Survey Finds Courses That Cater to Women Golfers Good for Business


A new study revealed this week that women who play golf at facilities that follow best practices tailored to them will play the sport more often and enjoy an enhanced overall experience, while rewarding course operators with better financial results and improved pace of play.

According to "The Right Invitation: 2011 Women's Golf Longitudinal Research," there are as many eight best practices that especially resonate with women golfers, and courses that employ most, if not all, of them are apt to see as much as a 16 percent increase in play.

The study was commissioned by the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA), funded by The Little Family Foundation, and conducted by Sports & Leisure Research Group (SLRG).

The 2011 study confirmed the findings of 2009 research as it compared 15 golf facilities that followed best practices against a comparable group of facilities that did not. To qualify in the survey as a "best practices facility," a course needed to meet 80 percent of all best practices.

According to the survey, best practices yielding in dramatically enhanced loyalty to a facility from women players include:

Four or more sets of tees, with the forward most set of tees ideally under 4,500 yards (though up to 4,800 yards considered), all to allow golfers to reach greens in regulation.

A golf shop in size of at least 500 square feet with a solid selection of well-displayed women's clothing and equipment and a dedicated women's department.

Both men and women staff employed in the golf shop.

Abundant directional signage on the golf course.

Greeters present at the facility entry/starting area.

Ample drinking water available at a minimum of three tees per nine holes.

Both men and women staff available for golf instruction.

The availability of childcare.

Best-practice facilities reported higher merchandise and food-and-beverage sales, as well as a better overall profit per round.

Full copies of the 2011 study (plus the original 2009 study) can be found at www.golfwithwomen.com under Research, as well as the SLRG website at www.sportsandleisureresearch.com.


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