Case stories

How the Danish Golf Union is changing the game for female golfers

The Danish Golf Union has developed a Women and Golf program specifically designed to attract and retain female golfers through an 8-week course. And feedback confirmed its success. In 2022, the program attracted 600 new female golfers to 33 clubs, and 59 clubs will run the program this year.

Lucas Balleby
April 20, 2023

Do you ever feel like golf is a sport reserved for the boys’ club? Well, the Danish Golf Union (DGU) did their part in breaking down that stereotype with their Women and Golf program last year. And the results? They speak for themselves. 

Only golf? Let’s create a social community for women instead! 

In 2020, DGU worked together with a Danish club to recruit more members. And this actually led to the birth of the Women and Golf program.

I came up with the idea of using pink bubbles, lots of fun, and social activities to attract and retain female golfers. And the club happily agreed to try it out, too. When we then saw the success of the concept, DGU decided to test it in 5 more clubs the following year before making it a program for all Danish clubs in 2022.
Sarah-Cahtrine Wandsø, development consultant at DGU

When DGU officially launched their Women and Golf program to make learning golf easier and more enjoyable for women, a total of 33 golf clubs across Denmark grabbed the opportunity to sign up for the 8-week course. 

DGU found 10 participants for each club through lead generation on Facebook, while clubs searched for the rest through flyers, their website, ads, and other channels.  

Once the clubs had 20 women signing up, it was time to kick off the exciting weeks filled with experiences beyond just hitting balls on the green.  

The whole idea was to create a female community where women could make new friends, try a new sport, and just enjoy themselves in a comfortable group. To do so, the program used different social activities like yoga, dancing, and wine-tasting in the beginning.
Sarah-Cathrine Wandsø, development consultant at DGU

As they improved on the course, they asked for more golf, which then became the main social activity for the group. But because of the other activities, the program certainly caught people's attention. 

So now, the clubs could offer various types of experiences to new female golfers who might have found the game a bit challenging at first, giving them a reason to stay. And the clubs succeeded in doing so. Big time. 

Clubs averaged 14 new membership sign ups 

The Women and Golf program was clearly a jaw-dropping success during its first year.  

DGU's Women and Golf program - how many participants continued to play.
DGU's Women and Golf program - how many participants continued to play.

But the success of the program didn't stop there. The clubs had access to the Players 1st platform, which is specifically made for tracking and managing guest and member experience within golf – whether it’s campaigns, programs, or just regular member surveys.  

When you present something new, feedback is so important. We were specifically unsure whether 8 weeks were perfect, too short, or too long. And we also wanted feedback on the price of the program. Thanks to Players 1st, we now know that almost everyone likes the price and length.
Sara-Cathrine Wandsø, development consultant at DGU 

The automated surveys by Players 1st also enabled the golf clubs to receive feedback and understand how the Women and Golf program participants felt about their new experience with golf.  

And the feedback gave the clubs a precious insight: The female golfers were ecstatic with the program. 

Women in golf, Dansk Golf Union, Danish Golf Union. 8-week intensive program for women. High satisfaction score. Customer experience management
DGU's Women and Golf program - satisfaction score.

A plug-and-play-program to use for other clubs and federations 

It wasn't just the numbers that made the Women and Golf program successful. What truly made this program a success was its focus on feedback, community building, and social activities, creating a welcoming environment for female golfers.  

In the beginning, many golfers thought there were too many activities surrounding golf compared to golf itself. But that is actually the idea of this concept. It was never meant to recruit serious elite golf players but to recruit women, in the middle of their life, to do something good for themselves and be active at the same time. And it all will end up with golf anyway.
Sarah-Cathrine Wandsø, development consultant at DGU

By using the survey results, the club identified their strengths and weaknesses, enabling them to make improvements for future programs based on feedback from the ones they want to attract and retain – the female golfers. And this year, 59 clubs are running the program and surveys to do so. 

So, if you're a golf manager or club looking to increase female participation in golf and break down stereotypes, using the Women and Golf program template is the perfect place to start. Let's change the game for female golfers and create a community that welcomes everyone. 

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