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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

I wasn’t ready for the 2019 Rules of Golf

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We weren’t ready. We thought we were, but we weren’t.

For the last year, the USGA reminded us that in 2019 Rules of Golf were coming, but we didn’t listen. We heard the flag stick could remain in and we heard that you could take a penalty drop from knee-height.

But we didn’t listen.

I bet none of you have even practiced using your putter to flatten the entire green between your ball and the cup. You can do that now.

I’m also sure that you and I will continue to hover our club in all hazards, er, penalty areas. Yeah, we’re calling it a penalty area now.

The USGA went to the extreme depths of changing words all to simplify the game for you.

I don’t think the USGA listened either.

The rule changes were intended to speed up play and simplify golf for amateurs. Seems like a good idea. In turn, they may have bamboozled the PGA Tour while confusing the only amateurs who kind-of, sort-of knew the rules.

The pros didn’t need a new rule book, the amateurs just needed a simple one.

Us “locals” as the USGA refers to amateurs, do have one extremely fluid perk. When hitting a ball OB, or following a lost ball, you can drop with a two-stroke penalty instead of walking back to the tee. This of course, is dependent on your course, head professional, tournament conditions, and other factors including and not limited to what phase the moon is in.

If that’s somewhat confusing, read up, ask about your local rules, and buy a few extra sleeves. Reason being, in 2019, the limit on searching for a golf ball has been cut from five to three minutes.

2019-rules-of-golf

But wait, there’s good news.

Thanks to the USGA, if you accidentally move your ball as you frantically high-step through fescue, it’s no longer a penalty! What an exciting 180 seconds that will be!

If you somehow don’t find your golf ball in the hazard penalty area, the USGA tried to help us out, which they did, yet regrettably took away a more iconic portrait on the golf course.

The rigid, stoic stance and forceful drop of a ball at shoulder-height.

And we let it happen.

Now, we’ll watch a defeated man deliberately bend to his knees and gingerly drop his ball…Which, by the way, appears to be a convenient way for cheaters to “take a drop” that ideally doubles as “identifying my first ball”.

Don’t even get me started on the back issues this could flare up.

We heard in late 2018 that Bryson DeChambeau would use the flagstick when the odds were in his favor. He even laid it out simply for us.

“It depends on the COR, the coefficient of restitution of the flagstick.”

Simple.

We didn’t listen Bryson, we didn’t believe. We also have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about.

But hey, as Bryson would say, don’t hate the player, hate the game. Yeah, he’d clearly never say that, but here’s to hoping!

We heard he would do it, but we didn’t believe it. We had to see to believe. What we saw was DeChambeau first in strokes gained putting in the very first round he was allowed to do it.

Obviously, this trend will continue for DeChambeau, and others may join in, because what is golf if not a constant chase for a marginally better opportunity at success.

Watch your back, because those others that may join in could be closer than you think. You may turn around to find a fellow member asking for the flag on their next 12-footer.

It should be a fun year of commentary and confusion at your local club and on the PGA tour. Professionals will have constant questions for rules officials, and commentators will consistently question Bryson’s methods.

There is one real question I hope is answered this April.

What will we do when Bryson banks in a downhill putt at No. 2 of Augusta?

Will we be ready? Will Augusta?

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19th Hole

Tweets of the Week: Justin Rose shows off his Honma clubs, Justin Timberlake does Happy Gilmore and Barack Obama’s new swing

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ho-sung-choi-swing

Over the last seven days, Matt Kuchar brought home the bacon at the Sony Open, while golf fans got a look at plenty of new equipment releases for 2019. But here’s some things you may have missed, and some of the quirkier moments from the world of golf dished out in the Twittersphere in the last week.

Justin Timberlake’s Draw

Ten Grammy Awards, four Emmy Awards, and he can hit a perfect draw Happy Gilmore style. Bit annoying.

Rose Showcases His New Honma Clubs

Still waiting to make his first start of 2019, the World Number 1 is ready to go as a member of Team Honma.

Chez Reavie Goes Bananas

In case you missed it, Chez Reavie became the first player since the PGA Tour began keeping records to make three eagles on three par 4’s in a single round. The fact that he holed out each one from the fairway is quite incredible.

Obama’s New Swing

Barack Obama has had a bit more free time over the past couple of years, since, well you know, he’s not running the country anymore. How do you rate his swing, GolfWRXers?

Double Hit Rule

This video has caused much confusion over the past week on social media. The double hit rule may have changed in 2019, but this attempt is still illegal. Impressive either way you look at it though.

