In the dynamic world of golf, the rise of women golfers isn't just a shift in demographics—it's a pivotal business opportunity. According to the National Golf Foundation, the number of female golfers has seen a remarkable increase, rising to about 6.4 million in 2021 from 5.6 million in 2019. This influx of over 800,000 women and girls into the sport, a 15% jump compared to a modest 2% lift among male golfers, highlights a significant and growing market segment.
Our recent comprehensive survey, in line with these national trends, reveals a critical insight: on average, women golfers rate their satisfaction with the current offerings at golf courses as a mere 2 out of 5, indicating a substantial gap between what is currently provided and what women golfers are seeking.
Women golfers offer a largely untapped market, bringing new perspectives and demands to the forefront. They seek more than just access to the game; they demand quality experiences, both in play and in retail. Catering to this audience can drive revenue growth, increase club memberships, and foster brand loyalty. Moreover, creating an inclusive environment resonates beyond the immediate audience, enhancing the course's reputation and appeal.
What We Heard & How to Address It:Diverse Apparel and Accessory Preferences
- Feedback: "Golf clothing options not just for women over 60... Also, make sure you have a buyer that’s a woman."
- Action: Women want more than just a dusty corner of the shop. Broaden retail selections to include diverse styles, sizes, and colors. Regularly update inventory based on customer feedback and trends. Don't just pink it and shrink it. They love to buy gift items for their playing partners - don't miss out on this opportunity.
Need for Inclusive and Beginner-Friendly Programs
- Feedback: "More clinics for new golfers as lessons are intimidating."
- Action: Create beginner-friendly group sessions and clinics. Offer programs that focus on fundamentals in a supportive environment. Create mentorship programs where experienced women golfers can guide beginners.
Desire for Women-Focused Events
- Feedback: "Ladies Days and Leagues that respect the women - respect is lacking everywhere!"
- Action: Regularly organize women-focused golf events, social gatherings, and networking opportunities that cater to various skill levels.
Equal Treatment and Fair Access
- Feedback: "Just don’t be so chauvinistic towards women."
- Action: Implement a fair tee time allocation system. Regularly review and adjust tee time allocations to ensure fair access for women. Address and rectify any gender bias in prize money and competition rules. Train staff to provide equal and respectful service to all golfers. This includes unequal prize money, biased treatment by marshals, and assumptions about their playing capabilities.
Facility Enhancements for Comfort
- Feedback: "More accessible restrooms. Women-friendly clubhouses. Most are geared to men."
- Action: Upgrade facilities to ensure comfort and accessibility. Maintain cleanliness and privacy in restrooms and locker rooms.
Visibility and Representation
- Feedback: "We need women in leadership positions on staff and boards."
- Action: Promote women into leadership roles within golf organizations. Feature women golfers in marketing and promotional activities.
Effective Communication and Marketing
- Feedback: "Advertise for women to play at their course."
- Action: Revise marketing strategies to be inclusive and engaging for women. Use feedback to tailor marketing messages.
Addressing these specific needs and preferences expressed by women golfers can lead to greater satisfaction, increased engagement, and business growth. Golf courses and shops that listen and adapt are positioning themselves for success in a changing golf landscape.
It's time for action. We encourage golf courses and shops to listen, adapt, and embrace these changes to build a more inclusive and successful golfing environment for everyone.