Golf's doorstep challenge
Globally, just 24% of golfers are female, yet according to research* by Syngenta Growing Golf there are 36.9 million women worldwide who are interested in taking up the game, attracted by the opportunity to relax and spend time outdoors with family and friends.
So where should clubs target new female customers? The answer is right on your doorstep.
For women, “living near a facility” ranked as the second most influential factor in becoming interested in a new activity, surpassed only by “observing others playing”.
Proximity also proves to be a greater factor for women than men, with women being 36% more likely than men to be influenced by an activity’s proximity to their home.
For golf venues this means that women who live within a few miles of your course will be easier to get through the door.
Obvious, perhaps, but what’s also interesting is that the most affluent prospective customers (women in middle to high income brackets) are likely to be among the nearest; 41%-49% of women from these groups live within five miles of a course.
However, the research also uncovered a challenge: women are 64% more likely than men to be completely unaware of where their nearest golf course is located.
So while local women will be more easily converted, a significant portion of them may not even be aware of your club’s existence.
Focusing your marketing efforts locally, raising awareness and engaging women within five miles of the course could be the most effective way to grow your female customer base.
Engaging new female customers
In the light of these findings, the important question for any golf venue to ask is: what work have we done to ensure the community is aware of us?
The most effective ways of raising awareness and engaging local prospective customers might be through geo-targeted social media, public relations, direct mail, leafleting and local advertising.
However, word of mouth is key for any business, and recent evidence from the Scottish arm of women’s coaching initiative love.golf has demonstrated the power of inspiring and incentivizing current members to reach out to their local networks, creating rapid growth for the program.
It’s also important to offer the right experience and product. According to the research, this might include:
- A relaxed atmosphere
- Easy access to affordable coaching
- Group lessons with other beginners
- Equipment available to rent
As with all marketing, the best approach is test and measure, seeking feedback from your customers to help you refine your offering and your methods.
*The Global Economic Value of Increased Female Participation in Golf