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The Pandemic Surge … More Female Than Male

(🔉 Click to listen to audio version)

 

One of the most notable aspects of the pandemic-driven rise in participation over the past three years: the influx of women and girls.

Consider:

  • There are about 6.4 million female golfers, up from 5.6 million in 2019.
  • The net gain of 800,000+ is far more than on the men’s side.
  • The female golfer pool jumped 15% compared to a 2% lift among male golfers.

Members can click here for a special report on female golf participation and engagement.

 

There has never been greater female representation on the golf course than right now, with women and girls accounting for just over one quarter of traditional golfers.

So, what’s driven this?

The abundance of junior developmental programs with a female focus has helped, with girls representing 38% of all golfers under 18. When we first started tracking golf participation in 1986, this proportion was just 14%. Talk about a dramatic evolution in a relatively short timeframe (former U.S. Women’s Open champion Paula Creamer was born in 1986).

Also helping is the increased availability of golf entertainment venues like Topgolf that provide a fun, socially focused and less-intimidating atmosphere to get comfortable hitting a golf ball. And while that extends to everyone, it’s notable that females account for just under half of those who play off-course forms of the game.

Greater visibility and support of industry initiatives that make golf more welcoming and inclusive has been vital too. Earlier this year, the LPGA Tour unveiled a new line of affordable equipment at Walmart to increase access for female beginners and juniors.

Introductions and trials are one thing. Commitment is another.

Future growth is dependent on this recent rise among female golfers being sustainable and whether we can take advantage of new players approaching the game. This means continuing to evolve the golf experience (on and off course) to appeal to a younger generation while not taking away from traditionalists.

So far, so good.

Author
National Golf Foundation
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