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Golf

LPGA desires being funded by exploding golf occasion firm

McKenzie Lyng and Amanda Robertson first met on the Cactus Tour, an Arizona-based mini tour that provides winner’s checks of as much as $4,000. As their friendship blossomed, they began touring collectively on the Canadian Tour and in state opens, spending so long as 9 weeks in a row on the highway collectively chasing an LPGA dream.

Alongside the best way, nonetheless, one thing else occurred: The pair began a enterprise collectively.

Lyng and Robertson not play golf professionally however their firm, Backswing Golf Occasions, funds the careers of dozens of gamers who nonetheless do.

The thought for the corporate got here from a Las Vegas pro-am attended by 25 younger feminine professionals – most of whom, like McKenzie, have been former forged members on Golf Channel’s Huge Break collection.

Being paid to eat dinner and play golf with shoppers? The 2 associates bought the thought to take that idea nationally and put collectively their first occasion in 2015.

They began by looking out on-line for current occasions and cold-calling to ask in the event that they’d like to rent a gaggle of touring professionals to assist elevate extra money for charity – beat the professional closest-to-the-pin contests, lengthy drive professional, roaming professionals who play 1-3 holes with every group after which transfer on.

McKenzie Lyng and Amanda Robertson.

“It was simply Amanda and I and two different folks,” mentioned Lyng, “after which it sort of blew up.”

In 2016, the Scottsdale-based firm did 62 occasions. The quantity elevated slowly to 85 the next yr, however by 2019 they’d performed 450 occasions in a single yr. Earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic struck, they have been projected to succeed in the 700 mark.

Nonetheless, they managed to do 300 occasions final yr. This yr they’re projected to do 800.

“It was sort of a blessing for our firm,” mentioned Lyng of the 2020 break. “We have been in actually deep with the place we have been at and we have been exploding actually quick.”

Because the mom of two younger children, Lyng felt like she wasn’t giving sufficient to both function – CEO or mother. The pandemic taught her to ask for assist.

“It virtually pressured us to sort of cease for a second,” mentioned Robertson, the corporate’s COO/CFO. “We had three to 4 months the place we might really work on our enterprise improvement and put together for a very large fall and large 2021.

Lyng with daughter Peyton, husband Jonathan and son Brayden. (courtesy picture)

There are three gross sales reps and 75 girls on their roster of taking part in professionals. They’ll work as a lot or as little as they need. Execs make anyplace from $400 to $700 at a neighborhood occasion and as much as $1,300 at company outings on the highway on high of their bills.

Backswing does 5 Southwest Airways occasions per yr, that are two-day occasions with 288 gamers. They’ve labored with the American Most cancers Society, the Nationwide Kidney Basis, hospitals and development firms.

Madison Frerking began working with Backswing proper out of faculty and labored 20 occasions in two months earlier this yr.

“They don’t must query in the event that they’re going to play the WAPT,” mentioned Lyng, referring to the Girls’s All Professional Tour. “For me, it was like, ‘Properly, I don’t have one other $600 bucks mendacity round, so I’ve bought to go discover a sponsor or work on the restaurant.’”

The job retains gamers on the golf course with a membership of their hand, partaking with shoppers as they’d do each week on the LPGA any given Wednesday.

Backswing jobs have funded Q-Faculty entry charges and brought off among the strain many professionals face out of faculty with no standing and no monetary backing. The pliability makes it simple to work round event schedules, too.

Amanda Robertson (left) and McKenzie Lyng of Backswing Golf Occasions (courtesy picture)

Each Lyng and Robertson picked up the sport in highschool, making the swap from softball to golf at age 16. Lyng walked on at Kent State and ultimately earned a scholarship. Robertson didn’t play golf in school, graduating with a level in psychology from Pepperdine in 2011. She as an alternative bought actually hooked on the sport whereas competing on the Golf Channel Novice Tour, the place she was the one feminine on the nationwide successful crew in 2008.

They may’ve by no means imagined that they’d someday run a golf firm averaging 50-plus occasions a month. And it’s not simply the professionals who’re benefitting financially, in fact. It’s the charities, too. Backswing’s occasions have raised almost $2 million for charities since its inception.

“I don’t assume we realized how a lot of an influence we have been making at these tournaments,” mentioned Lyng. “I’ve had folks crying as a result of we raised a lot cash.”

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