golfer too. In this practical, step-by-step manual, you will find how to live with boundless courage and confidence. … And wouldn’t that be nice to have next time you step up to the first tee? Ford contends that

by discovering what’s holding you back, you can become stronger and more in align with your true being. Guiding you out of your head and into your heart, she presents life-changing codes and accompanying activities and exercises for: • Connecting to your intuition • Letting go of the tired beliefs, habits, judgments, projections, and excuses that undermine you (i.e., that little doubting voice inside your head that pops up right in the middle of your back swing) • Committing to an inspired vision that demands the best “you” possible As you tap into the profound confidence of your courageous self, you will begin to face your unpredictable future … and your next golf round… with tremendous hope, optimism, and passion. Available through or your local bookstore. Terri Leonard is the executive managing editor at HarperCollins Publishers and an avid weekend golfer. She is also on the board of the EWGA, Sonoma and Marin chapter.

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Join the Club

Fairsex Valley, the club for us


ver since women got the vote in 1920, there’s been very little a woman isn’t allowed to do. Except maybe donate to a sperm bank or join certain golf clubs. The precise number of classic old-boy, blueblood, men’s-only golf clubs in the U.S. seems to be a secret, because, well, they’re PRIVATE! A club that receives no taxpayer money or subsidies can select its company any way it wants. We know the lineage required to join the Daughters of the American Revolution, but it’s a mystery penetrating places like Augusta National (Ga.); Burning Tree Club (Md.) ; Bob O’Link (Ill.); and the most famous course without a PGA Tour event, Pine Valley (N.J.). Burning Tree used to extend honorary memberships to Supreme Court justices, but

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at about the time 12 handicapper Sandra Day O’Connor was appointed to the bench in 1981, it, er, shifted its policy. Burning Tree doesn’t even allow women inside its clubhouse to use the restrooms. Guess that makes sense: There is no ladies restroom. Admittedly, some male-only clubs have a softer side, like the Connecticut Golf Club, where women can play one day a week, or Bear Creek Golf Club in Denver where, as one of the pros said, “We aren’t closed-door. Wives and girlfriends can come out and have lunch. Really the only thing they [women] can’t do is play the golf course.” Now isn’t that sweet? Why, even Augusta National allows women to play on occasion. Sadly we know of only one women-only golf club and that’s The Ladies Golf Club of Toronto. For the





Augusta National is one of at least 24 U.S. clubs without women members.

record, it’s nearly 10 years older than Augusta National. So the time has come to climb off our creaky old soap boxes and do something smart: Bar the men from our very own Fairsex Valley Golf & Hunt Club. FAIRSEX VALLEY GOLF & HUNT CLUB: THE PLAN About that name. “Hunt” refers to the time women are allowed to look (or “hunt”) for a lost ball: as long as it takes. You just have to let others play through after three minutes. Course designer: Alice Dye, who knows a thing or two about ladies golf and designing courses. Women’s locker room: Large picture windows, fireplace, wet bar, light tan leather chairs, sauna, steam room, hairdryers, Lindt chocolates, fluffy robes and slippers, champagne service, Red Flower lotions and shampoos, private outdoor garden with Jacuzzi and chaises. Fitness room. (No men’s locker room; gents restroom off the lobby.) 14 I MARCH 2012 I GottaGoGolf

Pro shop: 80 percent women’s apparel, accessories and equipment, 20 percent men (because women do like to shop for their men). Merchandise to include good value equipment like Tour Edge Exotics, Innovex balls, Sun Mountain wind jackets and TaylorMade drivers. Also lots of bling, sandals, Puma Golf Cats and trendy lines such as Kelly Su, Abacus, Lulu and Lija as well as Greg Norman, Pahr and Nike golf

dresses. Of course everything would be on sale. Carts: Whisper-quiet electric with GPS, heated seats, club cleaners, ice compartment, shoe storage and a vase of flowers attached to the side like the old limos. Carts in pastels except for one bright yellow one — that would be for the head of the women’s golf committee to use for the year. Tees: Three sets, each with

benches (heated if in cold climate), flowers, yardage signs and ball washers. On-site staff: Lady pros, manicurist, massage therapist, yogi, personal trainer. Also Chippendales (or Thunder Down Unders) male caddies wearing hot pink tights and black Spandex tees. Or not. Beverage cart driver: Buff males wearing khaki shorts and tight T-shirt, or on nice days no


T-shirt but with Fairsex tattoo. At the turn: In addition to the usual fare, the snack bar would serve salads, wraps, smoothies, mojitos, bloodies and margaritas. In hot weather, Evian spritzers and cold towels would be offered; in cooler weather, hot Irish coffee with whipped cream. Ladies restrooms: Installed in several strategic locations and stocked with ample supplies of soft toilet paper and tissues, scented towels, rich lotions, mouthwash, makeup mirror, hair spritzer and the usual ladies’ necessities. 19th Hole: The bar menu would consist of creative alternatives to fried food and melted cheese for calorie counters, plus fried food and melted cheese for those who require grease. Or maybe there could be two menus, naughty and nice. FAIRSEX VALLEY G&HC LOCAL RULES • If your group falls more than two holes behind, you pick up and go into the clubhouse and order a

EVEN IF FOUR TICKETS TO THE MASTERS ARE ON THE LINE, THERE IS A LIMIT AS TO HOW LONG YOU CAN LINE UP YOUR PUTT OR LOOK FOR YOUR BALL. margarita. • Counting beads are a no-no. If you can’t remember it shouldn’t matter. If you forget, it’s OK to mark down whatever you want. • Setting fire to golf shoes, digging putters into greens, killing snakes or throwing clubs into ponds would require the offender to attend a therapy session. • Carrying more than three animal head covers or wearing an outfit that matches that of your companion warrants a twostroke penalty. • Cell phones are perfectly acceptable as long as you keep your voice down when your partners are putting. Phone sex or

What Women-Welcome features would your imaginary golf club offer?.

