The push to get more women golfing this May is well underway, as a number of high-profile pro golfers have added their support to National Golf Month.
Ryder Cup-winning captain Paul McGinley together with European Ladies Tour pros Charley Hull and Mel Reid have added their support to this year’s campaign.
They are calling on clubs, centres, pros and sponsors to make the most of the high-profile campaign by planning activities that will appeal to new and lapsed female golfers. These activities can be logged on the National Golf Month website (nationalgolfmonth.com), providing women around the UK with an easy way to find out what is available in their area.
The National Golf Month website will be promoted to women across the UK with a high-profile advertising, PR and social media campaign, including a major radio, print and online advertising campaign with National Golf Month partner, Bauer Media
A core element of National Golf Month will be the provision of 50,000 free one hour taster sessions offered exclusively for women. The BGIA is calling on clubs and pros to commit to offering a minimum of two of these sessions during the month. In addition, they are encouraged to develop their own initiatives to attract more women onto the course, all of which will be showcased on the website.
Currently, only just over one in ten UK golfers are female (14%) compared to one in four in Europe (25%), which makes the proportion of female golfers in the UK the lowest of the top ten markets in Europe. It is hoped that golf’s inclusion in the Summer Olympics last year for both genders will bring new impetus into to the sport and encourage a flurry of new female participants.
Hull, the 21-year old Ladies Tour player and who competed for Team GB in Rio said: ‘It is clear that girl’s golf is really an untapped market in this country compared to the rest of Europe. The National Golf Month website and the 50,000 free taster sessions that will be made available present a real opportunity for clubs, centres and pros to exploit this participation gap and come up with new and engaging ways to grow the sport.’
The website, is managed by fibodo, an online business tool, used by UK golf professionals and clubs to help consumers ‘find, book and do’ activities. It will also aim to provide a better understanding of how clubs and professionals can capitalize on attracting more women to the course through new or innovative approaches.
From the beginning of April, new participants will be able to use the website to search for a range of opportunities, including free trial sessions, up and down the country.
Paul McGinley said ‘I think we all recognise the terrific social, health and wellbeing being benefits that the game golf has to offer.
‘To be able to introduce this many people to the game at one time is a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of those benefits, and the fact that many of the taster sessions will be free, all via the National Golf Month website, is an added bonus.’
Doug Poole, project director of National Golf Month said, ‘That shows there is a real business case for golf pros and clubs to help girls get golfing. That’s why want to break down the barriers to ensure as many women and girls as possible are introduced to the game in May.’
As part of the push, clubs and pros are also being encouraged to use the hashtag #GirlsGetGolfing across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in the lead up to May to help showcase some of the opportunities that will be on offer.
Poole continued: ‘Whether pros want to host free evening group sessions or clubs want to put promote special promotional deals on social media, this is all about ensuring we open up areas such as the family market by promoting the health and social benefits of the sport. It’s great that in nationalgolfmonth.com we can give golf clubs, centres and pros the license to do just that.’
Bauer Media have already renewed their sponsorship of National Golf Month which will provide the campaign with radio and print exposure across several of their titles including Top Santé and Yours, two of their major publications, both of which have substantial female readerships.
‘It’s terrific that we have such high-profile support for this year’s campaign. We hope to announce various sponsorship deals over the coming weeks that will providing clubs with necessary marketing materials to help generate a real participation push.’