Posted on November 21, 2018
Eric Lohman PGM GM & Jackie Riegle, Sales & Marketing Manager are featured writers in the Fall Edition of the Southern California PGA PROgram Magazine. In this article, they discuss ideas of how Monarch Beach Golf Links is working toward engaging and including more women golfers. Below is the article in its entirety. Let us know your thoughts on their ideas or if you have some ideas of your own in the comment section below!
All golfers are important, but let’s be honest, attracting a group of adult women golfers might be the key to a successful operation no matter what type of inclusive facility you run or work at.
Remember our treasured women raise our juniors and take care of just about everyone in their life. Women these days wear many hats; from homemakers to CEO’s, women are pushing traditional boundaries and golf should follow suit.
At Monarch Beach Golf Links, we take a proactive approach to attract women golfers and work hard to create lifelong fans. Here are some proven practices to grow this important demographic. We are not the first ones to come up with these, but we sure don’t overlook them.
Create an Amazing Rental Set Program for Women
It may take a while for women to decide and then invest in equipment. Treat women as first-class customers by providing them with quality equipment with name brand options that are considered more forgiving and easier to hit. Once these golfers get comfortable with the game they will quickly convert to a customer and will rely on their expert golf professional to help make them look and play the part.
Develop Clinics and Group Lesson Opportunities for your Women Golfers
The more women enjoy the game, the more they play, and in turn, the more they will spend at your facility. From Drive + Dines to Nine + Wines, creating an environment for women to meet women and get more comfortable with the game will open doors to those golfers who may have not felt comfortable enough to grip a club. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, about 50% of U.S. workers are women. We all know business meetings happen on the golf course, so with half of our labor force being women, let's turn these women into golfers which in turn could help their careers.
Realize that Women want a Friendly, Social Environment
Typically, women enjoy golfing with other women. Some reasons being that they get to share a golf car with someone they know, they get to golf from the same tees and feel supported by their friends when they hit a bad shot. Training your golf pro to be proactive about pairing your women golfers up with other friendly golfers or making introductions to other women golfers when appropriate go a long way in making your women golfers feel wanted & appreciated.
Create Designated Time for your Women Golfers
Say there are 120 golfers on your tee sheet, typically around 10% of that may be women golfers. Whether it’s a golf outing catering to your women golfers, ladies morning or set aside tee times, creating an environment where women get to golf primarily with other women cultivates a true partnership between your facility and the women golfers who will talk your facility up to their family, friends & on social media. Throw in a specific #LadiesGolf hashtag and now you’re really pushing traditional boundaries!
Present a Variety of Healthy Food & Beverage Offerings
It’s no shock that women tend to be more evolved in the F&B department. By having options such as a seasonal salad or an ahi tuna burger, you’re going to be able to host your dignified women golfers before, during and after their round of golf. Throw in some craft cocktails and a solid wine list and you’ve now set the stage for non-golf lunch & dinner dates!
Freshen up your Ladies Golf Retail Space
Try hosting this section up near the front of your golf shop. Switch up the displays on a regular basis, have easy to read signage & train your golf pros on your specific women items. Cater to the traditional & modern golfer by carrying a variety of brands. With online shopping essentially taking over our world, having real knowledge of your product lines & providing top notch service will separate yourself from your online competition.
Use Marketing to Help Open the Doors
Social Media can really help get your message in front of a new audience. According to the Pew Research Center, 79% of American Internet Users are on Facebook & 83% of women internet users are Facebook adopters. Create specific marketing campaigns that cater to your women golfers. From friendly instruction videos taught by your women golf pros to cool photos displaying what is fresh in your Golf Shop, now is the time to utilize these social platforms to find new fans.
In today’s world, women are busier than ever. With the limited free time we all have, it’s our job as golf professionals to provide genuine, valuable & memorable experiences for all golfers. We all love this game and it’s our duty to share this love with those individuals who may have never thought they would step foot on a golf course. It is truly time to make the golf course an equal experience to both sexes which will help us all achieve our PGA of America mission; grow interested and participation in the game of golf.