Last month, Marriott Golf UK has tried to change and improve the unflattering women’s participation statistics by offering weekly roll-up lessons (Women’s Hour sessions). The Marriott Golf UK reported about 349 lessons that were held on every Tuesday. The sessions were free during May and they will cost just £10 between June and October.
The Marriott Golf UK initiative ran in parallel to England Golf’s Get into Golf campaign that focuses specifically on supporting women who may be hesitant to take up the sport due to perceived barriers such as funding, dress code restrictions, and accessibility.
What is really not unflattering is that England has one of the lowest women’s participation in Europe, according to KPMG’s Golf Participation Report for Europe 2016: England = only 14% (the European average is 25%). Neither Wales nor Scotland can be satisfied with their situation. Women’s golf participation in Wales is 12% and in Scotland is 13%.
The urgent need of improving women’s golf participation is not just important for the game of golf, but also for those who are involved in the golf club business and in general in the golf industry. PwC’s annual Women in Work Index shows that the UK could boost its GDP by 9% (£170bn) if it could increase the number of women in work to match that of Sweden, the highest performing country.
Today, outside the golf industry, 85% of brand purchases are made by women! I believe that women are already controlling a significant share of consumer wealth. In the UK, 67% and in the U.S. 73% of the household consumption is already controlled by women. Based on these findings you can make your own calculations how much would your golf club gain if it could entice more female golfers or convince more women to take up golf.
Can golf clubs afford to neglect this phenomenon???
My answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT. This why it was so absurd and disappointing Muirfield Golf Club‘s objection accepting female members.