If there’s one golf event that we’re looking forward to in 2021, it’s the Orca Golf Bags Women’s Match-Play Championship presented by PXG at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine this October. This exciting tournament, also known simply as The Orca, will be the first women’s championship played in the area since 1976. The unique two-week event will feature a 54-hole stroke-play tournament and a 64-player match-play tournament.
On Episode 18 of the On The Green podcast, we had a great conversation with Mark Berman, the creator and brains behind this new professional women’s golf tournament, to learn more about why this championship is so important.
For Mark, the idea of starting a championship for women was a no-brainer. Mark has been a longtime fan of women’s golf as his daughter, Hannah, has been playing the game since the time she could walk. This has allowed him to follow women’s golf from a very involved and intimate perspective.
As Mark became more and more interested in learning about opportunities for women in golf, he discovered that there hasn’t been a women’s championship in the Northeast Florida area for over 30 years. It was then that he thought that someone should create more playing opportunities for women in golf. Instead of wishing someone else would take the leap, Mark took the initiative to begin planning The Orca.
“At The Orca, we’re focusing on the developmental player because there really aren’t a lot of playing opportunities for them,” said Mark. “You’ve got these amazing, talented women who have been working for an LPGA goal since they were 9 or 10 years old, and you get to the end of the road and there are very few on-ramps.”
On the podcast episode, we also phoned Deb Bennett, founder and CEO of Orca Golf Bags, to learn more about why they chose to be the title sponsor of The Orca.
Deb said it was an easy decision for Orca Golf Bags to get involved with Mark’s vision for a women’s golf tournament. On their very first call, Deb, a former golfer, was touched while listening to Mark talk about his daughter’s golf career and all of the amazing things that he wanted to do for women in golf. She felt as though meeting Mark was serendipitous, and she immediately wanted to team up with him to make his tournament vision a reality.
“For the players, there’s more to it than just making it to the LPGA,” said Deb. “There’s so much to learn and so much to gain from that journey – not just in golf but in life in general.”
Listen to the full episode of the podcast above to learn more about what you can expect at this year’s Orca Golf Bags Women’s Match-Play Championship presented by PXG, and be sure to subscribe to the On The Green Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.