In the male-dominated world of golf, Marci Doyle and Amy Saunders stand out as women who are making a difference — even if they don’t call attention to it. “I don’t think any woman aspires to a leadership position to send a message, but to the extent others are inspired and motivated by the fact that I am doing this job, that’s terrific,” says Doyle, the COO of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard.
A lasting legacy
That humility is a reflection of Arnold Palmer’s attitude. “My dad has been often quoted as saying if he leaves the game [golf] better than when he found it he’d be happy,” says Saunders. “I think he’d be happy.”
One legacy the legendary golfer left is inclusivity. “Those who own and operate the individual tournaments, like Mr. Palmer, have made changes to allow a more diverse makeup,” says Doyle. “I’m grateful for those changes, because they provided the opportunity for me to be in my current position.”
A powerful platform
This reflects a positive change in sports overall. “The wage gap is beginning to be addressed, most recently by U.S. women’s soccer and U.S. women’s hockey teams,” says Doyle. “Specific to golf, the PGA Tour and LPGA have a strategic alliance to help strengthen the LPGA in various ways and grow the game.”
Palmer’s charitable tradition will also continue. “He used golf as a platform for helping people,” says Saunders. “Whether that was being the chairman of the March of Dimes for almost 20 years or founding the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies in Orlando, the notion that we can always do better for our kids was pervasive throughout his life.”
Liane Bonin Starr, [email protected]