Golf Courses & Travel

America's Top 50 Courses For Women

Continued (page 3 of 3)

Chris Walley, director of golf operations at LPGA International (No. 7) in Florida, can attest to the fact that carrying women's products in your golf shop is great for business. "We have more men than women who play golf at the facility, but the sales volume is 65 percent women's goods," he says. "We strive to stock items and lines that women can't typically find in a retail store." Offering women's merchandise seems like a smart way to make more money (everybody knows we like to shop), but facilities that emphasize women's goods are also sending a message of equality. "Golf has enough barriers. It's difficult, it's expensive, and the rules and etiquette carry this mystical awe that makes beginners tremble," says Jennifer Myers, assistant general manager at Geneva National Golf Club (No. 27) in Wisconsin. "Stocking the golf shop to be attractive and welcoming to women is the least we can do to tell them that they're valued customers." -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tenna Merchent, co-owner of Purgatory Golf Club (No. 34) in Indiana, understands that the more events you have for women, the more they will come and play. Each month the club hosts Ladies Night, offering wine, free clinics, club demos, fashion shows and a nine-hole scramble. Many of our Top 50 emphasize the social aspect by coordinating leagues, special events and group instructional programs for women. "It's a no-brainer," says Jann Leeming, a golf-industry consultant and expert in marketing to women. "The costs are minimal, but the payoff is great."

Fossil Trace (No. 18), a Colorado municipal with a tight budget, has won several "best of" awards. Nevertheless, PGA head professional Jim Hajek is passionate about reaching out to women through free clinics (that cover everything from clubfitting to fitness) and a nine-hole women's league that plays after work. And let's not forget Pine Needles, which has offered women's programs and couples' jamborees for decades. It's the gold standard for women's golf.

top 50 courses for women

top 50 courses for women

Richter Park (Top, No. 41) in Connecticut has a parkland setting, five female staffers and a women's league with 100 participants. The Old course at Monarch Dunes (No. 32) in California boasts coastal views. (Photos courtesy of courses)

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