Orender to lead women’s initiatives for ‘Golf 2.0’

PGA of America executives want to “reset” the golf industry.

In other words, they’re launching an all-out effort to fix golf’s ills and intend to make the game more affordable, more inviting and less time consuming.

Considering the steady decline in participation and economic challenges that are causing consumers to re-prioritize how they spend their discretionary dollars, the PGA’s push is long overdue. Campaigns to grow the game are nothing new, but this initiative is accompanied, finally, with a sense of urgency that ultimately may differentiate it from previous efforts.

Says Allen Wronowski, PGA president: “Golf 2.0 is one of the most important initiatives that the PGA and the entire industry has undertaken.”

Golf 2.0, as the PGA calls its strategic plan, aims to strengthen “core golfers,” re-engage “lapsed” players and recruit new ones. With the help of the Boston Consulting Group, the PGA has identified nine consumer groups and plans to design tailored programs to attract each to the game. And when it comes to inviting women, the PGA has turned to a familiar ally: Donna Orender, a former PGA Tour executive and more recently, president of the Women’s National Basketball Association.

Orender will serve as a PGA consultant and spearhead the women’s component of Golf 2.0. Though her mission is to broadly create a more welcoming environment for women, Orender and her team won’t treat all female golfers as the same. Golf 2.0 plans to address the specific needs of demographics such as “lapsed women golfers with no kids,” which comprises approximately 17 million people, and “lapsed dads and moms,” a population segment estimated at 19 million, according to the BCG study.

“Donna’s expertise in steering the growth of women’s sports at the highest level will be critical in guiding the golf industry as we tap new initiatives to appeal to women, who represent our game’s fastest growing demographic,” said Darrell Crall, PGA senior director for Golf 2.0.

Not to mention that women reportedly control 73 percent of household spending. It’s a statistic that the golf industry hasn’t taken seriously in the past. For Golf 2.0 to work, it must.

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