playing “Words with Friends” is forbidden. • You can feel free to express your personality with any color ball as long as it’s white. If you see the group ahead is using Chromax or Day-Glo balls, you can play through. • Even if four tickets to the Masters are on the line, there is a limit as to how long you can line up your putt or look for your ball. When the sun starts to set, that’s it. Pick up and give up. SPECIAL MEN’S RULES (IF BY CHANCE ANY WERE INVITED TO PLAY) They would have to play from the tee box designated for their handicap as indicated on the scorecard and tee marker. This means the guy with the 30-plus would tee off from the forward tee — no grumbling allowed. Men would be penalized one stroke each time they gave

unsolicited advice to the ladies: “Close up your face; put your left foot out a bit; stick out your butt,” might play well in countries that require women to cover their faces, but not at Fairsex Valley. Driving by their hostess’s tee in a cloud of dust before she has swung would incur a fine of one drink, preferably a double, payable on completion of play. Any male blurting out rude or crude expletives would be subject to loss of hole or two strokes per statement, unless his hostess opts to blurt some right back. Because some men seem unable to calculate more than double bogey, all would be told before start of play they must play out the hole and record the full and proper score. No carping or sniveling allowed. Some men who want to play Golf Digest’s Top 100 courses before they keel over may never receive an invitation to Fairsex Valley, which is a lock to be one of the top 10. Male guests should count their blessings, and of course have their wallets handy at the 19th hole. GottaGoGolf I MARCH 2012 I 15


Join the Club

Golf sisters, unite and step up to the tee at the club ­— any club BY MICHELLE SMITH


o you’ve been bitten by the golf bug, and now you’re thinking about joining a club. But you’re reluctant to do so for one or more of the following reasons: • You’re of the opinion that golf clubs cater to cigar-toting men who flirt with cart girls. • Your last 18-hole score was larger than the yardage of your average drive. • You’re not the “country club type.” • Membership costs too much. If any of these reasons apply, joining a club 16 I MARCH 2012 I GottaGoGolf

might, in fact, be the best thing you can do. First off, there’s a sisterhood among women that understands the ramifications of venturing into a world that admittedly still caters pretty much to men. However, I’ve been a member at both private and public golf venues and have found that club membership provides a wonderful opportunity to join a women’s league and meet a lot of nice folks. If you’re interested in a co-ed experience, you’re probably better off playing a daily-fee course where, more than likely, you’ll end up

paired with men. But if you want to golf with women who appreciate the game and enjoy friendly competition, any of the following club memberships should work. Some may have minimum skill level (index) requirements, but most won’t. In fact, if you’re courteous, play in a timely fashion, and can keep an accurate score, you can expect to fit in anywhere. Women who join a club need never go without company on the fairways.

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The USGA lists three types of licensed clubs • Excellent practice facilities. — the first, connected with a golf course • Access to teaching professionals (public or private) where rounds are played • Organized member tournaments. regularly by the members; the second, where • Upscale networking venue. the members have a prior connection such as • Access to other recreational amenities through business, a sorority, or social club; and member social events. the third where members are recruited pubSEMI-PRIVATE GOLF CLUBS licly, such as through the internet. But for women looking for a club to join, I’d Semi-private clubs offer membership at courses that are also open to public play. An break down that list a bit further. initiation fee may be required, but the serPRIVATE GOLF CLUBS vice level is likely better than that at a public Private clubs can be expensive, but in these course. Priority tee times are usually proeconomic times, incentives to drive mem- vided, and many amenities found at private bership abound. These clubs need steady in- clubs are available at semi-private clubs. come to keep operations running, so many However, you play the same course open to are discounting stiff initiation fees to bring nonmembers who may not feel as obligated in new members willing to pay those month- as someone who pays monthly dues to fill ly dues. Private clubs expect a certain level of divots and repair ball marks. decorum from members, and rules usually include strict cell phone policies and dress PUBLIC GOLF LEAGUES codes. At some clubs you may find yourself If a private or semi-private club is not an opin the company of well-heeled women sport- tion, joining a women’s league or club hosted ing diamond Rolexes and couture golf appar- by a public course may be the choice for you. el. At others, comfortable resort attire is the Women from a particular region come together for a weekly game and play for a renorm. • Benefits of joining a private club may duced green fee that may include a golf cart. A handbook of rules, games and tournaments include: is usually provided. And a board of elected • Well-maintained golf course. members runs the club — just the place for • Top-notch service. 18 I MARCH 2012 I GottaGoGolf

Have you heard of any unusual or nontraditional golf clubs? Tell us.

you executive, controlling types. Dining and pro shop discounts are often extended by the course. INTERNET GOLF CLUBS Those looking for a low-cost alternative to joining a golf club might find an Internet club makes sense. The Northern California Golf Association (NCGA), for example, offers an eClub membership that entitles you to all NCGA member benefits, including discounted green fees, members-only outings, complimentary clinics, and an official handicap index. And for commitment phobes, facilitates social golf among women and men golfers of all abilities and backgrounds, generally without having to pay dues, attend meetings or carry an official index. By going online, you can research Meetup clubs in your area. THE BOTTOM LINE Whether a golf club membership makes economical sense depends on green fees at local public courses and how often you play. But it may also depend on to what degree you’ve got the bug. If you’d like a regular game with likeminded sisters on the links, heed the call to the tee and join.

Don’t love the one you’re with? When Janet Johnson lost her adult son to an illness in 2007, a friend suggested she channel her grief into golf, a game she’d played and enjoyed with a former boyfriend. “I felt the air on my face, the sun, and was finally able to focus on something else for more than 10 minutes,” she said. “The very first day out, I felt something other than grief.” She found a women’s group to join not far from her home in Richmond, Calif., met the requirement of a handicap less than 39, and began playing regularly. But she told her friends, “Something is missing and I think it’s you. I miss my sisters. And they said, ‘How can we join?’ ” Now, Johnson already had noticed hers was the only African American face in her new golf group. When she asked to bring in some of her “sisters,” she was told, “We try to cap membership at 75 or 80 and you are the 75th.” “I liked playing with these ladies because they were so serious,” Johnson said. “It’s about golf. But I thought, wow, I don’t remember any bells going off when I was the 75th member. And it occurred to me, I am the ‘It.’ I think I made the quota. If I’m 75th and the only African American in the group…” So, she sort of accidentally started a group of her own, and Sistas On The Links is now entering its third season. Their home course is Oakland’s Metropolitan but they play other Northern California courses.

