Renee Parsons Talks Her New Golf Fashion Line, Scottsdale National Golf Club, Philanthropy and YAM Worldwide
In February 2019, Renee Parsons, president of PXG Apparel Worldwide, co-founder of The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation and an executive at YAM Worldwide, headed to Korea. She was on a mission: create an exceptional line of golf apparel for PXG (Parsons Xtreme Golf), the innovative, performance-focused, much-celebrated global golf equipment company established by her husband, Bob Parsons. During her trip, she would formalize a collaboration with PXG’s Korean partners, whose design work she had followed closely for several years. She liked that they were already producing PXG clothing with an edge, and she was ready to develop and manufacture a line that she could launch and market across the United States.
Today, Renee provides extensive input for the PXG Apparel line, sketching design ideas and collaborating on all aspects of the clothing.
The line, which features a range of clothes and accessories for men and women, debuted in April and was initially sold at the Parsons’ Scottsdale National Golf Club retail shop. It was an immediate hit.
“[In] 2020, that’s when we’re going to launch PXG Apparel in a really big way. We’re adding two more PXG retail stores by the end of the year. We’ll then have five: Chicago, [Scottsdale] and Seattle, and then we’ll open in Atlanta and Minneapolis,” she says.
Although PXG Apparel is offered online, there are many items that are exclusive to the stores.
“It’s been really fun,” Renee says. “I’m still learning as I’ve never been in the apparel business before, but it’s great. We’re also going to do our small part to help round out some offerings in [the golf] world for women.”
Although Renee never imagined she’d one day be designing clothes, it was something she was destined for—like many of the roles she’s taken on.
“As a young girl, I really was interested in fashion, and I used to sketch when I was little,” she shares.
Renee grew up in a small town in Michigan in an entrepreneurial family, and both her grandfather and father—among other relatives—were in the restaurant business.
“We had 40 restaurants at one time. At 13 years old, I started working in the original restaurant, The Pixie, which my grandfather started in 1945. That really taught me my work ethic. My dad was a stickler that we weren’t treated any different than other employees.”
From there, Renee, who was the oldest of three daughters, worked in numerous restaurants. She was a bartender, hostess and waitress.
When her dad opened a hotel, she began working there, as well.
“I worked at the hotel my freshman year of college, and that’s when I decided I wanted to be in the hotel business,” she says. “My major was hospitality, with a minor in psychology. I worked there pretty much through college, and I learned a lot about the hospitality business.”
From there, it was an internship with Disney.
Ready for Change
In 1991, Renee joined Ritz-Carlton.
“I started at the bottom, even though I’d graduated from college,” she says.
Soon, she worked her way up to the concierge lead.
Realizing she wanted to live in a bigger city, Renee relocated from Florida to Chicago, moving into sales. She again worked her way up, eventually being named the associate director of sales at Wyndham Chicago, before the city’s notorious winter weather and traffic spurred her to move once again.
“My dad had a place [in Arizona], and my younger sister went to Arizona State University.”
She arrived in the Valley in 2004 and worked for several hotels and resorts. It was while she was working at the Westin Kierland Resort in 2007 when the Valley was gearing up for the Super Bowl that she was introduced to Bob, the founder and then-CEO of GoDaddy, through a mutual friend.
They’ve been together ever since, marrying in 2009.
GoDaddy and YAM Worldwide
The same year, Bob convinced Renee to join him at GoDaddy. She could leverage her passion and extensive hospitality experience to launch the company’s Corporate Events department. One year later, she expanded the department to include community outreach efforts and a focused giving program.
She loved giving back to the community and working with organizations like UMOM, Semper Fi Fund and Make-A-Wish Arizona.
When GoDaddy was later sold, Renee presented the idea to Bob that they create their own foundation.
In 2012, they founded The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation. The foundation was formed to reach low-income and underserved populations, marginalized communities and causes often overlooked or underfunded by mainstream philanthropy.
Renee also gives her time. She served on the board of directors of Make-A-Wish Arizona for six years and has chaired its Wish Ball for many years. She is co-chairing the Wish Ball again in 2020. She was on the board of the Hualalai Ohana Foundation and is active with organizations like the Girl Scouts, Boys & Girls Clubs and Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona.
She also helps run YAM Worldwide, the umbrella company for the Parsons’ many businesses and their foundation.
Scottsdale National Golf Club
One of the businesses under YAM Worldwide is Scottsdale National Golf Club (formerly Golf Club Scottsdale), which the couple acquired in 2013. At the time, it had 18 holes of golf and a clubhouse. While Bob set his sights on creating an epic golf experience, Renee oversaw the renovation, construction and design of the North Scottsdale property, helping bring to life a vision that now includes 45 holes of unparalleled golf, a stunning second clubhouse, a beautifully appointed fitness center and spa, and world-class villas.
She drew from her hospitality background to create the perfect destination, an elite private golf course that attracts an exclusive, global membership.
It was a project Renee was destined for. Not only did she enjoy the hospitality aspect and creating a space where members felt welcomed, but she also enjoyed directing the construction and design of the buildings on the property.
“Bob designed the golf course and changes to the holes, and my area has always been culinary, events, hospitality in general, member services and overall service. Bob and I share the same vision of what we want. We’re looking to change the private club experience with Scottsdale National, so we’re not doing it like anyone else does. It caters to women as much as men, and that starts from where the tees are, to the locker room experience, to the dining experience, to the overnight accommodations. I feel we’ve created a place that people want to be.”
Always on the go and always looking to take on new projects, Renee is thrilled that many of the ventures she’s been working on for the past few years are coming to fruition.
“I love seeing things in their complete form, and I’m looking forward to continuing to grow Scottsdale National’s presence in the world of golf and its tie-in with PXG. We have a lot of fun things ahead of us.”