To attract more women to play golf, England Golf has produced a range of factsheets, supported by the findings from focus group research, golf clubs, other sports and other relevant insight. Women account for only 15 percent of golf club members in England. In other major European countries women account for around 30 per cent of golf club members.
The focus group research carried out for England Golf by Sports Marketing Surveys Inc showed that:
• Women prefer to learn golf in a group where everyone is new to the game. They feel uncomfortable making their first attempts in the presence of people who are already competent.
• The social side of golf is very important to women. Introductory sessions should include time for a chat over coffee or a glass of wine.
• Taster sessions should highlight the fun side of the game.
• Equipment should be available so women can try the game and without spending much money.
• It’s vital to challenge the view that golf clubs are not welcoming. Many women and young people are staying away from golf because of the misconception that clubs are elitist
• Flexibility is all-important, whether it’s flexible membership packages or flexible ways of playing the game which take advantage of shorter formats.
Lauren Spray, the Women and Girls’ Participation manager for England Golf, commented, “Women offer the largest growth area in golf, with 63 percent of clubs targeting them for membership. We’ve produced these factsheets to offer suggestions and recommendations based on the latest research and learnings from clubs which are having success. Clubs which want to grow their women’s membership can pick and mix from a wide range of ideas.”
The factsheets cover key areas including recruitment, retention, playing opportunities, membership, websites and social media, club environment and volunteers. Guidance on marketing and communication will be available shortly. The factsheets can be viewed at www.englandgolf.org/womenandgirls