“These were the most beautiful, nurturing, loving women, who were not raised with golf and didn’t know much about it and all wanted to learn,” Johnson said, essentially debunking preconceptions about who is attracted to golf. “It has not been a traditional game for African Americans, period, and the feeling ‘why are you here’ often comes into play. To have someone to play with who looks like you conquers the feeling of isolation.” Anyone can start a new club. Here are a few points to remember: • Start with your network. Johnson planned a mmet-and-greet at her house and invited her friends to email other women who might be interested in golf. The email chain brought 12 women out that day, and once notes were taken, the group was in formation mode. • The USGA requires a minimum of 10 members for a club to be licensed. Its handicapping manual outlines the various kinds of clubs in Section 2, online at • One way to ease the start-up process is to affiliate with a larger group, perhaps the regional women’s association or regional golf association in your area. Sistas chose the Western States Golf Association, the largest African American golf group n the United States with more than 30 clubs across seven states. • If you’re creating a nonprofit group, it’s wise not to restrict membership in any way

Janet Johnson (top row, third from left) and some Sistas On The Links. that might seem discriminatory. You can state your cause in your mission statement — for example, Sistas On The Links’ mission includes “to unite and expose African American women to golf.” It does have one member so far who is not African American. Sistas plans monthly 18-hole and 9-hole play days for its 60 members, ranging from an 8-handicapper to women who haven’t yet picked up a club. When Johnson’s list peaked at 92 women, she said, the idea of a cap surfaced. “I could understand the idea of a cap now,” she said. “But we decided not to cap it.” — Susan Fornoff


Join the Club

If you want it, here it is come and get it BY SUSAN FORNOFF


n the old days, prospective members spent years on country club waiting lists. Today, it’s the current members who are on waiting lists — waiting for new members to join so that they can get their deposits back and get out. The alarming part of this scenario: The old days were only 15 years ago. That’s how quickly the economy, lifestyles and values can change, and that $150,000 you paid to become a shareholding member of Posh Country Club might today be worth only $30,000 — and only when a new member steps up to pay it. 20 I MARCH 2012 I GottaGoGolf

“Refundable initiation deposits are the haunting issue, one I deal with almost every day,” said Danelle Kelling, attorney for Phoenix golf specialists Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP. “Make sure you understand what that means if you’re going to join a club, because there may be a list to get that back, and now that resignations have increased, lists that used to be one or two years long have gone to 5-to-10 or maybe never. “It’s a double-edged sword, because people are scared,” Kelling said. “Yet, there are opportunities to join clubs that didn’t exist before. Generally, I think now is the time to

join. There are great offers out there.” Indeed, initiation fees have gone as low as zero, which takes care of the waiting-to-leave concern right off the bat. Clubs are bringing in top chefs, adding social programs, creating kid camps and offering tiered memberships that can be customized for today’s working couple and busy family. At ClubCorp, where a “member” typically is defined as married couple or domestic partners plus any children under age 23, there’s even an eye toward accommodating individuals without making them pay the full “member” price.

The clubhouse provides a scenic backdrop at semi-private Saddle Creek.


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COVER “You have to look at your market, and our market has been changing,” said ClubCorp Vice President of Membership Patti Hulsebus. “It’s our game plan to continue to reinvent our clubs and our memberships for our changing market.” It is clearly a buyer’s market, and here are seven good questions for the prospective member.

golf members at PGA National in Florida. “For women, we’ve got the 18-hole Ladies Golf Association, the 9-hole Ladies Golf Association and the Girls, Giggles & Golf, which is really for people who don’t have golf memberships yet but are interested,” she said. “We finally started a Men’s Golf Association last year. We have a couples schedule, and we have a Lunch Bunch for men and women that want to play together in the morning and 1. WHAT’S YOUR OBJECTIVE IN JOINING then have lunch.” ClubCorp courses may A CLUB? have a kids club that occupies Junior while If you’re thinking you’ll save money by join- Mom and Dad play 9, or maybe there are twiing a country club, take a look at your favor- light leagues for working professionals. ite public course and do the math for as many rounds of golf per year as you think you’d 3. WHAT KIND OF SALES PITCH ARE YOU play at your new club. Add in food-and- GETTING FROM THE CLUB? beverage expenses and compare the total to ClubCorp, which at last count owned 150 your annual expenses at your new club. It’s private clubs, has a senior vice-president probably cheaper not to join a club — plus, in charge of membership, Kathy O’Neal. you can play other courses without the guilt “We’re down in golf from 27 million to 26 of, “Here I am paying all this money to be- million, so we have to be sure we’re fitting long to Posh C.C. and now I’m paying to play the club to the member and vice versa,” she here instead.” Some of the best public-ac- said. “That’s why we teach our sales people cess courses offer annual memberships that to listen more than they talk. It’s all about are all about the golf and have no strings at- member satisfaction. I would be nervous tached. about a hard sell.”

shares down through their family. They may be assessed if the club gets into trouble, they may have trouble getting back their investment if they leave — or, on the other hand, their membership could appreciate. In nonequity clubs, a corporation is the owner and so initiation fees generally are not refunded. But members can easily leave the club and can expect not to have to pay for improvements. 5. WHAT EXTRA EXPENSES SHOULD YOU EXPECT? These could be monthly dues, a monthly food-and-beverage minimum, and fees for club storage, carts, practice facilities, guests and lessons. There might also be a gratuity fee to replace tips.

6. HOW MANY CURRENT MEMBERS DOES YOUR PROSPECTIVE CLUB HAVE? If the club is new and membership has not reached at least 300, the number generally thought minimal to support an 18-hole golf course, is it broadening its appeal with different types and levels of memberships? If not, how will it finance operations? By doubling the current members’ monthly dues? 2. IF YOU’RE JOINING THE CLUB FOR THE 4. ARE MEMBERSHIPS AT THE CLUB YOU Or are there other revenue sources, such as LIFESTYLE YOU ENVISION, ARE THEIR LIKE EQUITY, OR NONEQUITY? OR IS events? Many newer clubs that were built and established as private equity clubs have PROGRAMS A GOOD MATCH FOR YOUR THERE A CHOICE? INTERESTS? Equity members are shareholders, co-own- opened their golf courses, restaurants and Jane Broderick, PGA and LPGA professional, ers of the club, so they have a say in operat- shops to the public. Is there anything in the offers five different golf clubs for the 1,300 ing decisions and generally can hand their small print about this? 22 I MARCH 2012 I GottaGoGolf

COVER On the other hand, if membership is greater than 450, check with current members to find out if they have any difficulty accessing tee times and other services. 7. WHAT POLICIES COULD LIMIT A WOMAN’S PARTICIPATION? Some clubs are quite direct about this: Even today, some do not allow women on the premises and others (Augusta National comes to mind) do not have women members. “If you are a purely private club, you are exempt from lots of different federal legislation,” said the attorney Helling, who is also president of Women in Golf Industry.. “And there are still some purely private clubs that do not allow women.” Much more common, subtle discriminatory practices — men’s day is Saturday, women’s is Thursday, there’s a men’s grill but no women’s grill — are becoming casualties of the economy. So are dress codes, which Hulsebus

says prospec tive members rarely ask about. Though if you’ve got a teenager who owns no other bottoms than jeans, you might want to ask about that. Of course, there’s more. If an equity club is asking for an initiation fee or deposit, you want to ask how many are on the exit waiting list, and how long the current wait is to sell. You might want to ask for a trial membership. Ask for a magnifying glass to read the small print. Ask for a money-back guarantee and set your own conditions. If you’re asking for the moon, be sure you want it. With country clubs today, it’s that much a buyer’s market.

