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19th Hole

Only 24 percent of golfers are women. 18Birdies, LPGA Tour partner to do something about it.

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Women make up 50 percent of the population but only 24 percent of golfers. Why is this? A joint effort between the LPGA and 18Birdies attempts to understand what limits women’s participation in the game and how to do something about it.

Announced today, the 18Birdies-LPGA partnership seeks to leverage the two organizations’ resources to boost the number of female players.

18Birdies and research firm, Fusion Hill, conducted a joint ethnographic research study, “It’s His Game, Not Her Game,” that underpins the partnership. The study looks at barriers to women’s golf participation and motivations among women who do play.

Among the study’s findings…

  • Many women golf under the guidance of someone more experienced and thus don’t have a passionate sense of “ownership” of their games.
  • Many women often lack the social network that’s key to enjoying golf for many men.
  • Many women feel guilty prioritizing golf over traditional family needs.
  • Women often enter the game knowing less about golf and sports in general, making them less confident.
  • Most women learn golf from a significant other who is relatively advanced, thus from the start, golf is “his thing.”
  • Many women say golf is an expensive sport in terms of greens fees and investing in equipment/clothes for infrequent play is a barrier to entry.

Based on these data points, 18Birdies and Fusion Hill put together the following recommendations to engage and retain the female golfer.

Even ardent skeptics who would suggest the company is merely trying to find a way to get more women to download its app have to acknowledge the value of the heavy lifting 18Birdies has done for the golf industry.

Heck, even if you disagree with the specific recommendations (which I think are on point), at worst, industry organizations, club manufacturers, courses, and pretty much everyone under the “golf biz” umbrella now has a heap of actionable data at their disposal for dealing with something few would say isn’t a big problem.

What do you think, GolfWRX members?

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30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. ogo

    May 27, 2018 at 1:31 am

    When we have full ‘equality’ between women and men… children will vanish…. and is that what women want?!! 😮

  2. Sam McAvenue

    May 26, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    Men are natural leaders and innovators. Women are natural care givers. We now live in a society that resents (via propaganda) a women’s biological imperative. Women are trying to behave like men and its making them miserable.

    • ogo

      May 27, 2018 at 3:55 pm

      The hippie “free love” era spawned the feminist movement because the men dumped the wasted women and went for the younger unspoiled girls. The spurned women banded together as feminists to punish the men who made them barren… believe it.

  3. Bob

    May 24, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    Or maybe that 24% of women just don’t want to golf. If life has taught me anything it’s that you can’t make a women do something she doesn’t want to do

  4. ogo

    May 24, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    I really love watching the LPGA women’s golfswing particularly those who wear short shorts and expose their bare leg action at the knees where the kinetic chain begins. I wish the PGA men were allowed to wear shorts too. I look at the body swing while everybody else looks at the ball go.

  5. Chris

    May 24, 2018 at 7:45 am

    I mean, even the top elite female golfers of the world seem to lack the drive to continue golfing into old age, often more or less quitting the game to pursue family or “other interests”.

    • glfrgrl

      May 24, 2018 at 10:11 am

      They`re not lacking the drive to continue, they just have a different priority at a certain age. There are pro women golfers that have returned to the LPGA after having kids but when they`re playing LPGA tournament circuit and aren`t at home, it`s more challenging a raise children.

    • ogo

      May 24, 2018 at 12:14 pm

      A woman’s body breaks down faster because their muscles go softer as they age. It’s a physiological fact that also affects the psychological state of mind. A woman’s testosterone levels drop earlier than men’s, simply put.

      • doktor

        May 24, 2018 at 6:22 pm

        What you omitted to say is that as the woman’s testosterone levels drop her estrogen levels rise in relation. Estrogen affects breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. The hormonal balances in humans changes as we age and that adversely affects us all.

  6. Chris

    May 24, 2018 at 7:41 am

    “Many women often lack the social network that’s key to enjoying golf for many men”
    Very true, I have noticed women often don’t have real lifelong friends, especially after they get married. They also (a bit pathetically I think) seem to adopt their boyfriends/husbands hobbies and interests. Speaking of hobbies, I have yet gotten to know a woman with a lifelong hobby, their “hobbies” seem to be shopping and having coffee with friends once per week. This seems to be human nature. Hard to change with an “action plan”.

    • Kathie

      May 24, 2018 at 6:28 pm

      On the contrary. • Women have many more social networking opportunities than men such as work, clubs, kids activities, etc. and make friends a lot easier. Often golf is a man’s only social outlet outside of work. Sadly.

  7. Diane Okamoto

    May 24, 2018 at 7:34 am

    How about having women, explore their local LPGA Women Who Play Chapters (formerly EWGA)?

    • glfrgrl

      May 24, 2018 at 10:16 am

      Great idea ! They could also join with a local Meetup golf group, http://www.meetup.com. Most communities have Meetup golf groups for women only, for beginner golfers, and for coed groups. You can make great friendships in these groups and play to the level you`re comfortable with.

