We have been golf parents since 2009 when our daughter Hannah started her journey. Many of you know her (yes, that’s her in the photo). She’s been out there with you during junior golf, college golf and amateur golf. Now 23, she’s an aspiring LPGA Tour professional and because of her we’ve had the opportunity to see the good, the bad, the great, the ups and the downs of what your life looks like. We’ve taken notes the whole way with no agenda deeper than offering real-life advice to those who ask for our guidance. I assure you, we never set out to own and operate a women’s golf tour.
But the reality is, we have seen it all and we recognize that this lane ain’t easy - harder than for men, certainly, and with a big disparity since junior golf in their world vs. yours. There simply aren’t enough playing opportunities to get where you want to go and not enough money to sustain getting there. It’s because of that we bought the NWGA with the simple goal of providing more - and better - playing opportunities for women following their dreams.
Honestly, we could have stopped with the PXG Women’s Match Play Championship, an event we built from scratch simply to shine a light on women’s developmental golf and, again, to create more playing and earning opportunities. It was - and will continue to be - awesome (please pencil in October 30-November 4, 2022!).
However, thanks to what came to be lovingly referred to as "Camp PXG," I was immediately inspired to do even more. I thought I knew so much about the journey of women golfers and the battles you face, and about women’s initiatives in general, but I learned instead that we just scratched the surface of and amplified the bigger conversation about how to create change inside and outside the ropes. The opportunity presented itself to buy the NWGA, and here we are. From - and with - the PXGWMPC experience, the East Coast Women’s Professional Golf Tour was created.
Make no mistake, the East Coast Women’s Professional Golf Tour is not “just” about women’s golf. Like the PXGWMPC that inspired it, the ECWPGT is a celebration of women’s initiatives thinly and unapologetically disguised as a collection of great golf tournaments. Our bigger mission is to shine a bright light on women’s golf and the talent within it, inside and outside the ropes. Whether it’s collaborating on a women’s summit as we did with Generation W at the PXGWMPC or simply hosting pro-ams so you can meet influential people, we're creating a platform for you to succeed.
We believe that whether it’s through the ECWPGT or the too-few other US women’s developmental tours is where the next LPGA stars will be groomed. This is where the Solheim Cup will be won. We also believe that when your playing careers are over you should have some connection to life outside the ropes.
Anyway, here we are, adding to your calendar the events needed in the necessary geography to help grow the women’s professional game. Our goal is not to compete with WAPT or the Cactus Tours. We’re friends and collaborators with Kathy and Gary, and with Mike. We simply want to provide greater access to meaningful tournaments within your reach geographically and financially.
Our promise is to put the players first, endeavoring always to make your economic and competitive prospects equal to your male peers. What does that mean? Tournaments that feel like professional tournaments on quality courses that test your game and with a gauranteed purse worthy of your investment.
We are, as my friend and mentor Donna Orender of Generation W would say, “walking the walk.” We invite you to walk it with us.
Mark & Betsy Berman, Tour owners & people who care about women’s golf