I have been teaching golf on and off for over 20 years and throughout, there has been one consistent trend: Women feel like they need to be really great golfers in order to play the game.
Unfortunately, this has led to many women declining invitations to play in corporate or charity golf events because they don’t feel like they are good enough and consequently miss out on so many relationship-building opportunities. I am an entrepreneur who is actively involved in my community, and I can attribute much of my relationship building to golf. Where else do you consistently get the opportunity to spend a few hours with someone in a casual setting just chatting?
Over time, I became tired of going to all these golf events and seeing only 8-10 women out of the 144 golfers on the field. Hence, Smashing the Grass Ceiling was created! Smashing the Grass Ceiling is a program designed for professional women to give them the confidence necessary to use golf as a tool for business success. My book (Smashing the Grass Ceiling: A Women’s Guide to Mastering Golf for Business Success) was published in May and the programs rolled out in the summer. The main concept of the program is that you do not need to be a great swinger of the golf club in order to use golf to build your relationships. You need to know some basic rules and etiquette and the right lingo. In other words, you should learn the game and learn how to swing, but don’t let poor golf shots stand in your way.
Smashing Nines Women’s Only Golf tournaments are a great way to practise the strategies outlined in the book and provide a safe, welcoming and non-judgemental environment to gain some tournament experience. As an added bonus, women get to network with other women at the event, and local businesses get an opportunity to advertise. Each event is 9 holes only, followed by lunch and have proven to be a Smashing success already! I knew that they would be popular, but I am so pleased that they are selling out everywhere we go! At the beginning of the day, you can feel the nervousness in the air, but by lunch, everyone is an old friend and laughter fills the room. Great connections are made and unique experiences amongst the women are shared. It is so nice to see!
Teaching women to have the confidence to play golf is a long-term goal of mine, but there also needed to be a charitable angle in order for the program to feel complete. Hence, the creation of Smashing Girls. The girls program is intended to teach 5 weeks of golf to teenage girls in the winter, and then pair them up with professional women who commit to golfing two nine-hole rounds with them during the summer. The mentor also commits to taking their mentee to one charity golf event of their choice in the summer. The girls program will be open to any girls who can afford to pay the registration fee, but Smashing the Grass Ceiling will fund girls without means to attend the program. Currently, we have developed a nice relationship with Big Brothers Big Sisters in Hamilton and Wellington to help with identifying the girls in need. The Smashing Girls program will roll out in April 2018 and I am very excited about seeing that come to life.
The first season of Smashing the Grass Ceiling has been very positive and I am so pleased to see so many women coming together, making connections and helping their community. I have had tremendous support from RLB and other businesses who understand that when you bring women together, magic happens!
Join us on August 22nd at the Cutten Fields for the Smashing Nines Guelph Tournament!
Article written by: Fareen Samji, 5-time ILDC Women’s Long Drive Champion
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