Increasing Female Participation: This Girl Golfs

The GCMA is delighted to support This Girl Golfs, a video campaign from Sports Publications (National Club Golfer / Lady Golfer / Golf International) that sets out to change female perception of golf and encourage participation.

We believe that the various elements of the campaign – including several different videos and blogged testimonials on the website – will provide golf club managers with excellent marketing tools to help kickstart initiatives to boost female participation in golf.

Despite there being some great female players on the world stage, such as Charley Hull, Laura Davies, Mel Reid and Paula Creamer, golf is often wrongly perceived as a Man’s game. #ThisGirlGolfs is designed to shift this perception and inspire participation by highlighting women that are already playing the game at all levels. Golf is a game for all. Unlike any other sport, golf’s unique handicap system allows people of different abilities to play and compete together, making it a great game for women and men alike.

Check out #ThisGirlGolfs on Twitter

The PGA and England Golf are supporting #ThisGirlGolfs as part of their ‘Raising Our Game’ strategy. Committed to increasing the number of people that play golf regularly and reversing the decline of club members, England Golf recognise that Women and Girls are key to this success.

David Joy, CEO of England Golf, commented:

“We are aware, like many other sports, golf faces some issues, there are significant trends in declining participation at all levels that we can’t ignore. With the help of #ThisGirlGolfs campaign, we hope to work together with the golfing community to encourage more women and girls into the sport and enjoy the benefits the game can give.”

Sandy Jones, CEO of The PGA added:

“Golf is actually a very accessible, welcoming and enjoyable environment and we want to get that message across to women who may not have considered golf as an option. This is a great opportunity to both raise the profile of golf, break down myths and misconceptions and to actively encourage women of all ages to see golf as a realistic choice – whether that is for personal, professional, business or social reasons.”

#ThisGirlGolf features a series of different women and girls of all ages and backgrounds showing how they fit golf into their everyday lives and enjoy the game. Including established pro golfers Charley Hull and Henni Zuël, Ellie Lace, 15 year old amateur golfer and BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty, We see tour professionals traveling to practice sessions on the tube, girls honing their skills at urban driving ranges, a young girl sneaking into her brother’s bedroom to borrow his clubs and a father taking the time to teach his daughter how to play.

Hamish Grey, Chief Executive of the Scottish Golf Union, added:

“We are delighted to be supporting #ThisGirlGolfs which will be a key part of our own Get into Golf campaign to encourage more adult women into the game. It’s a hugely exciting time for women’s golf in Scotland with last week’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and the forthcoming Ricoh Women’s British Women attracting some of the biggest names in the game to our shores. We hope these events, coupled with #ThisGirlGolfs will capture the imagination of the wider community and help inspire more women to give golf a go.

Charley Hull, professional golfer, commented:

“I have always had a love of golf, picking up my first club aged two. It’s a fantastic game to play with friends, a great way to relax and get outdoors. It’s been great to be part of #ThisGirlGolfs I hope it will encourage girls to head down to their local driving range or golf club and give it a go.”

Female golf: the current picture in Britain

  • In Great Britain, female participation accounts for 12% of total participation (adults who play at least once a year) for the last two years – a decline from 15% in 2011.
  • Just over 50% of England’s population is female – only 13% of English golfers are female and 14% are affiliated members of England Golf
  • In Germany, 38% of golfers are female; in France 28%; in Sweden 29%
  • Since 2004, female membership has fallen by 27% at English golf clubs
  • On average, there are 70 women members each club in England
  • 640,000 females said they were interested in taking up golf in a 2014 survey (Syngenta – ‘The Opportunity to Grow Golf: Female Participation’)
  • 98,000 females are currently members of golf clubs in England
  • 88,700 females play golf at least once a week in England; 146,300 play once a month
  • The average age of a female golfer playing once a week or more in England is 50
  • Females between the age of 16 and 35 account for 25% of female core participation
  • The average annual female membership for 2014 was £848 – for a junior girl it was £117
  • Over half of men who have sons say that their son(s) play golf; 12% of men who have daughters say that their daughter(s) play
Statistics: Sports Marketing Surveys (SMS), England Golf & Syngenta

Sports Publications publish National Club Golfer, Lady Golfer and Golf International.

By Mike Hyde

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