It’s hard to believe that once upon a time, women were banned from golf.
Just earlier this year, the British Golf Club Royal St. George, which once posted the sign “No Dogs, No Women,” voted to allow female golfers. 90% of the voters favored the decision which ended a 128 year male-only policy.
So when did things start changing for female golfers? And what is the expected trend?
Statistics on the Growth of Women in Golf
25 – Number of golf clubs in the U.S. that limited memberships to men only in 2012, according to NBC. The most well-known is Augusta in Georgia.
19% – Percentage of all golfers who are women, according to the National Golf Foundation.
80 Million – Number of golfers worldwide, according to HSBC.
30 Million – Number of female participants the World Golf Foundation (WGF) is charged with having by 2017, according to Golf Week.
48% – Number of women who say they want to learn golf with other beginners, according to the National Golf Foundation.
67% – Number of new golfers who were women in 2006, according to wsj.com
156 – The number of women golfers who will compete for the first major championship for women.
The popularity of golf on the whole has been in decline over the past decade.
A game deeply rooted in history and tradition, it seems golf is finally starting to see the light. More women are playing golf leisurely. Women are being accepted at the professional level. And even the oldest, most staunch of golf clubs seem to be changing their ways: promoting shorter rounds and family friendly clubhouses.
When revenues and popularity are in decline, there’s plenty of room for growth, especially if it can boost the golf industry $35 billion dollars!
According to a study reported by the Irish Golf Desk last month raises interesting questions about how increasing female participation in golf could potentially re-energize the game.
The study titled “The Global Economic Value of Increased Female Participation in Golf” was commissioned by a Swiss company called Syngenta and concludes golf’s global economy could be boosted by as much as $35 billion if it converted more interested women into the game.
I know, that seems a little farfetched, right? Well the numbers really speak for themselves. The study surveyed 14,000 people in markets across North America, Asia, and Europe and found that 29 percent of non-golfing females and lapsed players were either interested or very interested in taking up golf in the next two years. This equates to about 37 million women worldwide, and the report estimates an increase in annual golf revenue of $939 per new female golfer.
The study also reported being outdoors, relaxation and spending time with family and friends are the primary appeal factors to non-golfers. It also found that women golfers are much more likely than male golfers to bring children with them to the course. This could indicate that an increase in women golfers at the course could boost the number of junior golfers taking up the game.
“For the first time, we have been able to assess worldwide latent demand for golf among women and estimate the potential economic value to the global golf industry,” said Syngenta Global Head of Lawn & Garden Jeff Cox.
$35 billion is certainly an optimistic interpretation of the findings, it is indicative of golf’s potential to grow the game in a practical way.
You don’t have to be rich, famous or particularly athletic to enjoy the game.
Why Women Should be Playing Golf?
Here are just some of the reasons participation among women is growing…
1. Golfers Live Longer – Five years longer according to a new Swedish study.
2. Golf Keeps You Trim – Golf is a great way to stay in shape with a round of golf consuming 1525 calories if you walk. Golf also stimulates your creativity, problem-solving and strategic thinking.
3. Golf Gets a Girl Ahead – In today’s competitive business environment women can’t afford NOT to play golf. Golf is one of the few sports that are widely accepted in the workplace as a way to quickly build relationships and close deals. Also, executives who play golf make 17% more than those who don’t.
4. Office Talk – When the water cooler talk turns to bogies and birdies, you’ll be able to participate and get invited to play. Golf helps women gain the upper hand in business.
5. Golfers Make Friends Easily – Golf is a great, low stress way to make new friends and generate new leads for your business.
6. Quality Time – Where else can you have four hours of quality time with your boss, colleagues, prospects, husband or kids, away from the stress of modern living?
7. Golf Is Great Recreational Value – A really great value when compared to many other activities.
8. Golf Gives You a Reason to Travel – There are so many amazing and beautiful courses around the world, golf gives you the perfect excuse to go visit!
9. Golf is Like Sex – You don’t actually have to be that good at it to enjoy it. – Only 10% of all golfers actually score below 100. So relax and have fun as you are most likely in the majority.