It’s no secret that golf is missing something, and that something is more women players. Male golfers outnumber female golfers in every country, and this is a figure many people are fighting to change. With so few female players though, how can they do this?
Why women don’t play?
To find out how to get more women to play, we need to know why they don’t first. A recent survey conducted by OnlineGolf found that the majority of people overestimated the amount of female players – something that at first sounds fairly innocuous, but when you consider that if people don’t see anything wrong then they won’t do anything, becomes more telling.
As male players don’t realise how few women play the game, they’re more likely to not do anything to encourage more women to play. This has the combined effect of not bringing new people in, and potentially making some current people leave. Making people realise how few women play will help to make the issue known and, hopefully, prompt people into doing something about it.
The Valleys Golf Enterprise says “beginner ladies like to see golf as more of a social night; they tend to feel more confident in a group as they find it quite daunting to play individually compared to men.” Although a lack of confidence on playing alone can stop women from playing, it can also stop women from starting. Having a friend or partner to start playing golf with can give women the confidence they need to give the game a go.
How do we encourage more women to play?
The main, and arguably most prominent, reason women don’t play is because of male members. Although over the years the stigma of golf being a “man’s sport” has lessened, a golf club can still feel like a very intimidating place for a woman. Even in today’s modern society, clubs like Augusta still refuse to have equal rights for male and female players.
Removing this attitude isn’t something that can be done overnight, as it must be removed both from the clubs and the players themselves before golf will be truly equal. Once men accept that women golfers have the same rights to play as they do, that’s when clubhouses will feel more open to people of both sexes.
Coverage of women’s golf is incredibly limited in comparison to men’s golf and whilst this might be true of any top sport, it can be another factor in low female participation. Were there more coverage of women’s golf on TV and in magazines, this could show how women can also play and excel at golf.
Why don’t enough women play business golf?
If you’re not familiar with the term, business golf is when you play golf with someone you work with (i.e. a boss or colleague) or with a client/potential client. This allows for a much more relaxed setting for a business meeting, and can be a great opportunity for someone to make progress in business. Despite this, even fewer women play business golf. Why is this?
The man’s club stigma dominates this question as well. As even fewer women play business golf, the idea of being the only woman can make people shy away. This is nothing to be scared of however, and should actually spur women on to attend. Whilst a man looking for a promotion might struggle to stand out at a business golf event, a woman will be much more noticeable – something that would absolutely work in her favour.
Often referred to as “the sport of business”, golf can offer a woman looking for career progression a much faster route than trying to stand out at the office. Golf offers a chance to see a wide range of personality traits in your playing partner – how you deal with adversity, manners, etiquette etc – so making sure you play as honestly as you can will work out well in the long run.
How to get started
For anyone who is thinking of starting golf, Jack at Business Golf Network has some tips: “don’t feel like being a great golfer is a necessity to taking part in business golf. Golf is a difficult game and even the best golfers can relate to somebody who is struggling on the course.”
This post was provided by amateur golfer and golf writer Tom Jeffries on behalf of OnlineGolf