London, England: Syngenta’s global golf market research has revealed that attracting more younger women to golf could also be the key to significantly growing the number of junior golfers.
The research reveals a ‘female-junior multiplier effect’, meaning that for every 100 new players, new female golfers will bring up to 72 more juniors into the game compared to new male golfers.
With the average age of golfers on the rise, Syngenta’s findings suggest that women – who currently account for just 24% of golfers worldwide – hold an important key to the next generation of golfers and the future sustainability of the industry.
However, the report also reveals a paradox: while spending time with friends and family is one of golf’s greatest attractions to prospective female players, family responsibilities is also the number one reason current female golfers give up the game.
It raises the possibility that golf clubs and courses may not be addressing the needs of women and families, consequently losing existing female players and also failing to attract those who may be interested in taking up the game.
Could developing more family golf products and opportunities be a solution for golf clubs?
Peter Mutton, Club Manager at London’s Strawberry Hill Golf Club, thinks so – and sees it every day. With a 35% female membership base (more than twice the United Kingdom national average of 15%), the club also prides itself on its family participation.
“You can definitely see the impact of having a larger female membership on the junior programme,” said Mutton.
“Engaging women means engaging families. We have made sure that families in this community know that they are welcome, that they can play here together, and that – at just £26 (about US$35) to add a junior membership – we’ve made it affordable for them to introduce their children to the game,” he added.
What can golf venues do to encourage more women to try golf and help to realise the female-junior multiplier? According to Syngenta’s findings, these three steps will be the top motivating factors for women to try the game:
- Provide easy access to affordable lessons
- Create a relaxed atmosphere and dress code
- Make clubs available for hire so there’s no need to purchase equipment
Syngenta is an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.