Maybe pigs really can fly!

I was reading the latest edition of Golf Business Magazine this week and the Message from the CEO was, to say the least, disturbing.

Although I am well aware of the state of the golf industry and the lack of women in the game, it still upsets me when I read that less than 20% of golfers in the US are female — especially when 40% of German and Austria golfers are women.

I tried to find out what percentage of Asian golfers have two X chromosomes, but couldn’t locate any data (if you have some, please share). But given their domination on the LPGA Tour, I expect their numbers are higher and growing, especially in Korea.

But my level of frustration really took a massive spike when I learned from a recent sports industry survey of 40,000 people that out of 123 leisure activities in US, golf ranks 112th in terms of participation by women — it’s behind martial arts, rugby and football. Seriously….Rugby!?

Now don’t get me wrong, I applaud those in the industry who are trying to attract more women to golf, but we all have to admit, very little progress has been made to date.

A little segway…

Most of you know that I belong to a women’s golf club in BC which has a loyal membership of fun-loving chix-with-stix who enjoy playing at over 60 clubs in the province. This weekend we had our annual wind down tournament, which always comes with a theme.

This year it was Viva Las Vegas and the ladies certainly came out in style to kick up their blue suede FJ’s and kick some butt on the course.

Golf Fore Gals – Viva Las Vegas Tournament

It was a terrific day and everyone walked away with a smile on their face and bags of prizes in their arms (Diane Fru, Golf Fore Gals owner, takes generosity to a whole new level when it comes to her golf gals).

I was thrilled to see by a show of hands at dinner that over 30% of the women who played that day had never played in the event before.  I expect they weren’t members (as this event is open to the public), but I’m sure after yesterday’s experience they will be back to join GFG next season.  If only that kind of enthusiasm for women’s golf existed everywhere!

But maybe there is hope.  Did you see that Billy Casper Golf (BCG) just acquired Women on Course?

BCG manages over 150 golf properties in the US (one of my favorites being Ka’anapali Golf Resort  on Maui – a very women friendly facility).

According to Peter Hill, Chairman and CEO of BCG, “While women represent nearly 50% of the population and reportedly 85% of consumer purchases, the demographic comprises only 19% of golfers.Women on Course removes the intimidating barriers that cause females to overlook the game, and Billy Casper Golf’s programming will drive new and existing players.

Driving new females to the game is exactly what we need, and maybe, just maybe, BCG can do what others have not – turn our dream into reality.

Suddenly I don’t feel so frustrated anymore.  Congratulations to Billy Casper Golf for investing in our future!

Hey…maybe pigs really can fly!


Illustrations by:
Pig: © Shelley Kent | 
Woman golfer: © Connie Larsen |

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  1. Excellent article. Billy Casper is based here in Virginia where I live. To have less than 20% of the female population not play golf is sad. ( behind rugby? ) especially when it can be such a social leisurely sport for housewives.

  2. Thanks Heidi! I don’t know any housewives that golf (but I can dream ;)).

    It’s also great for business women who can use it as a way to connect with clients outside the office. Lots of business happens on the golf course.


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