I’ll be the first to admit it - I love the attention I receive at business golf outings and charity golf tournaments. No - this is not a sexual reference. I love the respect I receive from male business associates and men in general when they encounter me on the golf course. There are so few women participating in business golf outings making it easy to get noticed. Which brings me to the title of my blog: Ladies - Are you keeping the secret of Business Golf to yourself?
I certainly understand why women in the business world would be hesitant about sharing this amazing business tool. We stand out when we’re the only woman in a foursome or one of few women at business golf outings. We seamlessly become a part of the “boys club”. I get it. We like being special and love standing out. Men have kept this “secret” world from women for a long time. The question is: Are we doing the same?
I myself was tempted to keep business golf as my little secret. In the end, my socially conscious side won out, and I’m glad it it. Now I share the “secret” with almost every woman I meet! I remember the day I participated in my first charity golf tournament like it was yesterday. Not having been raised in a golf family, I had no idea about the professional benefits of playing golf. All I knew was that I loved to golf and practiced a lot to get my handicap as low as possible.
I had only been playing for three years when I was invited by a colleague to participate in a charity golf tournament. While I was nervous about attending, I was confident in my game and well versed in Golf Etiquette - I knew I would be fine.
As I entered the lovely, private, golf course, and saw a field of over 100 men, my eyes became wide-open and I knew I was entering a sacred place. I felt as if I had been given the secret key to the secret place where men felt at ease to socialize, network, bond and especially - do deals.
My host introduced me to several of his friends and colleagues which included corporate professionals, business leaders, elected officials and a lot of VIPs. I knew who they were but most of them had never met me before and yet I felt welcomed into the “boys club” because they were relating to me as a golfer. We immediately engaged in Golf Talk and I felt right at home. I’ve run into these men since the tournament and they all continue to relate to me as a fellow golfer. Some have even become golf buddies!
That was a transformative day for me. I learned that my passion for golf would break barriers and open doors for me in ways I never expected. I learned that golf is a great business tool and that I had to share it. That experience propelled me to found the Latina Golfers Association (LGA). Six years later, the LGA has introduced over 1,000 women to golf by way of our golf clinics, golf lessons and golf outings. We’re changing the face of golf - one woman at a time!
Azucena Maldonado Diva Golfer & Founder Latina Golfers Association www.Latinagolfers.com @latinagolfers