FEMALE GOLFERS ALWAYS FACE OBSTACLES. THEY ARRIVE AT THE COURSE READY TO PLAY AND WITH MONEY TO SPEND BUT FIND THAT CLUB MANAGERS ARE NOT PREPARED TO MEET THEIR SPECIFIC NEEDS
Despite the challenges of time, busy schedules and lack of amenities, women are playing golf in record numbers. Still a small percentage of the country’s golfers, female players are a force on the course and in the pro shop. In an effort to encourage increased female participation, course operators and managers should pay better attention to a few key factors: varied greens opportunities (and lessons), savvy female staff in the pro shop, business to business opportunities geared for women, daycare facilities, and improved weekend tee times.
THE BASICS: Think timeshares. A shared or temporary membership in a private club presents new/young golfers with a great place to play. Plan special event tournaments including mini lessons. Make the food and beverage service part of the fun. Provide options in the Pro Shop: introduce the latest trends in fashion while going easy on all of those plaids, floral, and over-matched ensembles. Make sure that the staff is knowledgeable and not just in terms of the equipment. Golfers are in the shop to make a purchase – make it easy for them.
B2B: Team up with local businesses and offer women’s clinics for employees. Corporate golf outings boost morale and provide team-building opportunities. Follow the lead of one Forbes 500 firm and host a golf clinic with the pros in the morning followed by a 9-hole scramble. Offer corporate memberships via the purchase of a set number of rounds. Young professionals can use this as a foundation for client entertainment. Consider utilizing the local college/university golf team as a resource for inexpensive golf lessons and make sure that recent graduates, via the alumni office, have access to the information. By arranging university hosted outings and lessons you offer networking possibilities as well as a new business and golf lifestyle skills.
DAYCARE: Reappointing a small function room, outfitted with a selection of toys and staffed by current employees, as an in-club daycare facility (service for a small fee) could return far more than the initial investment while offering your members a valuable service.
ADJUSTED WEEKEND TEE TIMES: Schedule one Saturday morning per month to allow working women a prime tee time. Make sure that daycare is available and that the food and beverage service reflects a variety of light and healthy choices.
A few shifts in conventional thinking, investing in areas of the club that will benefit all young professionals as well as acknowledging women as a vital part of your overall business plan will result in an improved bottom line.
BY: VANESSA LINDSEY GOBES | https://19thholemag.com | IMAGES: VAN LINDSEY | LELA DESIGNS
This (condensed) article was originally published by The 19th Hole Magazine. Gobes is an avid golfer, freelance writer, mother of four and owner-designer of Van Lindsey women’s golf and resort apparel. Please share this article with your golf club management.