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ORCA GOLF Bags Women’s Match Play at World Golf Village Announced

October 28, 2020

Unique Women’s Professional Golf Tournament Slated for World Golf Village in 2021

Two-weeks of tournament golf and a celebration of women’s initiatives mark first-ever professional women’s tournament in St. Johns County, first in Jacksonville since 1976

(Ponte Vedra Beach, FL) – Organizers announced today the creation of The Orca Golf Bags Women’s Match Play Championship to be held at World Golf Village, October 26 through November 7, 2021. With the intention of shining a bright light on women’s developmental level professional golf, World Golf Village will host a unique two weeks of tournament play as the centerpiece of what will be a celebration of women’s initiatives on the course, in the boardroom and in the community. The tournament will be an official event on the Women’s All Pro Tour  (WAPT), and run as a collaboration between MediaShare Consulting Group of Ponte Vedra Beach and On the Green Consulting of Jacksonville, along with women’s leadership organization, Generation W, adding a dynamic off-course women’s initiatives programming.

The tournament series will feature 64 women professionals looking to fulfill their dream of playing on the LPGA Tour, battling over two weeks in two separate, but connected tournaments. The first week will feature a 54-hole Stroke-Play tournament on the King & Bear course, which will also seed the second week’s event, a 64-woman Match-Play championship at Slammer & Squire. There will be no cut in the Stroke-Play event and all players will advance to the Match-Play tournament.   

Each tournament will have its own prize purse, a guarantee of $50,000 shared between the two events. The winner of the match play event will be The Orca Golf Bags Women’s Match Play Champion, and in addition to cash prize money also receive a commemorative golf bag designed by Erica Bennett of Orca Golf Bags. The tournament series will feature a pro-am event, junior clinics and local community-based activities and fundraising opportunities.  

In addition to the golf competition and with equal importance, the tournament will celebrate women’s initiatives by providing programming such as leadership forums, executive networking and education. The programming will be developed and provided by GenerationW, a national non-profit based in Jacksonville Beach, whose mission embraces the guiding tenets of education, inspiration, and connection and the power of women’s leadership.  

The idea for the event came to light when Mark Berman began planning his daughter’s rookie schedule for her professional career back in January of 2020. Berman noticed that there aren’t a lot of playing opportunities for the scores of talented women coming out of college who are looking for a place to hone their games to get ready to try to qualify for the LPGA Tour. Further, when Berman began to add up the expenses of a developmental playing career, he also noticed a lack of scheduling efficiency that requires the players to typically crisscross the country, racking up expenses for flights, gas and hotel stays. 
  Said Erica Bennett, co-founder of Orca Golf Bags, the nation’s only women-owned golf bag design company, “From the get-go we loved the vision of this tournament and knew we had to help make it happen. A tournament such as this was a goal of mine, as a golfer who did not have the opportunity when I was young. We are elated to have it happen in 2021.” She continued, “As a women-owned business, we always root for the underdog. Whether it’s in business or on the course, so very few of us start at the top, but those “phenoms” are the ones we typically hear about. Our whole message is to support the up-and-comer. We know what it’s like to fight for a seat at the table, so putting our name on this event matches our mission.”

Impact Statement made by Local Pro

Erica and Deborah Bennett with aspiring professional player Hannah Berman (center) at the announcement. Said Berman, “Without people like Erica and Deb supporting the players at our level, we might never have the chance to get to the LPGA. We are all very grateful for their love and support and look forward to teeing it up a year from today.” Berman is a native of the north Florida area, having played her high school golf at nearby Ponte Vedra High School and her college golf at Jacksonville University.

(L-R): ORCA co-founder Erica Bennett, aspiring professional Hannah Berman, ORCA co-founder Deborah Bennett

Generation W to take Center Stage

Unique to this two-week tournament series will be an overlay of women’s empowerment programming including educational seminars, executive networking and entertainment. The Bennetts stand with Stacy Ellison, Vice President of Operations and Programming for Generation W.

(L-R): ORCA co-founder Erica Bennett, co-founder Deborah Bennett, Vice President of Operations and Programming Stacy Ellison

About Orca Golf Bags and 17 Yards Golf, LLC

Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale (FL) The ORCA brand represents an ocean of inclusiveness for all golfers and those with an active lifestyle. Owned by17yards Golf, Orca is more than a business, it is about growing the game and encouraging more individuals to play. Like the ORCA, we too, are taking our place within the golf industry; with an Orca’s presence, providing the best quality, custom-designed golf bags for every golfer. Our customers will also have their own custom-designed golf bag; one that is uniquely their own ORCA brand. Visit us at www.orca-golf.com.

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