CLUB DIY: Of course, if you can’t find a club you like, you can always buy your own. Well, maybe not always — but, certainly in 2012. A recent search of the listings to be found by googling “golf course for sale” yielded as many as 50 properties on the market at prices ranging from just under half a million dollars to more than $8 million, with most in the midrange and below. Just as with joining a club, be sure to read all of that fine print. GottaGoGolf I MARCH 2012 I 23

COVER Join the Club

Ready to join? Hear what GottaGoGolf's staff has to say first It can be pretty scary joining a golf club, and maybe even scarier trying to fit in, or at least trying not to commit a fatal faux pas. Here, our writers tell their join-the-club stories. Notice how different they all are. Yours will be too. You’re invited to share it on Facebook, or email us at 24 I MARCH 2012 I GottaGoGolf

GOOD FOR WHAT AILS YOU I took up golf as a way of meeting men, and there I was in my first women’s club. But the sisterhood proved to be such a relief, this kinder and less cutthroat game than the one I’d become used to playing with men. Unfortunately I tired quickly of the long rounds that result from endless practice swings and beginners who don’t know when to pick up and move on. My current club would have none of that. I think somewhere we must have a one-practice-swing rule, because I rarely see more than that. Named the Sharp Park Business Women’s Golf Club when formed back in 1955, we are today a diverse collection of business

women and retirees of various races, ethnicities, ages and sexual orientations. (Last year the “Which Way Do You Swing?” tournament good-humoredly pitted gay women against straight.) I interviewed Janet Johnson for this issue, and she lamented that her first club did not seem interested in her personally but was all about golf. It reminded me how happy it made me that the Sharp Park club didn’t ask me a lot of personal questions during our rounds. I was going through a divorce, and having that time every Sunday gave me a Starmount Forest Country Club in much-needed distraction. For the five or six Greensboro, North Carolina hours it took us to play 19, my heart stopped hurting.—Susan Fornoff I liked the no-pressure environment EWGA was a mixture of events WHEN HER CLUB MIGHT BE HIS cultivates—there to sign up for, anything from fun/nonWhen I began learning the game several years competitive weekend golf to championship ago, I’d spend my time on the driving range events. I could easily just choose what fit my hitting balls and practicing, a club of one with game and my comfort level. Over the years no foursome in sight. My husband brought I’ve made good friends with several memhome a flyer for EWGA (Executive Women’s bers, three of whom are a part of my regular Golf Association), and it made sense to me weekend foursome. I also serve as communito join. I certainly wasn’t finding anyone to cations board member of the Sonoma/Marin Chapter of EWGA. play with on the driving range! One year, when my game was a little more

tolerable, l also joined the men’s club my husband belonged to (yes, surprisingly, he was cool with that). I was one of two women in the club, and I was kind of proud of that. I played in their tournaments, even came in second once… The entire experience toughened me up a bit, so much so that I don’t get as nervous playing in tournaments. I highly recommend the challenge of joining a men’s club.— Terri Leonard

IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED... When I worked full time it seemed that women’s groups played during the week, so for a number of years my only golf was with my GottaGoGolf I MARCH 2012 I 25


husband on the weekend. When I was finally able to join a women’s group, I found they had strict requirements for everything, including a minimum number of days you had to play with the group to participate in the club tournaments, intra-club events and the invitational. You also had to play six rounds with a current member to finally be a member of the club. I only knew golf from my husband’s side and the men did not put up these barriers to participation. I finally got “established” with the group only to have my husband purchase a membership in a private course. The private club members were very welcoming and even had weekend tournaments for women — unheard of 30 years ago. Only the golf professional seemed unfriendly toward women. He had a reason why everything we wanted to try would not work. Fortunately, he left to sell cars. Currently I am at Pasatiempo Golf Club. Because the course was built by a pioneer in women’s golf, Marion Hollins, the club has always been and remains very welcoming to women. We can be first off the tee any day of the week. We have a variety of women’s events and everyone is encouraged to participate. I have finally found the right 26 I MARCH 2012 I GottaGoGolf

home. I serve on the Green Committee and am a member of the board of directors for the club. — Gail Rogers

GottaGoGolf's staff and contributors do not yet belong to Augusta National.

looked like for “Ladies Day.” He said there GETTING BY THE WICKED WITCH was room in a twosome as well as another slot in a threesome playing just ahead of the After a 30-year gap when I lived elsewhere, twosome. Since I believe in balance, I took I returned to my childhood club, Skaneateles the twosome slot. Country Club in Skaneateles, N.Y. On my That night I got a call. “Uh, Kathie, this way into town, I had to drive by the entrance is Amy. I understand you signed up to play to the club. Thinking there would be no bet- with Joan and me on Thursday.” ter time than now to get a tee time for the “I did.” first Thursday sweepstakes, I went into the “Well, I think it best to tell you we play fast golf shop and asked the pro what the signups and we walk.”


“No problem. I walk too. And I like to play fast.” “Uhhh.” Silence. “Tell you what, I’ll join the group in front of you. Looks like that will mean you’ll have to keep up with us,” I said with a soft chuckle. Then she apologized and said of course I would be welcome. All new members were welcome. Thursday morning, she came over and said, “Hi. I’m the wicked witch from the east. Sorry about yesterday.” Moral of the story: I happened to be confident enough to deal with the situation and indeed we became friends and have played a lot since. However, had I been a more timid, less experienced new member, I might have slinked away and taken up tennis. It’s a reminder to me to encourage those who are new to the game and the club. I have made some great new friends that way. And would you believe, some have gone on to beat me. Bummer. I hate to lose. — Katharine Dyson

THERE ARE ALL KINDS OF CLUBS: BELONG TO THE WOMEN’S GROUP OF WHATEVER COURSE YOU PLAY A LOT. THAT WAY, YOU’LL FIND THAT YOU ALWAYS HAVE PEOPLE TO PLAY WITH. husband didn’t play golf. Then I joined EWGA and helped start a San Francisco chapter with a bunch of women. I remember we had our kickoff at the Chanel boutique, and we got big fast and were spread all over the Bay Area. I’m still an EWGA member, now in Arizona. It’s very much a business networking group for women interested in making contacts. There are all kinds of clubs, but the best recommendation I can make to someone interested in joining one is to belong to the women’s group of whatever course you play a lot. That way, you’ll find that you always have people to play with. — Cori Brett


The first club I joined was Ruby Hill in Pleasanton, Calif. I was a new golfer then and became a member when my husband decidTHERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME ed to join. My main memories are unpleasant ones of me having difficulty getting my I was a member of a country club as a child, ball airborne. And when I did get my ball airbut I didn’t get an adult membership. I wasn’t borne, I had a nasty propensity to slice my that interested, I didn’t live there, and my ball into bodies of water.

