Stephanie Zinzer, co-owner and Managing Partner of leading golf equipment
company Lynx Golf, has become the first female member of the British Golf
Industry Association’s Executive Board.
Stephanie has been a successful freelance writer and journalist, a
best-selling author and an investment banker and is mum to seven children.
Your career has spanned so many diverse areas, from the financial world, to
health to journalism. What drew you to the golf industry?
Golf had never touched my life until I became married to
Steve Elford. But now that it has, I have become a passionate supporter of the game and an
advocate for women’s golf in particular.
Quite apart from being great fun,
golf has excellent benefits for both physical and mental health. There are currently some exceptional
initiatives to promote golf to wider audiences, like the BGIA’s National Golf
Month, and I’m excited to see where we can take the game.
How do you feel about being the BGIA’s first female Board member?
It’s a great
tribute to what Lynx has achieved in five short years to be invited onto a
Board which is represented by the leading lights of our industry, and a
personal honour to become the first female member of the BGIA Executive Board.
I, and we as
Lynx, fully support the BGIA’s desire to provide passionate support to our
industry, and I intend to participate fully and actively in all areas of the
BGIA’s promotion of golf, increasing participation in this magnificent game,
and challenging some of the issues which have perhaps held the growth of our
How do you think we can
encourage more people to play golf?
It’s vital to
promote how terrific golf is, but I also think it’s about looking at the
barriers people perceive which might be discouraging them from playing the
game. The old stereotypes still persist
to some extent – that it’s stuffy,
exclusive, only for the affluent - to name just a few. But perhaps the most enduring and damaging
stereotype is that the world of golf is sexist and women aren’t welcome.
So how can we tackle this?
There’s a lot of
positive work being done already that’s really working like the SSE Women’s
Invitational which Lynx support and which I participate in as a panellist, and
Women’s Golf day. At Lynx we know that women’s golf is a potential growth area,
but also that it’s a hard nut to crack. To get more women involved we need to
offer them the best in terms of equipment and facilities. Many women play purely for recreation and
many more have found it useful in terms of networking. There is now absolutely no room for sexism in
golf and the vast majority of the golfing community positively embrace the
contribution of women.
What do you expect from the
BGIA’s umbrella body – the FSPA?
There is a
definite business advantage to us being part of a larger body. The golf industry has much in common with
other sporting industries, particularly as we enter Brexit negotiations. We all share concerns about the free movement
of workers, trade tariffs and syncing UK standards and regulations with our
European neighbours. The FSPA has a
much more powerful voice than we would have alone so I am grateful for that. It’s important the sports industry’s voice is
What are your hopes for the BGIA
in the coming years?
I’d like to see
the BGIA continue to grow and develop its work representing all the leading
names in the golf industry. I’ll be
working hard to help champion its excellent initiatives to get more people enjoying
our great game and its health benefits.
It’s an exciting time for us all.