We talk a lot about getting millennials into the game. However, many golf operators are overlooking the lack of female participation in golf.
By our numbers, 75% of the over 1 Million golfers who use our tee time booking software are men. That's a huge gap! If female participation in golf were equal to men, round bookings would grow by 47%.
Golf is not physically inaccessible to women, so why is there such a huge gap between men and women? The problem lies within a larger cultural issue in the golf community.
While it takes hard work to change the culture in any clubhouse, there are many practical steps golf courses can take to get women interested in trying the game. Here are six ideas your golf course can use to get women playing at your golf course.
We need to get young players into the game early, and that starts with teaching and instruction. Hosting a summer camp for young women is the perfect way to get girls started, plus it gives parents a break during the summer holidays.
When planning the camp, make an effort to find female leadership. It's so much more inspiring for young girls to be taught by a female coach, and it makes a huge difference in keeping them interested in the game. Strong women coaches are outstanding role models for young women and will leave a lasting impression on the girls they teach.
Social events are a great way of drawing new customers into the golf course, yet they are too often only targeted towards men. Put together "Wine and 9" nights, Father-Daughter tournaments, family events, or even a breast cancer charity tournament to get women playing at your golf course.
What's most important is taking actions that show your operation values women in the community and is willing to host events that are interesting and fun for them. Here's a pro tip, don't call whatever you plan "Ladies Night," that's just boring.
You have loyal female customers who know how great your operation is. There’s a good chance that they might have a friend they want to introduce to your golf course. Get value out these customers by introducing "bring a friend" discounts to guests who bring in a player for the first time.
Of course, you’ll need a CRM that tracks player profiles and easily displays play history in a way that pro shop staff can easily understand. Make it easy for your customers buy promotions online with software that integrates with e-commerce and marketing platforms.
To get young people into the game, they need to be introduced early. I still remember the golf module in my gym class back in high school as one of my favourite activities. Introducing young kids to golf through a local school program is perhaps one the most effective ways of encouraging mass exposure to the game.
Obviously, kids don't buy memberships or pay for rounds so make sure parents are aware of the program too. Offer discounts to students who participate in the program. For example, a free student membership if a parent purchases an adult membership or two for one discounts on parent-child rounds. Local school programs are a tried and true method that has worked in many cities and effectively encourages hundreds of local young people to golf.
If the majority of your customers are men, chances are many of them have partners that for one reason or another don't play. To get the uninitiated into the game, promote a day where families and couples can get golf lessons for a discounted rate. Playing golf with a loved one is fun and creates memories that last a lifetime. If you can get the partners of the men at your golf course into the game, you'll fill up a lot more tee times.
If you don't know what it is already, Women's Golf Day is an internationally successful initiative to get more women interested in golf while encouraging and uplifting those who already play. The event happens each year in June at golf courses worldwide.
Typically Women's Golf Day events are four hours long and feature two hours of golf, followed by two hours of socializing. The golf component can consist of a nine-hole round, lesson, club fitting, product demo or practice session on the driving range. After golf, participants are encouraged to socialize over drinks and food. In some cases, golf courses also add guest speakers and corporate networking elements to the social part of the event.
Courses that hosted women's golf day events last year reported an increase of women playing golf at their courses, with attendees returning for more lessons later on with some even purchasing full-year memberships!
I love culture, entertainment, marketing and most importantly golf! My goal is to bring interesting new ideas to the golf industry. Want to collaborate on a post? Let's chat over email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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