It is essential for the economic health and reputation of the sport that we encourage even more women to get onto the nation’s golf courses and driving ranges. This is the reason why we have decided to focus this year’s National Golf Month on encouraging women who are new to the game to try the sport and persuading lapsed female players to revisit their local course, club or centre.
Golf is one of the few sports in which men and women can compete alongside each other, which is something that we should be celebrating.
The gender mix of golfers in many other European countries underlines how the sport in the UK can appeal to both men and women. According to research undertaken by consultants KPMG in 2016, only around 15% of UK golfers are female compared to 25% in the whole of Europe and 35% in countries such as Germany, Austria and Slovenia. Getting the UK to the 25% European average could bring 91,000 new female participants into the sport. We believe that this is a highly realistic ambition, given that another research survey, commissioned by golf industry supplier Syngenta, has indicated that there are 3.79 million prospective female golfers in the UK and Ireland, by which they mean non-golfers and lapsed players who when questioned said they would be very interested or interested in taking up golf in the next two years. The same study suggested that the value to the sport of each new female golfer is $949 per year (equivalent to around £770), making the additional 91,000 players worth £70 million per year to the UK’s golf clubs, pros, courses and equipment manufacturers.
The evidence further suggests that increasing the number of female participants also benefits the wider player-base by encouraging more families to take up the sport.