  8. Beefhouse

    May 24, 2018 at 5:27 am

    Is GolfWRX going to be more female friendly then?

  9. Armando

    May 24, 2018 at 12:31 am

    I 100% agree with the findings and their recommendations, but I feel their solutions target women already of age. What if we could get female children or young adults to like it? We would be setting ourselves up for a huge growth of female golfers down the road. This way they grow up loving the sport and not simply falling into it with mild expectations.

  10. Johnny Penso

    May 23, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    I think as many women play the game as want to play the game. I’m all for bringing new people into the game, male or female, the more the merrier.

    • Ron

      May 24, 2018 at 8:57 am

      That is not true. They make excuses not to play as stated in the article. It’s also not a very inviting atmosphere for women because some men still roll their eyes and sigh when they are behind a group of women. We need to make the game more inviting for everyone to enjoy

  11. steve

    May 23, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    My wife refuses to let our daughters play golf even though she is a decent golfer. She keeps her daughters close to her in the kitchen and sends me and my sons out to play golf. She is wise beyond her years.

    • Mizzle Fizzle

      May 23, 2018 at 4:28 pm

      It’s not even bait at this point.

      Esp. considering there aren’t any women who browse this site.

      • glfrgrl

        May 24, 2018 at 10:30 am

        That statement isn`t entirely correct. There are women golfers that peruse the Golf WRX site as well as the Golf Digest, Golf World,Golf Week, Golf World and other golfing websites and ezines. But we may not peruse them as much as male golfers. The content of the golf publications and websites cater to males and male mentality. Why else would Golf Digest have put Paulina Gretzky on the cover of its magazine ? Why did Golf Digest and other publications and golfing websites practically eliminate entire sections of their magazines or sites that were intended for women golfers ? Why do golfing websites dedicate space to Page Spiranac ?

  12. steve

    May 23, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    Golf is a male game of fantasy and delusion… using weapons to attack the golf course with ball bullets. Female golfers don’t fit that delusion and their only attraction is pulchritude. 😮

  13. NevinW

    May 23, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    This is great. I really hope it is successful. I’d like to see more women play golf.

    • steve

      May 23, 2018 at 1:55 pm

      Women nurture and socialize gently… golf is an angry adversarial game suitable for combative men …!!!

      • James T

        May 24, 2018 at 11:33 am

        Hey! There are men out here who nurture and socialize gently and play golf. In this case to a 2.8 GHIN handicap. I see it more as chess than WWF. My golfing buddies dig the long ball. And hate it at the same time.

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19th Hole

Hot takes on Phil Mickelson’s Saturday antics continue to fly

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Yesterday, Phil Mickelson played a bit of field hockey on Shinnecock’s 13th green that continues to be the talk of the golf world… Mickelson didn’t do much to quiet the murmurs with his refusal to talk to the media following his final round and his celebratory antics after a made putt at that hole, Sunday.

Regarding the left-hander’s violation of Rule 14-5, we have a thread that’s 18 pages long and 516 replies deep at the time of this writing. It spans the full spectrum of opinions, from staunch support for Phil to outright condemnation.

A poll among golf WRXers saw 41 percent of responders say Mickelson should have been disqualified. 49 percent said he shouldn’t have. 9 percent said Mickelson should withdraw.

MtlJeff had this take

“Imagine if a young player did it. We’d be ready to euthanize all millennials for their horrible tantrums.”

Ssfranny said

“I have to kinda think Phil just gave a big middle finger to the USGA and pin placements.”

Teetogreen

“Frustrated as he may have been, he’s no better than the field. Everyone has to play the same course. I know Phil’s a fan-favorite, but that was wrong and disgraceful.”

Nessism said

“Pure frustration. I feel sorry for him. A momentary lapse of awareness will now cost him endless scritany for years to come.”

Golfgirlrobin quickly perceived what would be Mickelson’s eventual explanation

“Or maybe brilliant. Ball goes all the way down the green into the fairway and taking the penalty might actually have ended up being the better play.”

HolyMoses said

“Phil said he hit the moving ball intentionally so it wouldn’t get behind the bunker again. If he’s that defiant, he should be DQ’d. That’s cheating, plain and simple.”

Moving from WRXers’ takes to a few from other realms.

On Twitter, Lee Westwood played the devil’s advocate with this slippery slope (appropriately) argument.

“Here’s a scenario…Thoughts everyone??? here you go….. over the back on 15 at Augusta. Chip it too hard, run over before it gets to the water and knock it on the green so you don’t have to hit it again or go the drop zone!”

Writer Alan Bastable introduced the specter of Rule 1-2.

