New initiative focuses on women to help grow the game
Feb 15 2017 |
Since 1944, June 6 has been remembered as the day the Allies invaded Europe, signalling the beginning of the end of World War II. This year, that date also will mark a new beginning in women's golf.
Women's Golf Day
is a one-day, four-hour experience that will take place at golf courses around the world where women and girls can experience golf for the first time and where current players can play and engage with women interested in golf. And it all will take place at golf courses and retail locations around the world on D-Day
Founded by Elisa Gaudet, president of the consulting and marketing firm Executive Golf International, WGD is a collaborative effort that includes golf management companies, retailers and organizations all working together to engage, empower and support girls and women through golf. That list includes the NGCOA, European Golf Course Owners Association, World Golf Foundation, International Golf Federation, Billy Casper Golf, ClubCorp, All Square, Expert Golf, Women & Golf and the International Council of Nurses.
The concept, which was rolled out recently at the PGA Merchandise Show, albeit by a panel comprised of men, is built on three pillars of Engage, Empower and Support.
Engage includes introducing women and girls to the game, empowering them for future success by providing them with recreational, social and business skills that last a lifetime, and offering support through a network of dedicated industry partners. The four-hour experience allows a simple and accessible platform to build a foundation and creates a network to support the continuation of the game regardless of skill level through instruction, play and socializing
To date, 485 golf courses and retail outlets in 30 countries across five continents have registered to take part in Women's Golf Day.
Women's Golf Day is an excellent to way to introduce women to the game. The event gives them a comfortable and fun atmosphere to experience golf as a game, but also showcases how it connects people and fosters life-long relationships."
"Women's Golf Day is an excellent to way to introduce women to the game," said Mark Gore, vice president of golf for ClubCorp. "The event gives them a comfortable and fun atmosphere to experience golf as a game, but also showcases how it connects people and fosters life-long relationships."
Women's Golf Day couldn't have come at a more opportune time. Men have been dropping out of golf at a steady pace during the past decade. Women, on the other hand, have, by and large, been drawn to the game and represent a growth opportunity.
That all changed in 2015. There was a net gain of about 400,000 female golfers in 2014. According to the National Golf Foundation, that many females, and then some, left the game in 2015, dropping out out at a rate of 7.5 percent, which was more than double the rate at which men were leaving the game.
Women make up less than 25 percent of the U.S. golfer population, but make 80 percent of the household budget decisions, and thus still represent a growth market. The trick is finding ways to lure them in.
"Women play a critical role in the success of the golf industry," World Golf Foundation CEO Steve Mona said on the WGD web site. "Nearly 23 percent of all golfers in the U.S. are female and the creation of Women's Golf Day is an opportunity to increase awareness, participation, and showcase golf as a fun activity for people of all ages."