How this golf-equipment company is helping to make the game more diverse and inclusive

Female Golfers
Female Golfers

Employees are used to taking vacation days, sick days and, in certain climes, the occasional snow day.

Earlier this year, nearly 80 female members of golf-equipment manufacturer PXG’s workforce had a golf day.

The June outing was conducted at Scottsdale National Golf Club, one of Arizona’s most exclusive enclaves, and bestowed upon PXG’s women staffers by company owner Bob Parsons and his wife, Renee, the president and executive creative director of PXG Apparel. Some of the women had never swung a club before, but no matter: All were made to feel welcome. They could glean advice in a clinic, play a round or simply enjoy a meal together — without sacrificing a day’s pay.

Beats a company softball game, right?

The event was a cool scene but just one of many ways PXG has demonstrated its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion over the last two years.

“Golf needs to have the courage to welcome new people into the game, and the best way we can do that is by exemplifying inclusive behavior,” Leela Brennan, PXG’s VP of brand communications and engagement, told me on a recent call. “If you look in [Parson’s] history, the context of his things — there’s lots and lots of women who have contributed to the various businesses he builds. But to see so many women inside of golf, a historically male-dominant group, have so many meaningful roles in leadership, in engineering, in all different parts of this company, that is really exciting.”

Some may be surprised to hear that Parsons, who founded web domain registrar GoDaddy, which gained notoriety (and criticism) for its racy and controversial commercials, is the driving force behind such equity initiatives. (Parsons sold his remaining stake in GoDaddy and retired from the board in 2018.) But Brennan said that supporting women is an integral part of the company’s ethos.