She Loves Golf campaign a step in the right direction
By Dean Murphy
In my view, golf has historically done a very poor job of encouraging more women to participate in the game.
In the 10 years or so that I have been involved as an administrator I have heard a great deal of talk about the need to engage with women and encourage more women players into the game. However, little progress has been made.
At this point, just 25 percent of club members and approximately 10 percent of casual participants are female. These are extraordinary low numbers. I’m not sure why we don’t embrace this market segment more vigorously given the huge opportunities. While, no comfort, we are certainly not alone as I observe the same great desires stated in many international markets with a corresponding small amount of action.
As a start in this area, we are now three weeks into the national She Loves Golf campaign and I’m pleased to report an excellent level of activity including the news media, social media and great initiatives from clubs around the country.
Launched on November 1, the nationwide She Loves Golf campaign will see events up and down the country including pop-up street activities, competitions and club open days. There truly is something for everyone and if you aren’t involved yet, I encourage you to bring your female friends, workmates or family members along to a club to try this great game.
Our goal with this initiative is to inspire more New Zealand women to participate in the game of golf and to assist, we’ve recruited five high profile and diverse New Zealand women, of vastly mixed experience levels, who have committed themselves to spreading the word about She Loves Golf.
Our ambassadors are Toni Street, Lydia Ko, Amber Peebles, Jamie Curry and Laura McGoldrick. Each of these fantastic women are doing a great job to help promote the game of golf and remove some of the negative perceptions associated with the game.
While it is early days, we are pleased to have received excellent reports from clubs around the country who are embracing the campaign:
Kevin Armstrong, Motueka Golf Club:
“Fifteen girls are enjoying weekly coaching lessons, with two new women taking up membership.”
Marnie McGuire, Waikato:
“Eleven ladies signed up for lessons during the day at Te Awamutu and 14 for the after work clinic. Nineteen ladies signed up for lessons on Saturday afternoons at Matamata Golf Club. So great numbers of women in the Waikato flocking to learn the game, majority are aged 30-50 which is certainly the demographic we need. Potentially 44 new women into the game at two courses. Awesome!”
Robert Rookes, Waitemata Golf Club:
“Thanks to the help from New Zealand Golf with posters and getting it on the website, our Girls Night Out is full. Five weeks of lessons, complimentary wine, 5.30pm on Thursdays. Girls are having a great time.”
Please make sure that you follow the #SheLovesGolf campaign as it rolls out across the country. We hope it will play a small part in encouraging more kiwi females to participate in the game.