Gia Liwski, LPGA, Founder, Golf Experiences for Her®
Gia Liwski showed extraordinary determination to bring her vision Golf Experiences for Her® to an industry that was struggling to introduce women to the lifestyle of golf. I applaud her and highly recommend her program to all levels of the private golf and country club industry. ~ Diana DeLucia
GK: Gia, tell us a little about your background.
I grew up in central New Jersey together with my older sister, younger brother, and parents. I attended Rutgers Preparatory School, where I was a decent student and a better athlete. I began as a competitive gymnast, I skied, and I played basketball. Even as a child, I was very goal-oriented and had a solid work ethic, which was instilled in me by my parents. It wasn’t until I was 15, however, that I picked up my first golf club.
My parents had a home in LaBelle, Florida, which we’d visit in the winters. During one of those trips to Florida, my father first sent my brother and me for golf lessons. I began taking lessons at Oxbow Golf Club with a lovely British gentleman, Gary Keating, who lived there at the time. He was impressed at the speed with which I picked up the game and immediately encouraged me to pursue the sport full-time as he felt I had the potential to play at a collegiate level. I, however, had other plans. I wanted to play basketball in college. I found golf difficult, and I didn’t enjoy it. Regardless, and even though I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, I started entering junior golf tournaments and just tried to mimic what the other girls were doing.
In the end it paid off. I received a golf scholarship to the University of South Alabama, which was a bit crazy because I still didn’t feel like I knew what I was doing out there. Following my sophomore year at South Alabama I realized I wasn’t enjoying school as much as I wanted to be, and made the decision to return to NJ. I can clearly remember telling my mom over the phone what I was feeling and her saying: “Pack up your car and come home. We’ll figure it out.”
That was the summer of ‘96. I played some amateur events that summer against a couple of girls from Rutgers that I knew from junior golf. That fall, I walked on the Rutger’s Team, earned a scholarship, and by my senior year, I was co-captain. Coming home to New Jersey was the best decision I could have made.
GK: Tell us about your Television Series.
After working in the industry for many years, and at several great clubs with absolutely wonderful professionals, I was hired at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster in 2004. I helped open the club and assisted in building their instructional from scratch.
It was a fantastic experience, but after two seasons, my brother kept pinging me about commercials that were running for the Fine Living Television Network and the network’s search for a new host for their show called The Wandering Golfer. I did an open casting call, and I was selected! I was once again out of my comfort zone, but I was over the moon with excitement. The crew and I shot 13 episodes that took me all over the globe. In addition to a bunch of beautiful courses here in the US, we also traveled to the South Pacific, Australia, and New Zealand.
More so than the golf, however, I think it was the travel that inspired me most. I realized there was much more to golf than just the game—it is a lifestyle full of culture, cuisine, and unique experiences. During my time as the host of The Wandering Golfer, I interviewed everyone from golf legends like Arnold Palmer to groundskeepers in Costa Rica. I learned from everyone and found inspiration all around me.
GK: What were some of your most memorable moments?
I met an Australian artist; he was in his late eighties. He was a fascinating caricaturist. He drew famous golfers, and they would sign his drawings. He didn’t play golf, but he loved the industry. In meeting with him, I realized that it wasn’t the game that I loved about the industry, it was the teaching, helping others, and everything that surrounded the game that drew me in most. I learned to surf on Bondi Beach in Australia. A little intimating doing this on camera for the first time, but nonetheless, I got up and savored the moment.
GK: What did you do when the television show ended?
When the show ended, I returned to New Jersey, moved in with my fiancé, dabbled with a few more regional television shows, and began teaching again full-time.
A few years later, in 2010, while down in Florida, I first began to visualize Golf Experiences for Her®. I found that the industry was missing something that catered to women and provided them with more than just a lesson on the tee or time on the course. I wanted to offer them what I loved about golf—and everything that goes along with it.
At that same time, one of the world’s best teachers and future Hall of Famer, Mike Adams, also asked me to take a teaching position alongside him at Hamilton Farm Golf Club in Gladstone, New Jersey. I love working with Mike and enjoyed Hamilton Farm, but between 2012 and 2015, I had twins and then a third, and I recognized that I could no longer work the long hours of an in-season golf professional.
I wanted to adjust my teaching schedule, and my husband agreed. I struggled with it at first, and I missed my time at the club and that accompanying sense of my professional career. And although I loved raising my children, the golf industry was not ideally set up for working mothers. As a result of that sense of something missing, it pushed me back towards the idea I’d come up with years earlier.
In 2016 I started Golf Experiences for Her®. I began by running exclusive women’s clinics at Hamilton Farm and adding lifestyle elements—wine tastings, yoga on the beautiful fairways, cooking courses, fashion styling, and others—and my female guests responded eagerly. At first, a female guest instructor concept with so many details and added lifestyle elements was completely foreign to many clubs that invited me to host an Experience. It took several years to hone the concept, but the demand was there, and the phone started to ring.
GK: How did you secure bookings?
Many of my initial bookings came through other golf professional friends who recognized I had something unique to offer their membership. Other instructors who followed me on Instagram reached out and wanted to add value to their already fantastic instruction programs.
Initially, I felt many clubs didn’t recognize that their female membership was starving for something new. As more events take place, however, and word-of-mouth spreads, more clubs are becoming receptive to stepping outside their traditional comfort zones.
GK: How did you switch gears when COVID-19 emerged?
At first, we had the lockdown, which was very challenging for all. But even as clubs started to reopen, the concept of group experiences was still challenging to pull off. Like so many others, the pandemic had an impact on my business as well.
I used the time to hone my programs. I created new event itineraries, collaborated with a variety of new lifestyle professionals to incorporate into my programs, and networked with a host of new clubs to line up events post-pandemic.
GK: Tell us about a typical day at a “Golf Experience for Her®” event.
Our events strengthen relationships and build comfort, leaving women feeling energized, enriched, and confident in their golf games, excited to spend time at their golf club and ready to accept their next golf invitation.
Through Golf Experiences for Her®, we offer clubs and guests the opportunity to customize their day by supplementing their golf itinerary with a variety of lifestyle modules.
A typical day might begin with a working mimosa breakfast on the driving range, while I get to know my guests, review with them their pre-event questionnaire responses, and run them through a short individualized biodynamic body-assessment before moving to the instructional portion of the morning. Lunch will typically be a delicately tailored seasonal meal, paired with exquisite wines, and followed by a lifestyle experience that rounds out my guests’ day with something special and unique. And all our Experience guests leave with a gift or two that I personally select based on our special day.
My goal is to take care of my guests, and of course, showcase the club and its staff. I love working with the food and beverage staff to create female friendly bites for breakfast and dazzle the ladies at lunch. Over the years, I’ve learned that by the time we reach the lifestyle portion of our day, the la-dies and I have created a nice bond. It makes the day extra special when I host the mixology, cooking or fashion portion. Another wonderful way to showcase the clubs staff is to work them into the life-style portion, we’ve done everything from creating soups, charcuterie and cheese boards to learning to temper chocolate
GK: How can clubs contact you to arrange a Golf Experiences for Her® event?
Interested parties can visit my website at
DM on Instagram @trywithgia
or email us at email@example.com
Right: Gia Liwski , Left: Golf Experiences For Her® guests.
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