“WHAT DO WOMEN WANT?” Golf event planners often find themselves asking that question when choosing player gifts and prizes.
In essence, what women and men want is the same. They want accessories to make them comfortable on the course, good-looking golf clothing, and equipment that will help their game. The specifics can vary, along with men's and women's bodies, tastes, and habits. Some products will delight both sexes equally, but a variation or a different item entirely can sometimes be a better choice for the women.
The following selection of gifts for your women players fits this description. All are available at www.corporate-golf.com.
Stuff tees, balls, and other small items into a high-quality valuables pouch, and women and men will happily put the bag to future use, if somewhat differently. A man will put his keys, wallet, and jewelry in the pouch, and then stash it in his golf bag. A woman might add some necessities from her purse, and keep it with her in the cart. Either way, this leather zip pouch by TLT is a fine choice. Less than $25 inquantities, including a custom logo.
The clip attaches to a visor, and magnetic attraction holds a ball marker to the clip, so it's easily accessible upon reaching the green. Cap clips are genderless, but especially appreciated by women. (A ball marker is one less thing to go in their pockets, which women's slacks often lack.) GOLF DESIGN'S original cap clip with magnetic marker, and other styles and brands, are all less than $10, including logo.
Slippery grips, spattered eyeglasses, or dripping hair don't help anyone's game. Men and women alike will be grateful for a big, sturdy golf umbrella when a sudden downpour catches them on the course. (Factor in runny makeup, and the women may be even more thankful.) This double-canopy WINDBRELLA is the top of the line — guaranteed windproof and big enough to share. Less than $25, with logo.
Some women prefer visors or hats, but nearly all will wear a cap once in a while. The younger your group, the more likely they will prefer caps. Choose a style with a soft crown — it's more flattering to women's smaller faces — and a fabric strap with a buckle, instead of Velcro, which catches the hair. The AHEAD VINTAGE TWILL in a solid color, or with contrast trim, fills the bill perfectly and is the No. 1 seller in pro shops. Less than $20 with embroidered logo.
Women golfers may avoid wearing a wristwatch on the course because it can be a swing distraction. A watch that clips onto a golf bag is the ideal solution for keeping track of the time. This BAG TAG N'TIME, featuring a metal case engraved with your logo, comes in a reusable wooden gift box for less than $40.
There's no such thing as a man's or woman's putter. On the green, size and strength are irrelevant; touch and alignment get the ball in the hole. Both sexes crave the latest models, making one a super gift for all the players in a VIP outing. Odyssey's two-ball putters are among the hottest, and the new WHITE STEEL and top-selling WHITE HOT two-ball putters can be customized with a logo on the face. These also come as gift-boxed sets with six custom logo CALLAWAY golf balls, and the low minimum — just six sets — makes them a great choice for tournament prizes, too. Pricing from about $125 to more than $200 including logo, depending on model, quantity, whether gift-boxed, and ball model chosen.
Women love golf apparel and outer-wear, just as men do, but they want garments cut to fit and flatter them. The simplest way for a planner to please the sexes equally is to choose a garment offered as men's and women's coordinates. The moderately priced pro shop brands have expanded their selection of these models and designed the women's with unique feminine features. You can now find polo shirts in high-tech fabrics, stripes, jacquard weaves, and silky mercerized cotton, and windshirts and jackets for women from brands such as ANTIGUA, TEHAMA, ASHWORTH, AHEAD (called KATE LORD for women), and FIDRA. But CUTTER & BUCK has led the way with a women's version (in sizes from XS to XXL) of almost every style in its in-stock collection. Cutter & Buck's Pima Jersey Classic for women is in the $30 range — and that includes an embroidered logo.
Looking for luxury? ZERO RESTRICTION is the ultimate in golf outerwear. Each garment, from lightweight wind vests to waterproof rain suits and leather-trimmed 100 percent cashmere jackets, is constructed to allow an unrestricted swing. And since most garments are custom-made, any fabric and color choice available for men can also be made in women's sizes. Custom orders take nine to 12 weeks, but if time is shorter, an in-stock collection includes coordinates in basic colors. The solid microsuede wind shirt in bone is in stock for less than $115.
Very few premium apparel brands offer both men's and women's garments, much less coordinated models, so a perfect match for a high-end men's shirt or vest rarely exists. What to do? Choose a garment of equal quality, perhaps in a similar color, from a luxury women's golf apparel brand such as ASTRA. Astra's polos and other tops, all woven from fine double-mercerized Egyptian cotton, come in tasteful patterns as well as solids, and make worthy companions to elegant shirts from menswear brands such as DESCENTE and BEN HOGAN. This chic jacquard shirt in black, khaki, and bone is sure to please your VIPs. In the $60 range with embroidered logo (when part of a tournament order).
Note: Pricing shown above is for typical tournament quantities of 72 to 240, except where noted.
Nina Renaud is a principal of Corporate Golf, which supplies golf merchandise for tournaments, resort meetings, and incentive programs to corporate clients nationwide. The company also provides golf-event planning and celebrity-booking services. Call (919) 680-3070 or visit www.corporate-golf.com.