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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

  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

Lexi Thompson violates Rules of Golf at Indy Women in Tech Championship

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During the third round of the Indy Women in Tech Championship, Lexi Thompson unknowingly ran afoul of the Rules of Golf.

Preferred lies–AKA lift, clean, and place–were in effect at soggy Brickyard Crossing. Thompson hit her drive at the par-5 10th hole wide right. It settled in the sixth fairway. Believing she was allowed to lift and clean any ball in the fairway, Thompson began to do so.

The rule, of course, only applies to balls that settle in one’s own fairway. Fortunately for Thompson, an official saw what was happening and stepped in to administer a penalty.

“Thankfully, Marty [the official] intervened before she hit her next shot,” Golf Channel’s Kay Cockerill reported. “Otherwise, she would have been hitting from the wrong spot, and it would have been a two-shot penalty. So, in a sense, it saved her a shot.”

The LPGA issued this statement.

“While playing the third round of the 2018 Indy Women in Tech Championship, Lexi Thompson incurred a one-stroke penalty for breach of the preferred lies local Rule (Appendix IA Part 3b Course Conditions).”

“The Committee adopted the preferred lies local Rule due to the turf conditions of the golf course after receiving over an inch of rain. The LPGA, under the local Rule, restricts the player from preferring her lie when her ball lies in a closely-mown area of a hole other than the one being played.”

“During the play of hole #10, Thompson’s tee shot came to rest in the fairway of hole #6. As Thompson’s ball lay on the fairway of hole #6, she was not entitled to prefer her lie.”

“She preferred her lie in breach of the local Rule but prior to playing her stroke from a wrong place (Rule 20-7), she was questioned by a Rules official regarding her actions. As she had not played her stroke from the preferred spot, she did not receive the general penalty of two-strokes under the local Rule. However, she did incur a one-stroke penalty under Rule 18-2 for lifting her ball at rest without authority.”

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19th Hole

Joe LaCava, Tiger Woods’ caddie, paid a heckler $25 to leave at the WGC-Bridgestone

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While Steve Williams would likely have taken a different route, Tiger Woods’ current caddie admitted to bribing a fan to leave his boss alone.

LaCava called into ESPN’s “Golic and Wingo” and told a tale of paying of a heckler at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

LaCava said the man heckled Woods throughout his final round at the Bridgestone, and on the 14th hole, LaCava interceded, telling the man to check out action elsewhere on the course. Interestingly/absurdly, the man said he would be happy to, provided LaCava reimburse him for his ticket.

Here’s the full transcript c/o ESPN.

Mike Golic: “Did you have any issues with the people at Bellerive?”

Joe LaCava: “Not at all, and you hit it right on the head, 99 percent of the guys and women are behind Tiger, pushing for Tiger. They want to see good golf in general they’re not anti-the-other-guys, but they’re certainly rooting for Tiger more so than the other guys. But, funny you guys ask that question. The week before in Akron, I had a little incident with a guy who was harassing my guy on the 14th hole at Akron the last day outside the ropes, roughening him up pretty good. And I said, hey listen bud, why do you gotta go there? Everyone’s having a good time, everyone’s pulling for Tiger. You don’t like the guy that’s one thing, but you don’t to be yelling at my guy, screaming negative stuff like that. And I said at the end of the day, if you affect him, his performance, it effects my bottomline. So he calls me a couple names and I go back and forth with the guy, and I say why don’t you just leave. And he says well if you give me $25 for the ticket that I bought today I’ll leave. And I said here you go, here’s $25.”

Mike: “Did he leave?”

Joe: “So I whip out $25 and he starts to go down the 14th fairway toward the green. I say look pal $25 is $25 you gotta head the other way. So he starts to head the other way, he goes 20 yards down the line, then he calls me a certain other, a swear word. So I run 20 yards back the other way and I’m going face to face with this guy. And all the sudden Tiger’s looking for a yardage, and I’m in it with this guy 20 yards down the line. So some cop has to come in, push this guy outta the way, and take him outta the tournament.

Mike: “So what did Tiger say when you came back to give him the yardage?”

Joe: “Well that’s a great question. We were so far to the right of the trees, and he was on his third shot believe it or not, we were still 150 yards away from the green, and he didn’t really know what happened. He heard the commotion, he heard the guy yelling at him, so we talked about it after the fact, but he didn’t really know how it developed. And he says I was wondering what happened, and he goes normally it wouldn’t that long to get a yardage. I said well a little incident down the road. He didn’t have a problem with it, and actually I gotta standing ovation for kicking the guy outta there.

Security probably should have happened sooner when LaCava was $25 richer.

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19th Hole

A brief cart ride (by his caddie) has big implications for Akshay Bhatia at the U.S. Amateur

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16-year-old Akshay Bhatia may be looking for a new caddie for his next event. The rising star of amateur golf was penalized when his caddie accepted a ride on a golf cart at the 14th hole during the round of 64 at the U.S. Amateur.

Bhatia would go on to lose to Bradford Tilley.

The match was all square at the 14th. Chris Darnell, Bhatia’s caddie, made a pit stop at the bathroom after Bhatia hit his approach. While the player walked to the green, Darnell was approached by what he believed was a USGA official driving a golf cart.

“The gentleman was wearing a USGA pullover,” Darnell said afterward. “I asked if I could get a ride to the green to keep up pace, and he said yes. So I hopped on the back, got up to the green, hopped off and thought nothing of it.”

Of course, neither players nor caddies can ride on any form of transportation during the round unless authorized, per the Rules of Golf. Bhatia was penalized accordingly and lost the hole after a (real) official spotted the infraction.

Particularly frustrating for the golfer was the fact that he had birdied the par-5 and believed he was going 1 up on his opponent, only to find out they were all square.

As mentioned, Bhatia would go on to lose in 19 holes.

Adding another layer to this drama, Darnell said Tilley’s caddie had done the same thing earlier in the match.

“I had already seen the other caddie in our group do it on the ninth hole,” Darnell said. “Same thing – USGA pullover, drove him from the bathroom up to the fairway – so I assumed it was fine. I didn’t point it out at the time because everything seemed kosher. He had the USGA stuff on, and I didn’t think anything of it.”

What are the chances Tilley or his caddie admit to the infraction now? And who is this mystery idiot who loves the USGA enough to drape himself in their garb but is daft enough to blatantly break a straightforward rule of competition?

Dumb rule? Certainly in this sense. But so many situations exist in amateur play that you can understand why the USGA would level a prohibition on transportation. Still, shouldn’t there be some room for interpretation? It’s difficult to argue Bhatia himself gained any advantage…

What do you think, GolfWRX members?

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