But I also remember the first set of lessons I received as a Christmas gift from my husband. He gave me six individual lessons, and I have fond memories of the woman golf pro who took me to the range and taught me the basics. She was very encouraging and even said, despite my suspicion otherwise, that I had the potential to develop a good swing. I guess she saw something that I couldn't see back then. My words of encouragement are to hang in there with practice and play if you find yourself drawn to the game. Know that as you try to improve your swing, you will get worse before you get better. But the end result is worth the agony. I did not start out taking enough lessons and have learned how critical it is to learn the basics from someone who knows what they're doing. Muscle memory is key, and you need a good foundation upon which to build a decent swing. If you can afford it, have an instructor videotape your swing for analysis. Such visual feedback goes a long way toward helping you make corrections in your swing. — Michelle Smith GottaGoGolf I MARCH 2012 I 27


By Gail Rogers

Here's a goal for your group: Not a bitch in the bunch

Gail Rogers retired last year as a USGA rules official. She enjoys golf with all of the women in her groups at the Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz, Calif.

I just played with a member who insisted her score on a par-4 was 5 when the rest of us in the group were certain her score was 6. This caused a lot of stress for the rest of the round. How can we handle this situation so we are all friends at the end of the day?

time that elapses while everyone holes out, it is easy to forget the missed shot because the brain already had calculated the score with a one- or two-putt, but not with the blown shot. One way to repair this is to look back over the hole with the player and connect all the dots by following the ball from shot to shot. And, yes, the missed shot is discovered and the score is 6, not 5. In USGA Qualifiers, I have had this discussion with If you have never gotten a score wrong in your mind players at the scoring area. Sometimes we have had immediately after completing a hole and then had to to go back on the course to the hole in question to correct it, you just have not played enough golf. determine the correct score. Typically it happens when a player starts thinking On the first day of a three-day collegiate event, I score instead of focusing on the shot at hand while remember Ryan Gregg, Director of Education for the playing a hole. “With this chip shot I will be on in NCGA, telling a player that there are two things to three and can either one- or two-putt for a good think about whenever there is a doubt. First, a player score.� But then the player chunks the chip, has to can not be disqualified for signing for a score with a attempt it again and reaches the green in four. In the stroke higher than actually taken. So if the player has

28 I MARCH 2012 I GottaGoGolf

Does your club have any bad eggs? How do you handle them?

any doubt after exercising every means to determine the true score, the prudent player might want to take the higher score. If it is discovered after the scorecard is returned that the score is 5 instead of the 5 actually because of miscounting, she is disqualified – even after the competition has closed. Rule 34-1b(iii). In Ryan’s case, the player came back the next day and indeed during the evening realized her true score was the higher score, but she was still in the competition because of her decision to accept the higher score. But there is a Second point to consider: When all else fails and the player has determined what her score is for the hole in question, go with the player. Golf always assumes the honest competitor. It is the basic premise of our game. All this having been said, if you do not come off the course smiling every week because you enjoyed the camaraderie of your group, it might be time to revisit the general attitude with the membership. Nancy Wainer, Neuf Trous Captain at Pasatiempo for the past two years, adopted the motto “Not a bitch in the bunch.” When having a bad day, the members comment, “Well, today my game is all about lunch.” Everyone tries to do her best, but some days golf balls are attracted to every bunker and repelled by every hole on the greens.

This same captain welcomes new members by telling them, “We vet our members by their personality, not their handicap.” How wonderful to be reminded that golf is and should always be about more than competition. It is the friendships we make PLUS the joy we feel on those days of great shots and one putts.

Friendships blossom and grow on the golf course, even when we struggle to make putts that might be considered gimmes by some.

GottaGoGolf I MARCH 2012 I 29


A robotic cart, and 8 other products that push the right buttons BY EMILY KAY, GottaGoGolf Equipment Editor


he 2012 PGA Merchandise Show had a decidedly womenwelcome feel, with the naming of Meg Mallon to captain next year’s U.S. Solheim Cup team and luminaries including Jack Nicklaus and Lexi Thompson touting golf for women all week. So it seemed fitting that the shining star of the exposition for vendors displaying their coolest new toys for the coming season was a whiz-bang, robotic golf cart that women who love to walk the course but do not love carrying their bags will absolutely love.

• CaddyTrek 30 I MARCH 2012 I GottaGoGolf

Representing the next generation in remote-control electronic golf buggies, the CaddyTrek from FTR Systems will follow your every move from tee to green with the touch of a button. You can use the trolley in pure remote mode and click the directional arrows to send it straight ahead, right, left, or reverse, and you can always grab the handle bar to set its course manually.

But what truly sets CaddyTrek apart from other remote-controlled e-carts is its hands-free ability to follow you, at your pace. I cannot wait to affix the clicker to my belt and simply have it trail behind me up and down the fairways. CaddyTrek easily folds up into a compact package that weighs just 33 pounds. The six-pound lithium-ion

• The state-ofthe-art ClubGlider Journey battery that’s slightly larger than an iPad is a welcome upgrade from the 25-pounder that my current remote-control cart requires. After playing as many as 36 holes on one charge, leave the battery where it is, fold up the conveyance, and plug it in for a recharge. Oh, and not to worry if you have to fish your golf ball out of a hazard; the company promises that CaddyTrek’s patent-pending, multi-sensing technology detects danger and automatically veers away from tree stumps, sand traps, lakes and ponds, and other hazardous objects. CaddyTrek at retails for $1,595. Contact FTR at and 781213-3014.

