A couple of press releases of interest came through recently, one being that Nancy Lopez Golf and Lady Precept golf balls, both handled by Tournament Sports, will contribute proceeds from the sale of select products to the battle against breast cancer.
The other announced that EWGA-Canada (Executive Women’s Golf Association) and Callaway Golf Canada were hosting an event today at The Club at North Halton in Georgetown, Ont., to help “demystify” women’s golf, which you wouldn’t think is necessary in this day and age.
The fact that Callaway and Tournament Sports, as well as other companies, have women-specific golf products is a step forward in itself from the days when women often used their husbands’ cut-down clubs to play.
It was that evolution that made Sandra Post’s time as Jazz Golf so enjoyable. The winner of the 1968 LPGA Championship is a free agent now that Jazz has been acquired by Goliath Golf, but she is still a recognized spokesperson for women’s golf in this country.
Post rolled up her sleeves and actually got into research and development for Jazz to come up with clubs bearing her name that were specific to women.
“It was a great opportunity and I am grateful that I was able, in a small way, to help educate Canadian women that clubs needed to be light and flexible and that you could combine that with quality and affordability,” said the native of Oakville, Ont., in a recent blog here.
“I enjoyed the demos and the success stories that women shared with me about the clubs,” she added. “The clubs not only had my signature on them, but I had input into each component.
“Women’s clubs for the recreational to more serious women player have certainly evolved in the last five years.
Companies are paying more deserving attention to the women’s market,” said Post, whose summer is occupied teaching the game to women at her Sandra Post School of Golf in Caledon, Ont.
Looking at the cold, hard numbers, it would be a good business choice for all golf businesses to consider their female-friendliness, especially in this economy when any potential growth area should be considered seriously.
According to EWGA, one of every four Canadian core golfers are women as are one-third of all new golfers, but many leave the game, as well.
It becomes imperative then that golf facilities listen to women in order to solve this problem. While some are ahead of the curve in making women feel welcome, my own theory is that some in the industry blow off women’s concerns such as feeling intimidated, chalking that feeling up to their imaginations.
Perception is reality, however, and there are steps that golf facilities can take to keep women coming back, according to Jane Watson, president of EWGA-Canada. See if your facility measures up.
- A friendly, helpful staff in the pro shop
- Rental equipment for women and a wide variety of women’s apparel, golf balls and shoes.
- Starters and player assistants who treat women the same as men.
- Easy-to-find slope rating and handicap conversion material.
- Two sets of tee boxes that are rated for women.
- Well-maintained forward tees that are located in good, interesting settings.
- Benches and ball washers that are available at the forward tees on a least one-third of the holes.
- Clean, well-stocked washrooms every five or six holes.
- Healthy food choices in restaurants and beverage carts, as well as wine and coolers.
- A nine-hole rate and a league available for women golfers.
Some adjustments may be necessary for your facility to meet this criteria, but it could open a new market to in an economy in which every golfer is important.
SMOOTH TRANSITION FOR RISDON: Canadian Tour graduate Dustin Risdon of Calgary is settling in quite nicely on the Nationwide Tour. Catch up with Risdon in my Sun Media column here.