Our Media Partner the Jacksonville Business Journal published a great letter from Jared Rice, The PLAYERS Executive Director, about “why golf” and #MakeGolfYourThing. We agree and wanted to piggy back onto his sentiments.
Thank you for publishing Jared Rice’s letter about #MakeGolfYourThing. As the brightest star in the Golf Industry constellation, the PGA TOUR is certainly in a unique position to extol the game’s virtues inside and outside the ropes. That said, there are countless other stars in that sky with their own way of “making golf their thing.”
Thanks to national organizations like Women on Course, Women’s Golf Day and local groups like, #LEGS (Ladies Executive Golf Society), 2020 brought more than 450,000 new women to the game, making golf their thing and making women the industry’s fastest growing segment. These organizations are creating mentoring and networking opportunities that had traditionally been reserved largely for their male counterparts. The industry is also making a big push to employ more women, particularly the hundreds of female student-athlete golfers who are graduating college each year – an increase of more than 300% from just ten years ago.
In October, professional women’s golf returns to the First Coast at the PXG Women’s Match Play Championship. Our community will be treated for free to see some of best rising female pro golfers in world compete for two weeks on both World Golf Village courses. Thanks to that big industry push ten years ago, these women have made golf their thing since they were kids and are now chasing their LPGA dreams having graduated college.
Locally-based women’s empowerment organization Generation W is making golf its thing by hosting the Links to Leadership Summit presented by Circle K as part of the PXGWMPC, creating a day of connection, mentoring, networking and leadership for the players in the tournament with local women executives. The PXGWMPC will also host a free junior golf clinic, with its professional players helping to inspire the next generation of junior players who make golf their thing.
Non-profits of all sizes also make golf their thing, with Charity golf tournaments often being their biggest source of revenue. In the Jacksonville market alone there are more than 750 such tournaments each year, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars. For example, through its official Pro-am, the PXGWMPC will is helping to fund a small St Johns County non-profit, Investing in Kids (INK!), which aids underserved public schools and students in the county. Think not so much of the Ponte Vedra schools, but of the schools in which many students need assistance for critical tools like internet access and even meal money. Similarly, thousands of us across the first coast make golf their thing by volunteering at these events – which could not run without them. The PXGWMPC will have close to 200 residents giving their time to support the INK! Charity Pro-am presented by Davidson Realty as well as the overall tournament. Giving back to the community is a key tenet of the golf industry, and PXGWMPC is proud to do its part.
None of this would be possible without sponsors making it their thing, locally such as Murgado Bentley & Maserati of Jacksonville, Baptist Healthcare, Kessler Creative, Murray Bros. CaddyShack, Manifest Distilling and Ocean Sole, and nationally like PXG, SQAIRZ Golf and On Point. #MakeGolfYourThing was actually a high note of PXG VP of Communications Leela Brennan during the recent press conference for the PXG Women’s Match Play Championship.
Golf is a tremendous sport to watch, play and enjoy for a lifetime, and making golf one’s thing reaches across many arenas. Our mission at the PXGWMPC is to create playing opportunities for young women pros and to show young women and girls of all races and economics that golf can be their thing, too. We invite everyone to come out and make watching women’s golf their thing – tickets are free by registering on the website.
o The PXG Women’s Match Play Championship is a back-to-back tournament series with the first week of 54-holes of stroke play being contested on King & Bear Golf Course from October 26-28. The second tournament is a 64-woman Match-Play tournament, seeded by the stroke play event, with its own unique format. The 64 competitors will be split into 16 four-player groups. Each player will play each group member twice in nine-hole head-to-head matches. Each hole is worth one point to be either won, lost or halved. The winner of each of those nine-hole matches will also receive a bonus point. The player with the cumulative points after her six matches advances to the Knockout Rounds, starting with the Round of 16. Pool Play will be contested on November 1 and 2, beginning at 9:00 AM EST. The Round of 16 and the Quarterfinal matches will be played on November 3 starting at 9:00 AM EST. The Semifinal matches will commence on November 4 at 9:00 EST AM, following by the consolation match and then the Championship Match.
o The PXG Women’s Match Championship is also a fundraiser for Investing in Kids (INK!). The INK! Charity Pro-am presented by Davidson Realty, Inc. is slated for October 25 on the King & Bear course and will feature teams of one professional player paired with three amateurs. Sherry and Jim Davidson, owners of the local development and real estate brokerage bearing their name were the original land developers of World Golf Village and have a special tie to the community and to INK!, for which Mrs. Davidson serves on its Board of Directors. The night before the Charity Pro-am. Murray Brothers Caddy Shack will host the Official Meet the Players Pairings Party. The PXG Women’s Match Play Championship will also feature a junior clinic and other community involvement activities for the players, who will be in the area for 10-12 days
o Admission and parking for fans will be free with website registration, courtesy of Official Printing Partner, Kessler Creative, a St. Johns County-based woman-owned print marketing firm. President Dina Kessler said, “The goal is for people to see these amazing female athletes play, and we want to provide that experience at no charge to our community.” Kessler Creative is creating all of the on-course and promotional signage for the @PXGWMPC.
o In addition to $55,000 in prize money and a PXG equipment and apparel stipend, players will compete for a one-of-a-kind trophy supplied by Ocean Sole Africa, a Ponte Vedra Beach-based non-profit which fashions sculptures out of recycled flip-flops from Kenya. The 2021 PXG Women’s Match Play Championship will receive a manatee sculpture resting on top of a piece of driftwood found on a local Northeast Florida beach. It was created by Kenyan artist Mwrani and took her 22.5 hours to make using more than 40 pounds of recycled rubber flip-flops. Ocean Sole Africa will also provide similarly crafted one-of-a-kind trophies for the Runner Up and each semifinalist, as well as for the Stroke Play winner and runner up.
o Nashville band Them Vibes, founded and managed by Ponte Vedra native Kim Paige, will be the featured band in the St. Johns County VCB Between the Tournaments Concert, hosted by the Jacksonville International Airport. The invitation-only VIP concert will be held on October 30 at the host hotel, the Marriott World Golf Village Renaissance Resort Hotel.