New Program Launched
On August 29th the LPGA Women’s Network and WE ARE GOLF’s Women’s Task Force launched its #inviteHER campaign to encourage current golfers to invite the women in their lives to start playing golf. The primary objective is to grow awareness and participation among women and girls through the power of an invitation.

According to the World Golf Foundation, last year, 35% of the game’s 2.6 million new players were female. But still only 24% of golf’s participants are female.

The LPGA Women’s Network website provides some terrific resources including research on Women’s participation and tips for your course to encourage more women to play. 

The Opportunity to Grow Golf: Female Participation

Setting up Golf Courses for Success

Many of these resources are valuable to give you ideas for encouraging beginner golfers in general, not just women and girls.

Free Rental Clubs
One of the reasons cited in the research for women not trying the game or not playing more is the cost of rental clubs. What if similar to the ‘Kids Play Free’ program we all designated a block of time in which rentals were free? You could try tagging onto the #inviteHER program or you could create your own program open for anyone – Bring a friend to give golf a try and your rentals are included.

I can already hear half of you saying…”What about Pace of Play”, “What about golfers walking over our greens with a pull cart” etc. Yes its going to happen, and yes you may get complaints, but this is all part of the other reason that new golfers won’t come. The elitist perception of golf is not going to go away if we don’t help it.

What can you do?
While the “inviteHER” program will not get much traction in Canada due to most courses already planning their closing dates it is something to keep in mind for the spring and your calendar planning. Courses could plan events separate or in conjunction with Women’s Golf Day such as a member guest event or a couples night to get more women out to try golf. 

Another idea that is similar (and has been around for a while) is having your staff each introduce one new golfer (male or female, young or old) to the game. You could plan an early season staff event in which your staff bring a non-golfing guest. You may even have staff of your own who have never swung a golf club. Ask your staff, you may be surprised!

Whether you use this new program or not, now is the time to think about how you will be encouraging new golfers to visit your facility next season. It is also the time to work on programs that encourage your current golfers to play ‘one more round’.

We, Jeff and Tara Ciecko of CK Golf write two blogs, one is our 19th Hole Blog where we share personal experiences and the other an Industry Blog where we comment on general business and internet marketing best practices, sales strategies and give golf industry related opinions. We have owned CK Golf  for 10 years and provide business services to the golf and other industries. As of August 2016 our life and our business is ‘location independent’. Our 19th Hole Blog is about the places we visit and the things we do. If you have any questions or comments, or happen to be in the same location as us please reach out and contact us anytime.