“Meanwhile, just two years after the DJ rules fiasco at Oakmont, the USGA blue coats were left to explain to the world why Mickelson hadn’t been disqualified for such an egregious breach of the rules. Indeed, under Rule 1-2, the Committee could have deemed that Mickelson’s actions gave him “a significant advantage,” and therefore warranted a DQ. “I would have lobbied for disqualification,” former USGA executive director David Fay said on the Fox telecast.”

The portion of Rule 1-2 Bastable referenced states.

“A player is deemed to have committed a serious breach of Rule 1-2 if the Committee considers that the action taken in breach of this Rule has allowed him or another player to gain a significant advantage or has placed another player, other than his partner, at a significant disadvantage.”

Golf Channel’s Randall Mell discussed Mickelson’s communication with Mike Davis late Saturday after some scribes floated the idea that the golfer ought to be disqualified.

“Phil really did want to understand how the rule operates,” Davis said. “Frankly, as he said to me, `Mike, I don’t want to play in this championship if I should have been disqualified.’” Davis said he assured Mickelson that Rule 14-5 was correctly applied, and that a two-stroke penalty is all that was required.”

With respect to the claims that Mickelson ought to withdraw, ESPN’s Ian O’Connor wrote this.

“There was a problem with Lefty’s story — a fairly big one. His playing partner, Andrew “Beef” Johnston, said he told Mickelson, “Sorry, but I can’t help but laugh at that. It’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.” Johnston also had this to say of his exchange with Mickelson: “He said, ‘I don’t know what that is. I don’t know what score that is or what happens now.’ And he started speaking to the rules official. It was one strange moment.”

“The standard-bearer with the group, Connor Buff, a 19-year-old from Smithtown and a student at the University at Albany, said he heard Mickelson tell the rules official, “Whatever I get, I get. Just let me know what it is.”

In other words, according to O’Connor Mickelson was both attempting to gain advantage and, for what it’s worth, lying about his thoughts during the field hockey moment.

And of course, Global Golf Post’s John Hopkins.

Amy Mickelson told Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols

“He has been pretty under fire,” she said. “A lot of people have been pretty rough. … . It’s not like we’re in his shoes and understand what he has gone through. You and me, we are looking at it from the outside, sitting in the press room or family dining. … They’re playing sports for a living, but still in the moment it’s a very heavy week, an intense week. A lot happens over the course of 24 hours every day.

Golf Digest’s Joel Beall wrote this about Mickelson’s mock celebration at the 13th, Sunday. He could just as well have written it Mickelson’s explanation and the whole ordeal

“His critics would call it the act of a charlatan. His fans would say he was being an entertainer. Part of the Phil Mickelson Experience is not knowing which is right.”

What do you think, GolfWRX members? Is there more to be said about the matter? Or, with the U.S. Open wrapped up, should be draw the curtain on all this as well? Do any other takes merit mention?

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19th Hole

See what today’s stars look like with Corey Pavin’s 1995 mustache. Hilarious!

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Surely, you’re familiar with Skratch TV’s efforts.

Launched in 2015, the PGA Tour/Bedrocket joint venture was billed as “golf’s first internet video network,” and it has grown into something pretty special in the golf mediaverse.

However, the producers of Adventures in Golf and a buffet of entertaining social media content have truly outdone themselves with the following.

Well played, Skratch. Well played.

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19th Hole

Can you call Shinnecock “Shinny”? GolfWRX members don’t think so.

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Surely, you’ve seen or heard it in the coverage of this 118th U.S. Open. Shinnecock Hills Golf Club. Most golf fans and producers of content refer to the famed Southampton course Shinnecock Hills Golf Club as “Shinnecock.”

However, some pepper in another name for the track, and it’s a nomenclature that annoys some GolfWRX members more than a stone-cold shank: Shinny.

Youdamantiger writes this regarding “Shinny.”

“For some reason this really gets on my nerves. You see it mostly from the print golf journalists as opposed to the TV guys. I mean, are they too lazy to type out the extra nine letters? Is it to sound hip? At next years Masters are they going to be talking about the extra length added to “Gussie?” Now get off my lawn.”

Get off my lawn, indeed. When you see venom in the forums, you always wonder how it will be received. Will the OP get burned, or will other WRXers join the fire breathing chorus?

In this case, the latter. A sampling of the concurrence with original sentiments.

Ferguson says

“I pointed this out 2 weeks ago when “someone” posted “Shinny” twice in one sentence. In that case, I think he was trying to make it sound as if he was familiar with the club, maybe trying to “give the impression” he had played there.”

AceCatKY says

“Almost as annoying as those calling Baltusrol “Balty” a few years back.”

Bscinstnct draws some parallels

“St. Andrewski

“Pebble Beachinator

“McGusta”

Sharkiesj takes this approach

“I’m goin full on Chevy Chase in Fletch and callin it Shinnycocktoastin.”

And on and on they go, for four pages at this point.

So, what say you front page, WRXers? Does “Shinny” irk you?

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19th Hole

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