A drive is underway to get more women and girls playing golf in Great Britain and Ireland, coinciding with the build-up the Solheim Cup. Golf’s governing bodies in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, have announced a joint commitment to increase participation.
The four countries together had just over 171,000 female golf club members last year, compared to 952,000 men. But evidence from England Golf’s ‘Get into golf’ campaign shows significant interest from women who want to play the game. The joined-up approach will see each country take a lead in one aspect of growing the game and they will all share ideas and good practice.
England will focus on marketing; Ireland will look at participation programmes; Scotland will consider governance and equality; and Wales will explore shorter, fun formats and competitive opportunities. The combined efforts of the Home Unions will build on the success of the #ThisGirlGolfs video campaign. It was produced and funded by Sports Publications, England Golf and Scottish Golf and challenges the perception that golf is an exclusive, expensive game for men. Instead it shows women and girls from all backgrounds, fitting golf into their everyday lives and enjoying the game.
David Joy, Chief Executive of England Golf commented, “The huge interest around the Solheim Cup helps us to further spread the message that golf really is a great game for women and girls – it’s healthy, sociable, fun and competitive. By working together we can do this very effectively across Great Britain and Ireland and we all feel that our collaborative approach will be critical to the success of growing women and girls’ golf.
“We’ve all got a great deal to share, for example England Golf has promotional materials and factsheets to help clubs recruit and retain women members. We’ve also invested heavily in digital advertising to promote our Get into golf campaign and this had led to almost 50 percent of online bookings being made by women.”