Major drive to attract women to golf this spring
A major English campaign to get more women playing golf is to tee off this May.
This year’s National Golf Month will address some of the key barriers currently preventing women from starting the game, said a spokesman for the campaign.
This includes the cost of taster sessions, easy access and the chance to try the game with their friends. Over £2 million of free sessions will be provided for women.
Currently, just over one in ten UK golfers are female (14 percent) compared to one in four in Europe (25 percent), which makes the proportion of female golfers in the UK the lowest of the top ten markets in Europe.
National Golf Month, which has been running since 2014, is an initiative led by the British Golf Industry Association (BGIA), that gives golf clubs the opportunity to promote offers aimed at both lapsed and new golfers.
Driven by radio, magazine, newspaper and social media advertising, it offers free marketing and advertising opportunities to all partnering golf courses, driving ranges and PGA members along with promotions for special coaching / playing, and club membership and open day deals.
“Women should be a higher proportion of the playing base, which is why increasing the number of women playing the sport will be the top priority for National Golf Month in 2017,” said Doug Poole, project director for National Golf Month.
“If we can boost the number of women who play the sport, then we can also revitalise the playing base of the sport through increased family participation too.”
This year it will provide 50,000 free one hour trial sessions, exclusively for women, worth over £2 million, which will be the industry’s largest ever promotional offer aimed specifically at getting women started in the sport.
As well as providing a substantial inventory of taster sessions, National Golf Month will provide a better understanding of how clubs and professionals can attract more women through new or innovative approaches.
“There is a clear business case for attracting more women to play the game. New female members generate an additional £750 of revenue per annum per player and female players open up the family market. We plan to help the industry learn more from the great data and case studies which exist,” said Doug Poole.
“This year, we’re targeting 100,000 new or lapsed participants to golf of whom we hope 50 percent will be women,’ said Doug Poole.
PGA certified coach and founder of FORE! WOMEN, Felicity Dunderdale, has said she will work with clubs in the south east during National Golf Month.
“Reports show that there are 3.79 million prospective women golfers in the UK, however golf clubs fail to engage them,” she said.
“Traditionally golf has been a male dominated sport, but there is an incredible amount of interest shown by women who simply need the right encouragement, opportunity and approach to get them through the golf club door.
“I have found that whilst clubs are proactive in securing new membership, they need a more targeted approach to attract female golfers, to maintain their confidence and participation in the game.
“For example, one of the biggest stumbling blocks for women is inadequate signage on the course and the fear of losing their way – clubs need to accept that new players do not know their particular course and signage would remove anxiety for all new players not just women. This is of a straightforward provision but it is surprisingly overlooked by the majority of clubs.”
Philip Morley, chair of BGIA, added: ‘The British Golf Industry Association is delighted to support National Golf Month which remains the most effective campaign we have to promote the sport in the UK. Golf is a fun, healthy and social game which more people should try, especially women. We hope that our efforts this year will help to boost female participation in the game for the long term.’