Perfect to a Tee

August 16, 2023 · Cannabis Now

Historically speaking, the golf course has been a place for men. After all, it’s an easy excuse for leaving a chaotic household or the office for half the day. Not many sports provide four hours of uninterrupted play where one can develop close connections with friends and business colleagues. One of the most mentally challenging games, golf tests one’s ability to think strategically and get out of challenging situations. 

Now, more women than ever are picking up the clubs and falling in love with the lifelong sport as they find peace on the course and embark on that endless search for the perfect swing. Female entrepreneurs are also realizing that playing a solid round of golf is a critical business tool to have in their back pocket. If you want to be successful in golf or in business, having a strong mental game is a must. 

Recognizing that business and golf go hand-in-hand, Lemonhaze Executive Golf Classics bring together C-Suite executives in the cannabis space, so the industry’s most influential people can build meaningful relationships and make significant deals. These events are open to men and women, but Lemonhaze wants to ensure women feel equally empowered as they tee up. Their inaugural Executive Women’s Golf Classic, which took place February 20 at the Indian Wells Golf Resort in Palm Springs, CA, did just that. More than 60 women from around the US took to the course, including representatives from companies such as Boveda, E1011 Labs, CannaCoverage and Buckeye Relief. 

“Let’s all break that grass ceiling and set the standard for how business should be done,” says Lemonhaze COO Penny Cook, who hosted the event.

The tournament welcomed women of all golfing skill levels. Attendees could choose to spend the day taking lessons and playing games with a pro while networking; playing for the trophy in the four-person scramble; or participating in the scramble with the help of a pro, which would surely land your team a few birdies, or even an eagle. 

Sarah Falvo, who’s now spent six years in the cannabis industry, says her North Star has always been about uplifting women and providing them with the tools and resources to succeed, as well as facilitating connections that make sense. Falvo, who formerly ran the Women’s Inclusion Network at the Arcview Group, arrived in the California desert representing her own Ensemble Brands and showed up to deepen her community while strengthening existing ties in the cannabis industry. 

“Being with your [golf] foursome for that long really creates a space for deeper connections and conversations that are beyond the exchange of a handshake,” Falvo says. “I love the aspect of having some sort of activity because it gets people’s guards down and allows you to have fun; and when you have fun with someone, it creates a different kind of connection.”

The Lemonhaze Executive Women’s Golf Classic marked Falvo’s first time playing in a golf tournament with anyone other than friends. A low-pressure way to get acquainted with the sport, she says the event helped her feel more prepared and confident for when she does enter a co-ed tournament, going toe-to-toe with many of the male decision makers in cannabis. 

“Trying new things in a comfortable environment leads to women being able to feel OK being in those spaces alongside men, including on the golf course,” Falvo says. “I’m not the best golfer, so I appreciated trying it in a low-pressure environment with women who were understanding, and getting those one-on-one hours with women I didn’t know that well. It was a good primer to get me more interested in doing more golf events.”

Falvo, who has extensive experience helping female entrepreneurs raise money and coaches them on pitching their wares, says one of her biggest things she tells women in the cannabis industry is to ask for what they need: “Whether that’s money, help, a connection or guidance, just put yourself out there and ask.”

Lemonhaze Executive Golf Classics take place all over the US and are open to both male and female C-suite executives, VPs and Directors who are the leaders and decision makers from regional cannabis brands and MSOs. Attendee lists are curated so that players can make valuable relationships and impactful business deals. In the words of CEO Brian Yauger, “It’s a place where the industry can grow together.” (Full Story)

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