Muslim women golfers feature in mainstream broadcast
An innovative partnership which introduced hundreds of Muslim women to the game of golf featured in the global broadcast coverage of the AIG Women’s Open last week.
The 5-minute feature broadcast on Sky Sports (UK) and The Golf Channel (US) highlights the stories of women who first attended a taster experience at Walton Heath Golf Club, hosted by the Muslim Golf Association and love.golf.
The partnership between the Muslim Golf Association and love.golf, supported by Syngenta, aims to create safe and welcoming opportunities for Muslim women to try the game for the first time. Last year, UK-wide experiences hosted by the partnership attracted more than 1,200 sign-ups, hinting at a wider opportunity for clubs and venues to appeal to this broader customer demographic.
“We can do things just the same”
Mona Abdul-Cader, one of the participants at Walton Heath who appears in the feature, said: “Sure, we have a different set of rules and everything, but we can do things just the same.
“Sometimes things are a little out of reach and when you’re invited to it, it makes a big difference.”
The feature also highlights the impact golf has had on the women and their families, including Shumona Rahman, whose daughter was so taken by the game she insisted on having a golf-inspired birthday cake.
Why Muslim women?
Syngenta Golf’s market research highlighted a $35bn opportunity to introduce more women to golf. While the latent demand for golf is strong across many demographics and communities, the evidence and methodology for how to attract, deliver a meaningful experience to, and then retain new customer groups is very weak. This is particularly true for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities.
In the Muslim population alone, the scope of the opportunity is significant. There are 1.9 billion Muslims in the world, spending about US$2 trillion a year on food, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, fashion, travel, media and recreation, but fewer than 1% identify as a golfer.
In the UK, Sport England figures indicate only about 0.6% of the 8 million people from BAME backgrounds play golf regularly. And despite golf’s boom in popularity since the pandemic, only 5% of newcomers are non-white according to recent figures.*
*The R&A Post Covid Opportunity Research, 2021