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How to Improve Female Participation in Golf

Golf has, since its conception, been viewed as a male-orientated game. And the figures still support this. In the UK, approximately 63 per cent of all golfers are adult males, 14 per cent adult females and 23 per cent children. While the traditional golf market has targeted men (usually over the age of 50), broader feminist movements such as #MeToo and the gender pay gap have amplified the important role women play in all aspects of society, and challenged pre-existing attitudes towards women in sport, including the golfing space.

The 30th July marked the first day of Women and Girls’ Golf Week, which, for seven days, celebrates women in golf. The week coincides with the Ricoh Women’s British Open and the English girls’ championship, and highlights issues faced by women in golf, the common misconceptions they battle against and the incredible passion, skill and contribution women and girls bring to the game.

So, what can your golf club do to attract more women to the game? And how can you ensure your offering is suitable for all genders, rather than being too male-centric?

Here are some suggestions:

Recruit female staff and volunteers

Seeing women as role models within golf clubs can encourage new female members to join. It also inspires younger girls and adolescents and helps them see golf as a female-friendly game. If you offer golf lessons, try to make sure at least one of your instructors is female. It’s also crucial to have female board members and management to ensure policies and club rules remain female-friendly.

Target more women on social media

Most golf clubs are now online and using platforms like Facebook to push promotions and memberships. But did you know there are ways to customise your advertising so that more women are targeted? If you are currently a PlayMoreGolf affiliated club, you can speak to your club support manager about adapting your flexible golf marketing to attract more women. If you are not yet a PlayMoreGolf affiliated club, click here to find out more.

Review your club’s dress code

Is your current dress code policy female-friendly? Does it offer women the choice to dress appropriately and practically for the course? Is there any element of your dress code policy that might put women off or make them feel exposed or self-conscious? Take another look at your guidelines and ensure they’re in no way discriminatory or off-putting for women in the game.

Cater to women’s schedules

Women are notorious jugglers. They tend to have childcare responsibilities on top of jobs and other family or caring commitments and therefore might need even more flexibility than the average male. When determining your PlayMoreGolf package, it is important you consider what the average female may want to see in terms of scheduling. For example, if your flexible offering drives PlayMoreGolf members towards the school-run hours, this might not be any good to women golfers. Surveys have also shown that short courses are particularly appealing to time-stretched demographics.   

Offer female-only activities at your club house

Both men and women enjoy a cold beverage at the end of a game of golf, but you might find that adding an occasional female-only activity such as a women’s only social evening, dance night, wine and cheese tasting or a pub quiz can help drive female engagement. You might even offer a monthly opportunity for women to bring their babies or young children to the golf course to be left in a playgroup or creche facility while they play. Events like this can take some planning, but are sure to appeal to many female golfing enthusiasts.

At PlayMoreGolf, we want to help your golf club appeal to as many golfing enthusiasts as possible and provide maximum opportunity to female golfers who might otherwise be deterred from the game. If you’d like to discuss more ways you can achieve this, get in touch with us today.