For a long time, golf has been seen as a sport mainly for men, but times are changing. Renate Roeleveld, an expert in retaining women and increasing female participation in golf, has shared her top 8 tips to attract women to golf clubs.
In today's world, the topic of attracting more women to sports clubs is heating up, and golf clubs are no exception. And here's an exciting fact for the golf industry: Golfbaan Sluispolder has been ahead of the game for quite some time now, successfully attracting a growing number of female golfers.
Leading the charge is Renate Roeleveld, the club's General Manager, and a renowned expert in inspiring and advising golf clubs on attracting women to the game.
So, what's her secret to success?
We've asked her that very question and turned her answers into 8 tips to attract women to golf clubs.
The first step is understanding that men and women are different, including how they approach golf.
Recognizing and taking these differences into account in your daily work in attracting and retaining women makes it easier for them to join your club or program. Also, you show them that you're dedicated to going above and beyond in supporting their golf journey from the start.
Just like in any group, there's always someone who naturally brings people together and makes things happen – a true leader. The same is true for women's golf programs.
As a golf manager, you can either take on that role yourself or choose someone who can lead in creating a happy, engaging, and inclusive atmosphere. The leader should also support and motivate the women during practice, develop a sense of togetherness within the group, and encourage them to participate in activities that bring everyone closer.
At the beginning, women may not be as focused on practicing compared to experienced golfers. For them, golf is about having fun, enjoying the company, and taking in the atmosphere. That's why it's a good idea to design programs specifically for women and make sure to include social activities.
Also, by giving them time for casual talks and fun social events, you allow them to fully enjoy those moments and create an environment where their love for the game can grow naturally. This way, they feel more comfortable, engaged, and likely to stick with golf for the long run.
Women often have a lot on their plates, from work and family to personal interests. When you arrange programs for women, consider their schedule to show that you understand their responsibilities beyond golf. This also shows that you've made the programs easy for women to schedule and participate in, making them feel welcome and supported.
And if you ignore this, it's like sending the opposite message, just like in this example.
When getting women on the course, make sure they can play their first holes or rounds at their own pace and without other, more experienced golfers around. When you eliminate distractions, they can focus on their own game and enjoy the peaceful surroundings without worrying about others and feeling judged.
Women often have a humble way of doing things, including golf. And this can be a problem, especially in the beginning.
And remember, shy female golfers can be very motivated to do well and show their golfing skills. By helping and supporting them during practice, you can boost their confidence and help them overcome any self-doubts they have.
By celebrating their achievements and focusing on the good parts of their swings or putts, you can also encourage them to keep trying and not worry about making mistakes.
Also, women tend to focus on the process, while men often concentrate more on the outcome. A single swing with a poor posture doesn't necessarily mean the entire drive is ruined, especially at this level. The female golfers still have the potential to complete the round with a great result, and it's your role to remind them of that and help them find joy in their performance as a whole.
Make sure to include and inform everyone in your club, including your stakeholders, about the goal of creating a friendly environment for women golfers. Doing so helps you get support, come up with new ideas as a team, and make sure everyone works together to achieve this goal.
Lastly, take into account the representation of women in leadership roles and among your staff. By involving and including women in club activities and decision-making, you show that their voices matter and their contributions are valued.
There are many ways to set the right example. In most cases, the first step is to acknowledge the situation within your club. The next step is to make changes at a pace that you can control, sustain, and improve in the long run. Below, we'll share some areas where you can start.
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