Ryder Cup Events for Women

willy-distefanoWilly DiStefano is the PGA head professional at The Golf Club at South Hampton in Saint Augustine, Florida.

Since arriving at South Hampton two years ago, I’ve really been trying to grow the ladies’ program. One thing that we’ve done is participate in a Ryder Cup-style competition with other local facilities called the 210 Cup, named after Route 210 where the clubs are located. They have held this event for men for the past 12 years, but just started a women’s event a couple of years ago, and South Hampton was part of it for the first time in 2014. This year, each of the three participating clubs brought seven women and a golf professional, and in 2015, we’re planning to bring 10 women and two golf professionals. The event takes place on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the first day being a modified alternative shot format, the second a scramble and the third, best ball. There are two-person teams, with the best player teamed with a professional. The event creates a lot of excitement and we look forward to building it up with the area clubs.

Willy DiStefano on the business impact of participating in Ryder Cup-style events with your female golfers:
We consider the 210 Cup a success because it promotes fun and meeting new people, and there’s always a buzz around the event. It gets women more invested, not only in the club but in the game of golf, and it creates loyalty because they’re representing their facility. It also increases practice, as women are getting ready for the event, and it gets them a little more excited about the game of golf in general. This is part of the reason participation from women has increased at South Hampton over the past two years. When we first started we only had a few ladies that would play on the occasional Tuesdays and Thursdays. The very first club championship we were part of at South Hampton in 2012, we had one lady sign up for the event. We had seven in 2013 and 12 this year. We have also seen a growth in the everyday play, not just from the ladies who played on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but we have now added a ladies’ Saturday morning group, which plays every other Saturday and consistently has anywhere from 12 to 16 ladies. There are a lot more ladies getting involved now that we have ever seen before. We have three clubs that participate in the 210 Cup, including St. Johns Golf and Country Club and Cimarrone Golf Club. Last year it cost the ladies $150 a person, but this year we may be raising it to $175 or $200. This includes three 18-hole rounds of golf, two breakfasts, two lunches, and a dinner, as well as three golf shirts for each of the ladies.

If you would like to email the author of this Best Practice directly, please email willy@dwagolf.com

Editor’s note: The above comments reflect the opinion and experiences of the submitting PGA Professional and are not endorsed by PGA Magazine or the PGA of America.