NO MORE HEAVY LIFTING Gadding about with your golf

bag can be daunting, but Sun Mountain has come up with a travel sack that takes the heavy lifting out of golf travel. ClubGlider Journey, the sleeker, lighter-weight 2012 version of the CG Meridian and Pro models, has retractable legs and pivoting wheels that stow away during travel. When extended, Journey’s sturdy limbs support the entire weight of your clubs and bag, eliminate an average of 22 pounds of pressure from a traveler’s shoulder and back, according to the company, and let your clubs virtually glide to their destination. Internal straps clasp tightly, thick foam padding protects club heads and shafts, and heavyduty two-way external zippers close easily even after you stuff the bag with dirty laundry for your trip home. The legs easily

retract from a rugged, moldedplastic tray and act like a stand bag so you can load your clubs while upright and do away with the usual bending and lifting you’re used to when maneuvering your clubs through airports. They tuck back up and the wheels lock securely for travel. Journey weighs 12.8 pounds and is made from 1200 denier fabric, with vinyl reinforcing specific wear areas. ClubGliders retail for

white with black stripes and a swoosh of yellow caught my eye from across the


FASHION STATEMENT For the fashion-conscious as well as the serious golfer (who may well be the same person), Ogio’s Featherlight line of matching luggage, backpack and golf, travel, shoe, and tote bags was a show-

stopper. Featuring a sporty, more aggressive look than many such items offer, the satchels’ lustrous

• A piece from Ogio’s Featherlight collection

GottaGoGolf I MARCH 2012 I 31

• The

Belly Putt kit and tool show floor. And not to worry about all that pearly white picking up dirty and grime; a specially treated material (the company was hush-hush about its technology) lets you clean the bags with a swipe of a damp rag. The Featherlight stand bag is

400 orders the week after Bradley won his first major. Belly Putt is available for $39.99 by email or over the phone (337-837-5225).

LASH IT LIKE LEXI Okay, chances are you won’t be matching 300-yard drives with Thompson, but Cobra-Puma’s

available from online retailers for $139.

BELLY PUTTER TRAINING WHEELS Belly putters were all the rage at

the show but women have yet to join the stampede of golfers trading in their traditional flat sticks for the elongated bats that reigning PGA champ Keegan Bradley and Deutsche Bank Championship winner Webb Simpson, among other PGA Tour stars, favor. If you’re considering going over to the dark side, however, perhaps a set of training wheels in the form of 32 I MARCH 2012 I GottaGoGolf

the Belly Putt would be a good way to start. An adjustable attachment to a golfer’s regular putter, the Belly Putt screws into the club’s handle and can add up to eight inches of height. While the USGA won’t let you use the appendage as is in official tournaments, the intrepid among us may reconfigure it, according to instructions and a kit included with the tool, to meet USGA specifications. Belly Putt inventor Clay Judice says he sold some 1,000 items last year and filled

AMP (for Advanced Material Placement) driver is a vision in

Rickie Fowler orange and black (clubs for women with a slightly slower swing speed than the

big-hitting Thompson are available with a green and silver color scheme). Fowler and Thompson are the perfect faces for the supplier whose inflatable white cube rocked Demo Day again and aims to put the fun back in golf. Don’t try the clubs just because of their cosmetics though. The company promises the AMP’s E9 face technology and elliptical face and new canted bulge with a dual roll design provides more distance to shots hit above and below the centerline. AMP’s Adjustable Flight Technology lets you set the club face to three angles—open, neutral, or closed. The Cobra-Puma AMP driver is available at Golfsmith for $249.99.


• Cobra-Puma’s AMP drivers

TaylorMade designed its suggestively named RocketBallz

white-crowned clubs for golfers of all abilities. “Our design approach is more about the physics (of your club-head speed) than it is about the gender,” Mike Ferris, TMaG’s product marketing VP tells us about the hammers that LPGA Tour star Paula Creamer has in her bag. For players who don’t swing quite as hard or fast as the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open champ, the company suggests a driver with a lightweight Matrix shaft and grip, fairway wood, rescue club, and the lighter RBZ Max Irons with an ultra-thin face to promote faster ball speed. A white shaft to match the crown denotes a lighter flex, Ferris says. Sets of Graphite-shafted RocketBallz Max irons are available in a variety of configurations from several online retailers.

• Callaway’s RAZR X Black collection

BLACK IS THE NEW WHITE FOR CALLAWAY You won’t find any pearly white clubs in Callaway’s lineup, but the company’s RAZR X Black driver, woods, hybrids, and irons are extremely snazzy. Callaway’s first adjustable driver, the RAZR Fit, has received most of the attention, but the ebony offshoot of the supplier’s RAZR X squadron of sticks succeed in offering the “rack appeal” the company seeks. You get the inky cast in a 46-inch driver, hybrids, and fairway metals, but the sleek

irons particularly caught our attention. They play as easily as last year’s RAZR X tools and, as of March, will come in several different models so golfers of all skill levels can enjoy the clubs’ Physical Vapor Deposition Finish.

FLIP YOUR PUTTER Speaking of Callaway, its Odyssey subsidiary plans an April introduction of its Flip Face putter. An adjustable, dualinsert system lets golfers use a simple tool to switch the face from a firm new Metal-X insert on one side to the popular and softer White Ice implant on the other. The idea, Odyssey says, is to let players customize their flat sticks for feel, sound, and speed depending on the greens, weather conditions, and other variables.

• Odyssey’s Flip Face putter

GRIP IT AND RIP IT In its third year at the show, Pure Grips hit the floor with an endorsement from Hank Haney and a dazzling array of neon purple, aqua, and nine other colors of its undersize, standard, and mid-size gloves for your clubs. Tiger Woods’ former coach signed a three-year deal in January as equity partner and pitchman for the products, which chief executive Wes Brasher guarantees for a year. Haney will use the grips, which require an air compressor but no tape or glue for installation, at his teaching academies and become the face of the company, Brasher says.

GottaGoGolf I MARCH 2012 I 33

GARB Nothing’s black and white when it comes to women’s apparel trends BY SUSAN FORNOFF


• Nanospikes on Oakley’s Cipher

GottaGoGolf I MARCH 2012I 34

few LPGA players took time out from their endorser gigs to roam the 10 miles of aisles at the big PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla., in January. Nicole Smith couldn’t help but notice the glaring trend: “A lot of really bright colors are coming in, with Adidas bringing in neon for shoes, Oakley with the bright pink, Puma with its bright colors.” Thank you, Rickie Fowler. Puma and Loudmouth are no longer alone in popping eyes on the golf course. Even traditional golf clothing labels such as Cutter & Buck and EP Pro helped make orange the color of 2012. Yes that is orange, also known among designers as “tangerine” and, most predominately, “poppy.” The latter may refer to a flower, or to the adjective that describes this particular shade — it

surely pops and therefore must be poppy. A few other trends popped as well — here are five. SPORTY SHOES. Oakley’s new Cipher shoe doesn’t come in poppy and it doesn’t come in women’s sizes. It does, however, come in bright blue and in red, as well as more vanilla colors — and its billing as the lightest golf shoe on the market (at 260 grams) makes it worth trying on. My size 7 1/2 (in women’s I wear a 9 to a 9 1/2) felt like a slipper. The shoe has “nanospike” technology, with a flat, replaceable insert that resembles an emery board for traction. With no spikes applying pressure to the feet, the shoe was all the more comfortable. The Cipher ($130 retail) represents a trend toward lower profile, sportier looking shoes, par-




• Cutter &

Buck's poppy and turquoise motif fit right in with the show trends.

ticularly for young women. Kikkor enlisted Ryann O’Toole to promote its sporty, comfy women’s line, and a new company called Barefoot B.E.R.B.S made a splash with its almostnaked shoe, golf’s equivalent of a yoga shoe. Ah, but the market leader, Footjoy, has an answer to all the competitors, and its Lo-Pro ac-

counts for 7 percent of all golf shoes sold in the U.S. Yes, that is a women’s golf shoe, one model alone collecting 7 percent of the entire golf shoe market. And there are more styles than ever for 2012, including polka dots!


