On June 7th, 2016 thousands of women and girls from 27 countries celebrated the First Annual International Women’s Golf Day (WGD) by spending four hours together at over 400 courses spanning five continents. That day, Women’s Golf Day received extensive coverage on the Golf Channel’s Morning Drive.
In case you haven’t heard, women’s golf is now the fastest growing segment in the game with the 5.8 million female players. They representing 24% of all players in the United States. There were 2.2 million beginners that began playing golf in 2015, of that total, 835,000 (38.5%) of them were female. Meanwhile, girls now account for 32.5% of all junior golfers with 976,000 players.
The Women’s Golf Day initiative was designed to grow the game by introducing more female players to the game and providing them with easy onramp to the game. These women were encouraged to “step out of their comfort zone” and into a non-threatening and fun golf environment where they could have fun, either by participating in a group lesson on the driving range or, by joining more experienced players on the course for nine holes.
Either way, the women spent two hours golfing and two hours socializing with other women. And because Women’s Golf Day was an excellent opportunity to showcase player development programs, event organizers anticipate, that the event will grow the game because the participants will take more lessons and play play more golf.
The initiative was the brainchild of Elisa Gaudet, President of Executive Golf International. It began just eight months ago and it quickly gathered momentum after she was able to recruit a volunteer team of 15 female golf industry leaders.
And when they pitched top golf management companies, like ClubCorp, they emphasized the role that women play as “economic influencers” and how that impacts the entire golf industry. They also noted that women make 85% of all consumer purchases and control over $20 trillion in worldwide spending.
Elisa Gaudet summarized this year’s event like this, “We were able to fulfill our mission to engage, empower, and support women and girls through golf. To think it transcended language, culture, religion and race is pretty incredible, especially with all that is going in the world. It was a celebration of golf, women, and community, with plenty of camaraderies, too.”
Participants were also asked to visit the WGD social media page, www.womensgolfday.com/social, and post pictures and comments about their local events. So far, hundreds of pictures and appreciative comments have been posted on the site.
I would like to encourage courses, management companies, and allied golf organizations to mark their calendars for next year’s event which promises to be even bigger and better as more courses participate after seeing the success of the initiative this year.