Fair Play for the Fairway
… and then the businessman woke up in a bathtub filled with ice only to find his kidney was gone! Eating Pop Rocks and drinking Coke will cause stomach damage! Walt Disney has been cryogenically frozen!
The best urban legends revolve around some rather unsavory themes, don't they? Here's one more you might not have heard: "Golf" is actually an acronym for "Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden." Not true.
In fact, 2010 marks the 60th anniversary for the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA). And while Michele Wie might not quite be a household name, according to a "Top 10 Endorsement Superstars" listing in Fortune, she raked in an estimated $19.5 million in 2007, placing her ahead of Kobe Bryant and Peyton Manning.
You don't have to be Wie, however, to make money on the golf course. Top-ranking CEOs and sales professionals have been doing it for years, but these days whether it's on the fairway or the boardroom, the "old boy's club" is starting to take some new members.
According to Bill Gardiner, vice president at Grandview, Missouri-based Zorrel International, the change is taking root in academia. "You can tell by the graduation rates from school. Women are going through university at a higher rate than men. … We have to be reactive to that change," he explained. One way of doing so is by paying close attention to the design of women's golf apparel. One silhouette does not fit all. The details are what separates the women from the girls in the golf apparel sector.
Gardiner identified three areas where ladies' styles differ: they're shaped at the waist, feature capped sleeves and have a narrower placket. But unless you're wearing the garment, the placket is what most sets the women's half of a companion style apart from its mate. Some of the current incarnations include multiple buttons, open johnny collars or even a zipper. Matt Waterman, senior marketing manager for Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based Hanesbrands, parent company of Outer Banks and Hanes Printables, emphasized its importance. "Probably the most distinctive difference is in the women's placket. [It] comes in a variety of forms … which helps distinguish that it is not a man's shirt," he said.