Women in golf: Wendy Byrne, founder of Poodle
What was your reason for establishing Poodle?
I used to opt for clothing from other sports to play golf in. I found the offerings for women in golf very limited, low on the performance scale, and only a slight variation on men’s golf wear. By 2009 I thought it was time to jump in and do something different – I couldn’t be the only woman looking for more stylish golf gear!
Is there enough variety of golf clothing for women?
It has vastly improved in recent years but there’s still a long way to go. Part of it comes down to golf clubs modernising their dress codes – that’s a must to keep attracting young players to the game. You have such exciting young players at the moment like Rory McIlroy and Charley Hull – combine their star power with more fun gear and golf takes on a whole new cool factor.
What makes Poodle different as a brand?
Our priority is to combine athletic fit and high performance fabrics with style. Silhouettes are slimming, fabrics are very high quality with unique textures and prints, and we never lose sight of the practical details and comfort that let you play your best. I think women are looking for clothing that gives them confidence on the course – we all know 90 per cent of golf is the mental game!
How do you find being a woman in the golf industry?
Working on the apparel side is a fun combination of sport, fashion and business – I love it. Golf is a wonderful game and one I’m lucky to have been around all my life thanks to my dad, the best golfer I know. But I find the inequality between men and women very disheartening – female pros earn roughly a tenth of what men earn for an equivalent tournament win. Madness.
What are the enjoyable and challenging parts of your job?
The most challenging is the lack of media exposure for women’s golf – Lady Golfer is a unique publication, which we really appreciate. The most enjoyable parts are designing the collections, spending time with our pros on tour and receiving the enthusiastic feedback from our customers!