STYLES THAT SLIM Compression fabrics were all the rage, with Skirt Sports

and its hot skirts-over-leggings look and a newcomer to the golfwear scene, Luxxe. Luxxe owner and designer Nicolette Mayer finds inspiration in art and themes for pull-on clothes in a performance fabric, LuxxeTech, that doesn’t wrinkle and miraculously slims (fabrics that compress). In prices along the lines of the familiar Jamie Saddock

collections, Mayer’s designs overlap yoga, tennis and street wear as well. “Our customer is the woman golfer who’s been around the block and is bored,” she said, adding that the fabric “sucks you in, hides bra fat and hides muffin top.” Yay! GG Blue’s popular item proved to be its slimming, pull-on Movement Skort, with several color choices in sizes XS to XL. Needing no zipper or button closure, bulk is instantly reduced. This jury’s still out on Swing Control, a pull-on short/skort/ capri/pedalpusher/ankle pant with built-in tummy control called “Flaterie Fit.” Retailing for more than $100 — partly because, a sales rep said, “if a woman finds a bottom she likes, price becomes a non-issue” — these bottoms are very fitted. I tried on a pair and thought they looked great and flattered GottaGoGolf I MARCH 2012 I 35


my figure, but, would they be Footjoy’s silver Lo-Pro to match. comfortable for 18 holes? GoodEP Pro’s buyers gravitated to its looking enough to be worth a try. Biltmore collection in black, tan and gold, a sophisticated look TAKE HER TO DINNER, with a touch of wow from the OR WHEREVER. Bette & sparkle. Sister Summit Golf comCourt’s silver sweater and polo pany Fairway & Greene, whose stood out in the crowd, and so did goal president Andy Bell described as “we want a woman to be able to leave the golf course after playing 18 holes without looking like they did,” brought in buyers with its Kate Middletoninspired Island Cape collection in the front window — superelegant, with suede accents and gold metallic thread. “Our trend is versatility,” Bell said. “We are making clothes that will take a woman to the gym, to the grocery store, to the kids’ soc• GG Blue pull-on skort cer game on Saturday.”


GottaGoGolf I MARCH 2012I 36

• That must be the Loudmouth booth.

ny’s shirts have unique detailing — buttons or gathers or stitching, even a tattoo graphic on one. Monterey Club’s shirts leapt off the racks for the way they flirted with dress codes: sure, you could find the three-button, collared



ALL IN THE DETAILS The show stoppers didn’t end with bling; careful shoppers would find small statements from almost all of the women’s clothing companies designed to set their garb apart from men’s wear. Cutter & Buck made a hit with a ruffled skirt perfect for the gym diva eager to show off her hardearned rear end. All of the compa-


polo — but you noticed animal print shirts with zippers below a collared V-neck, and the sleveless top with a piped U-neck beneath a nehru-like collar treatment. Fun stuff for the “over 30 to dead” crowd, as designer Shirley Li says, and with sizes even in the 1X to 18 and 20 range.

say it’s comfy, a “play nine and go dine” outfit for the young lady, in choice of blue or pink. With simple lines and an appealing price ($46 online), Chip & Putt’s Natural Endurance shift by Sandra Mathis begged to be tried on. The combination of stretch and easy fit frees the golf swing like no combination THE ONESY, ALL GROWN of separates possibly could, and UP. Imagine walking 18 holes it fits women (even with curves) without a tug from a waistband or sizes 4 to 18. (Hint: If you’re bea ride from a brief. That’s the ap- tween sizes, order the smaller peal in some of the golf dresses one.) The above-knee dress — that manufacturers are show- available in fabrics including a ing and LPGA pros are wearing schoolgirl plaid and a trophical (but, maybe, shoppers aren’t yet print — is missing only a coorbuying). Prize for most original dinating undie-short to wear garment at the PGA Show goes beneath it. to Adidas with its golf romper. Maybe next year? Ah, but who Seriously! It’s short and wearers knows what 2013 will bring.


• The Adidas romper — all in one piece! GottaGoGolf I MARCH 2012 I 37

TRAVEL San Diego


I hadn’t even teed off on La Costa’s recently tweaked South Course when I teed off at one of the architects involved in a recent refreshment of the famous resort 30 minutes north of San Diego, in Carlsbad, California. “I’ll tell you right now,” I said, pointing at the scorecard, “fifty-six hundred yards is ridiculous for the forward tees at a resort. That is not going to send a woman guest home excited about golf!” “I agree with you,” Jeff Brauer said, with surprising candor. “But you should have seen it the way it was before — over 38 I MARCH 2012 I GottaGoGolf

6,000 yards! The women members were not all that sold on giving up a lot of yardage. Maybe you’ll like what we did on the Champions Course.” The traditionally laid-out South Course — site of the 2012 LPGA Kia Classic, March 19-25 — offered the kind of conditions one would expect at a posh resort and was fun to

play. And play. And play. It felt long, especially on a cold December day when the ball wasn’t granting even its usual way-lessthan-300-yards carry. The next day, La Costa served up the fruits of its recent $50 million renovation, chief among them a major overhaul to the Champions Course resulting in six sets of tees ranging from 4,356 yards to 7,172 yards. Steve Pate of PGA Tour fame teamed with his design partner, Damian Pascuzzo, and Brauer on changes in keeping with the resort’s new focus: families.


