Sammy (Berger) Diniz and Tara Collins are the founders of Prio Golf, an apparel company for female golfers

Sammy (Berger) Diniz (BSBA 2015, MBA 2016) and Tara Collins (BSBA 2016) are just another COVID-19 success story.

In 2020, the two Daniels College of Business grads—best friends who had met as roommates during a DU study abroad stint in Bilbao, Spain—started golfing together as a pandemic-friendly activity. One of their many conversations on the course turned up a very practical question.

“I asked Tara, ‘Where the heck are you buying your golf clothes?’” Diniz explained. “I was wearing a tank top I had from a middle school golf camp, and she was in a men’s shirt that was extra, extra small or something. We couldn’t find any clothes that worked for us.”

They soon agreed: Most of the women’s golf clothes on the market weren’t practical. There weren’t many pockets. Skirts or skorts were either too short or too long. Some of the prints were too loud and too kitschy. Even popular athleisure brands, like Lululemon, focused on sports like tennis and had an upside-down pocket for tennis balls, not for golf balls.

Not long after that conversation, Collins and Diniz decided to take matters into their own hands. Collins sent a document to Diniz laying out a potential business idea for starting their own women’s golf apparel line, and, despite having no fashion or design experience, the two soon started sketching design ideas, figuring out what kind of golf clothes they would want to wear themselves.

“When you don’t look good, you don’t feel good, and you sure don’t shoot your best shot,” Collins explained. “We wanted to solve this enormous gap in the market.”

Prio Golf was officially born.

The apparel company is named for golfer Gloria Minoprio, who, in 1933, famously wore trousers to play in a women’s champions tour, which caused a big stir. When Prio officially launched in 2002, it started with hats and a copy of a handbook the pair had written. The book, called “The Ladies Golf Bible That’s Not a Bible and Not Just About Golf,” is a golf etiquette guide specifically for women. It covers everything from “avoiding anxiety pit stains to channeling hot girl summer mojo to up your game.”

Prio Golf has since expanded to clothing items including skirts, a skort, a tank top and a quarter-zip long-sleeve top.

The clothes are meant to be versatile so that wearers can easily mix and match, Diniz said. They also are meant to seamlessly transition from the golf course to brunch or errands.

“You still want to wear a normal outfit. It doesn’t have to be super-golf specific,” Diniz said. “Women have to do at all—you might go and play golf, but then you might run to the store after, or you want to go to the farmer’s market. You want to go to brunch, and you want to be able to dress it up or dress it down. There’s a big focus on buying those pieces that can do that for you, especially with the rise of the cost of clothing recently. So making pieces more versatile was a huge focus of ours, because we know people want to do a lot with one item.”

Diniz and Collins have been spreading the word about Prio Golf through women’s groups, golf tournaments and various online and social media platforms. Now, in addition to their online presence, their merchandise is being sold in pro shops around Colorado and the Midwest.

In addition to a love of the sport—Diniz has been golfing since she was 2, while Collins took up the sport in her early 20s—the pair have DU to thank for some of their inspiration.

“There’s a big emphasis on the full end-to-end cycle of creating a business. In a lot of courses, we were tasked with, ‘Create this business plan, understand the accounting and forecasting of what this would look like,’ developing relationships, doing competitor analyses,” Diniz said, adding that her focus on international business has been a big help, since Prio Golf items are manufactured overseas.

“How to grow a business was fundamentally a part of the curriculum at Daniels,” she continued. “So, in some ways, that felt like the easy part, because we’ve done that before multiple times in multiple different courses.”

Their background in business and time at Daniels helped light their entrepreneurial spirit, Collins said, inspiring them to “resolve the fashion side, while also helping get more women into golf.”

What’s next for Prio Golf?

“We want to continue to grow the women’s golf community, not only in Denver, but nationwide,” Diniz said. “Women golfing is [a] really massive [industry], and we are excited to be a part of it.”