 

 

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19th Hole

Exploring Ireland: Where to golf, drink and stay on the Emerald Isle. Pt. 4. Bearna Golf Club, Galway

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In these series of articles, I will be taking you around the Emerald Isle providing you with great golf courses to visit in some of the loveliest spots in Ireland. I’ll also be highlighting the best and most authentic Irish bars in these spots, as well as places to stay, eat and how to get there. Whether you’re taking a golfing holiday to Ireland in 2019 or are interested in doing so sometime in the future, I’ll make sure to let you in on the best places to spend your time.

In Part Three of our Exploring Ireland Series, we went west and focused on Spanish Point Golf Club in Clare. Now it’s time for Part Four, and we’re staying on the west coast and taking the short trip up to County Galway.

Galway city is famous for its bustling nightlife, and in terms of bars to choose from, there are few better places in Ireland. Whether it’s a quiet night out and a meal, enjoying a few pints with some live traditional music, or a wild all-nighter you’re looking for, Galway certainly has you covered. Conveniently, the city also homes some top golf courses, which makes it a must-visit destination for anyone coming to this island.

Bearna Golf Club, Galway

@kevinmarkham

Galway Golf Club and Galway Bay Golf Resort are usually the two golf courses that people think of when they mention this county. But lurking under the radar is Bearna Golf Club, which will provide you with just as incredible an experience as those two courses, at a lower price.

Located within a 15-minute drive of Galway City, Bearna GC offers an authentic Irish golfing experience. Surrounded by bogland, you can expect your nose to take in all of the scents of Ireland as you navigate your way through the rugged land of humps, gorse bushes and ditches that will give your game a real workout.

@kevinmarkham

Creeks will appear on most fairways, so don’t expect to be able to turn up and grip it and rip it. Bearna is a golf course that is going to make you think, and with the challenges provided, will most likely test your patience as well as your skill.

The track offers five different sets of tees, all of which provide for a fun test. The course ranges between 4,897 yards and 6,271 yards and plays as either a Par 72 or 71 depending on the tees you choose. Thirteen holes feature water, and the one relief that you will find here that is different than other courses in the area is the lack of fairway bunkers.

@IrishGolfPhotos

Robert J. Browne designed the course back in 1996, and as well as the feeling you will have of being amongst nature, you will also have impressive views of the Aran Islands, Galway Bay and the famous Burren.

During the week, 18 holes around Bearna GC will set you back just under $50, while to play on the weekend the rate rises to $75. Don’t be surprised if after your round you want another crack at this deceptive course.

Food & Drink – Tig Coili, Galway

@DBloom451

There is no “best pub in Galway.” The city has an inordinate amount of amazing watering holes to spend your night, and it just comes down to personal taste and what experience you are looking to have for your night. As someone who loves the feel of an old traditional Irish pub though, Tig Coili gets my vote.

@stacy_sobieski

Located in the Latin Quarter of Galway City, this place will often have swarms of people flooding out from the bar onto the street. Traditional music plays here every night, with 14 music sessions each week. The pub prides itself on its music, with pictures of famous musicians that have played here in the past covering the walls.

Also, Tig Coili’s pint of Guinness is renowned for being one of the best in the area, and it’s what 90 percent of folks will be drinking for the night here.

@MeetInGalway

As for food in Galway, it can only be oysters. Described by multiple top chefs as the “best flavoured in the world,” the oysters here come from Galway Bay and are so popular in the city that should you visit here in September you can enjoy Galway’s three day Oyster festival.

You can hop into most bars in Galway serving food and throw back half a dozen oysters, but if you want to experience them for a sit-down meal then go and visit Oscars Seafood Bistro, where the flavour will blow your socks off. An early bird two-course meal of half a dozen oysters and a plate of steaming hot mussels with fries will cost just $20. The perfect drink pairing for oysters? Guinness. Ideal.

Where To Stay

My recommendation is to stay in the center of Galway. We’ve gone traditional in our visits to Donegal and Clare, but for Galway, the city is so alive that you will want to stay right in the heart of it. The Jury’s Inn is a solid option, which will leave you within walking distance of the best bars, restaurants and sights to see in the city. A double room here will set you back in the region of $100 a night.

@WriterVicYates

If you like to shop then visit Quay Street, where you can take in the shops while plenty of buskers on the street entertain you, while the bronze statue of Irish writer Oscar Wilde and Estonian writer Eduard Vilde is an imposing outdoor sight that is a trendy spot for a photo.

@IndoSport

But as we’re sports lovers, then when in Galway do whatever you can to catch a game of hurling. Galway’s hurling side are currently one of the best teams in the land, winning the All-Ireland title in 2017, and they possess some of the most passionate fans. Just try not to mention the last final when you get here.

How to Get There

Galway is about as accessible as it gets from anywhere in the island. You can take the train from any major city in Ireland, and it’ll take you right into the city center of Galway. A direct train from Dublin City will arrive in Galway in just over two hours.

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