La Costa takes dead aim at women and families, and still scores with the golfers


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And, women readers, we know what companies mean by “families.” With women making 80 percent of the household buying decisions, a family-friendly golf resort translates to a true Women-Welcome environment for players of every level. The most important decision about a stay at La Costa isn’t the buy, however — that part’s a no-brainer. With rooms updated in understated luxury, a resort-casual feel to even the most formal restaurant (BlueFire Grill), and a spa that promises an adult hideaway, La Costa Resort and Spa ranks with the finest full-amenity, park-and-plop destinations. The decision worth pondering upon arrival:: where to tee off. Noted Pascuzzo, “You won’t get a feel for the true strategy of the golf course if you play from the wrong set of tees.” And this is true for all players. Short hitters have three reasonable options: 5,881

yards, 5,366 yards and 4,356 yards. I chose to play the most forward tees the first day, but when I saw that none of the par 3s was longer than 88 yards, I stepped back on those holes and made a course that was 4,562 yards. (Note on make-it-yourself combo tees: The USGA offers a chart that allows players to properly post their handicaps when they step up or back on a few holes.) It was so much fun that the next day I abandoned my plan to step back to the sec-


ond set of tees and simply tried to improve on what I had learned the day before. And I had to learn, because so many of the holes require brain power, even when clubhead speed is clearly lacking. Here’s a great example: The par-4 fourth hole measures just 213 yards from the forward tee. Seriously, 213 yards. But the visual from the tee will scare many a high handicapper into exchanging her driver for some GottaGoGolf I MARCH 2012 I 41

What golf resorts have you visited that you think have a high Women-Welcome factor?


sort of hybrid so as not to bat an eyelash at the two big bunkers that stretch across the fairway starting at only about 100 yards from the tee. I was almost scared, then I figured, oh, come on now. Driver cleared the bunkers and left me just a pitching wedge away from the hole.

The second time around, I hit five greens in regulation that were not par-3s! That’s more than one-third of the par-4 and par-5 lay-

outs, something I, a bogey golfer, do not do. This is fun, and the big-hitting guys who played farther back thought so too. They had to put driver away on some holes, or at least should have. I hope I showed sufficient enthusiasm to Brauer, Pascuzzo and Pate in the end — and I hope more business comes their way. They produced a Women-Welcome resort course of which no one would say “Oh, that’s for sissies.”




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It’s GGG WW La Costa Resort and Spa opened in 1965 and has attracted movie stars and other celebrities over the years. Here are five other features that make it a Women-Welcome destination in 2012.


The 8,900-square-foot Athletic Club has all the latest machines and equipment, and the adjacent Chopra Center offers free morning yoga for resort guests.


The spa, sumptuously renovated before this latest $50 million round, has added a reflexology path — with stones embedded to give the guest a massage as she walks — and an herb garden, infusing the air around the courtyard pool and hot tub with whatever’s in season.


There’s the possibility of a romantic getaway AND/OR a family vacation, with supervised Kidtopia, Splash Landing, sports courts and kid-friendly golf to entertain the young, plus adults-only refuges such as the spa, and the Edge pool and bar.


The service is amazing, with many of the employees having worked at the resort for years and even waiting out the year-long renovations. It starts with your reservation call — do let them know what sort of stay you have in mind, whether it’s romance, family or business, and they’ll book accordingly.


Accommodations range from the spacious Plaza Room to the La Costa Suite to the gorgeous 1-to-3-bedroom villas; nightly rates range from around $270 to around $1,250, but packages are probably the way to go. A sample: The La Costa Experience, which included daily breakfast at the Legends Bistro, a $90 golf credit per person per day and a $45 spa credit per person per day was recently priced at $150-$235-$300 (RoomSuite-Villa) per person per night. For more information, visit or call 800.854.5000 GottaGoGolf I MARCH 2012 I 43

19th HOLE Our house cocktail: It's the Shapely GottaGoGolfer BY CHERYL STOTLER


hen 19th Hole’s tasting panel eagerly accepted the mission of mixing an official GottaGoGolf cocktail, it didn’t occur to us to bring pajamas with cute little martini glasses all over them. This task was so grueling, however, it took a morning-after sequel to mop up the details. Fear not, GottaGoGolfers, this magazine for women who play the game for fun now has a fun and fitting cocktail that won’t make us fat as long as we are out burning our calories on the fair-

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ways. THE METHODOLOGY With all of the light drinks, lite drinks and skinny drinks that were soaking up the market, we figured this would be a piece of low-fat cake. The problem was, we wanted our cocktail to taste good. And everything we tried that tasted good — with 3 ounces of the base liquor, another ounce of some yummy liqueur and then sugary filler — contained more than 300 calories. (Note: For the sake of the lazy


GottaGoGolfer, we did try some of the prepared contenders. Ick. Make your own.) After tasting all of the great cocktails we made with gin, vodka, St. Germain, cointreau, vanilla vodka and all of the other calorieladen stuff, we began researching how we could work it off once we got home. Did you know kissing burns 68 calories an hour? Sex burns 144 calories a half-hour? Whew, tough to unload 300-plus calories from one cocktail. So we got serious about our counts. Wine: 100 calories for five ounces of red, 94 calories for five ounces of white, 130 calories for five ounces of bubbly. A prudent choice. But we wanted a cocktail, something we could serve in a martini glass, up. Tequila, 70 calories an ounce. Vodka or gin, 56 calories an ounce. The yummy St. Germain we liked so much, ouch,

103 calories per ounce. Then we checked up on our three orange liqueur possibilities: Triple Sec, the least expensive, has 103 calories per ounce; Cointreau, a favorite of many Mexican restaurants, has 95 calories per ounce; and Grand Marnier costs the most but contains only 67 calories per ounce. For mixers, we found that cran/ pom juice has only 15 calories an ounce, grapefruit juice 11 calories per ounce, ginger juice only 10 calories per ounce. We also messed around with a bit of coconut water, only about 6 calories per ounce. By the end of the first day, we had no recipe and little coherence. The next morning, we reviewed our notes and emerged triumphant with an official cocktail we worry is perhaps just a bit too drinkable. Please remember, if you end up drinking three instead of one, you have defeated the purpose.

Shapely GottaGoGolfer 2 ounces of your favorite fine tequila 2 ounces of club soda in either orange or lime 3/4 ounces fresh lime juice 3/4 ounces Grand Marnier Pour over ice, stir (or if you prefer, shake) and serve up in a chilled martini or margarita glass. Sip slowly and savor. Calorie count, approximately 200. For best taste, do not serve over ice or with a salted rim. A FEW POINTERS • Don’t chill or freeze your ingredients ahead of time. Ice has no calories and no fat, and if it dilutes your cocktail a bit and makes for a bigger drink, that is OK and won’t ruin the taste. • Agave nectar has a low glycemic index and is probably the healthiest cocktail sweetener — but it does contain 60 calories per tablespoon so handle with care. • If you’re really concerned about calories, drink water instead of anything alcoholic. • Club soda, seltzer or your choice of bubble waters makes for the best zero-calorie mixer, and can even substitute for champagne. Try it with some fresh fruit or juice and vodka or gin for a quick and easy reward after your round. GottaGoGolf I MARCH 2012 I 45

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