Women's golf market: 'underdeveloped, underserved'

When it comes to why they play the game of golf, women and men aren’t so different, after all. And they’re also similar when it comes to reasons for not playing more often.
The recently released “Women’s Golf Market Study” by Golf Datatech found that women cited the challenge of the game and the camaraderie created by spending quality time on the course with friends, family and business associates as their primary reasons for playing.
At the same time, they cited factors such as the cost of the game, the time it takes to play and family constraints as reasons they don’t play more.
Golf Datatech Partner Tom Stine said that one in three women also said that they considered the average golf course to be a male-oriented place, which inhibits more frequent play.
“Combine the cost, time and family pressures with their overall perception of the male orientation at the golf course, and it’s not surprising that women leave the game as often as they enter,” he said. “This is ultimately the basis for the women’s golf population to be at a near standstill.”
The study surveyed more than 1,000 females classified as serious golfers (more than 12 rounds a year). It looked at their attitudes about the game, the equipment and the apparel they wear.
Researchers found that while women’s golf offers a major growth opportunity for the game, significant roadblocks must be overcome to consistently increase women’s participation in the game. Currently about 25 percent of all golfers in the U.S. are women.
“This study shows that the women’s golf market remains underdeveloped and underserved,” Stine said. “To effectively tap into the women’s market, golf courses, golf professionals, equipment manufacturers and all other engrained constituencies must make the game more accessible and welcoming to the female player,” Stine said.
Among the findings:
-- When asked the single factor they enjoy best about playing the game, 32 percent said the challenge of the game. Another 18 percent said being with friends.
-- Lack of time was also cited as a reason for not playing more: 21 percent said a round of golf takes too long, 40 percent are constrained by limited leisure time and 31 percent said they work too much to play more.
-- The women spent an average of $700 in the past year on equipment and $515 on golf apparel.  


NO WOMEN ARE SPEAKING OUT AT YOUR CONFERENCE EITHER??? Get some well rounded women with extensive golf background and have an open floor discussion?

Golf still seems to be a man’s world in the US. Over here in Germany, some 38 percent of the golfers (organized in golf clubs, providing reliable statistics) are female. It is a common picture to see (married) couples playing their rounds of golf together. It is also said that females often enough are the ones who make the decision in the family as to joining a golf club. In German golf facilities, there is no need to offer any beauty and spa elements. The ladies are out on the fairways.

There are so many changes necessary to get and equally importantly keep women playing, they are too numerous to list here so I'll just do a few. When we owned our course we (very successfully) did the following: -provided child care -in the late afternoon (after 4PM)allowed people (read families) to play as many holes as they had time for and only charged them for the number of holes they played. This really increased our family play. -rebuilt our whole tee system so that the yardages really fit our customers particularly women, beginners and juniors. There was a set of tees at 2000 yards for smaller kids and raw beginners and the next sets back were at 4169 and 4900. We just made a presentation to the Architects Society about our tee system in February at the GIS. The really good news is that the 4th course at Bandon will have forward tees at 4500 yards. -stocked our pro shop 50/50 with women's/men's apparel and equipment. The women outbought the men and we sold more sets of women's and junior clubs than men's

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