Connect with us

Opinion & Analysis

Golf forums: Where are all the women?

Published

on

Last year, I joined the online golfing community by signing up for a golf forum. I joined mainly to share knowledge and get ideas for my blogs. This was before I joined GolfWRX. Although I enjoyed this new type of interaction, I realized after a while that I was only talking to men. Where were the women? I was wondering what was going on.

I found that this trend wasn’t unique to the particular forum I was using, and similar trends were seen on other golf forums. According to the web audience measurement tool Quantcast, the split on golf forums is around 70 percent men and 30 percent women. (1) So the question is, why do women shun online golf forums? Also, is it specific to golf forums, or does the same apply to other sports forums? And does this trend even apply to online forums across the board?

Women and men debating this issue on social media (2) put forward various reasons:

  • Women golfers are, in general, older and are less likely to go online than older men. Overall, 34 percent of men 65 and older use the internet, compared with 21 percent of women that age (3). This is not the full story, as there are plenty of women golfers on social media such as Twitter.
  • Maybe women aren’t as competitive about golf as men? They consider it a hobby, and they don’t spend time on it outside the golf course. I know plenty of women who are very competitive about their golf, though so this can’t be the reason.
  • Maybe women stay away from golf forums for the same reason that prevents women from taking up golf; they just don’t feel welcome. Some women may consider that they are not supposed to have an opinion on sports. If this were true then they would also be absent from social media, which isn’t the case.
  • Women have less time to contribute to online forums. It is indeed true that studies have found that women around the world have less free time than men. In the UK, men have 40 minutes more free time each day than women. When women have free time, they prefer to spend it with their family or socializing in real life rather than online. (4) This could be one of the reasons, but is this the whole story?

I don’t think any of the above fully explain the issues, so we have to dig deeper. Maybe the issue is less to do with golf and more to do with the difference in online behavior between women and men. I decided to put my scientific hat on and do a bit of research.

I quickly came across research that shows that although women and men are equally represented online, (3) their online behavior is very different. And the way men and women communicate online reflects how they communicate in real life. Women post about different things, prefer certain platforms and use language differently from men. (5) Men are more likely to use social media to search for information about certain topics (sports or politics), while women use social platforms like to connect with people and to post about personal issues. (5)

One of the reasons why women may be more reluctant to go online is also fear of negative feedback, which unfortunately happens more to women than to men. In addition, discussions on forums can sometimes become hostile, and women are not as confrontational as men. Taking part in overly hostile discussions may not seem worth the effort.

The lack of women’s participation was not limited to online forums, of course. It’s more widespread online, such as on media websites. The New York Times found that it received 1 million comments on online articles between 2013 and 2014, of which only 25 percent were from women. This was despite the fact that 44 percent of New York Times readers are women. In 2014, Harvard’s Business School started teaching female students how to speak up more in the classroom after it found that women had been participating less than men.

In conclusion, the absence of women form golf forums is not linked to the sport, but rather certain behavioral traits and preferences of women — both on and offline. Once again, it seems that women are from Venus and men from Mars, as famously said by John Gray.

Should we accept that women are absent from forums, or is there anything that can be done to attract more women to online forums?

References

  1.  www.Quantcast.com
  2. http://www.golfgal-blog.com/2009/03/golf-forums-where-are-women.html (comments) – site accessed:4.5.2018
  3. Deborah Fallows (2015). How women and men use the internet. Pew Internet & American life project 28.12.2005
  4. http://assets.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2005/12/PIP_Women_and_Men_online.pdf
  5. Office for national statistics. (2015) Leisure time in the UK.
  6. A. Atanasova (2016). Gender-specific behaviors on social media and what they mean for online communications www.socialmediatoday
  7. Emilie Pearson (2014) How men dominate online commenting https://qz.com/259149/how-men-dominate-online-commenting/ site accessed 14/05/2018
Your Reaction?
  • 64
  • LEGIT15
  • WOW7
  • LOL6
  • IDHT2
  • FLOP7
  • OB4
  • SHANK308

Inga is a writer who in her professional life writes about medicines, demystifying their risks and benefits to patients. Inga dedicates her spare time to golf, a sport she learned before she could walk. When not playing golf she writes blogs about all things golf but mainly about golf issues that are of interest to women and promoting the women’s game.

38 Comments

38 Comments

  1. Lovejoy

    Jul 31, 2018 at 3:40 am

    Women are generally too intelligent to waste time on internet forums.

  2. Tom Duckworth

    Jul 30, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    Women just don’t Geek Out over equipment like men do. My granddaughter loves to play
    and is happy with her gear and just isn’t always looking to upgrade like her Grandpa.
    She knows whats good gear but isn’t overly concerned about it and knows it’s all about the person swinging the club almost like thinking about gear takes away from the golf game for her. Face it most “not all” of these forums are about gear I’ll bet cave men endlessly went over their spears and bows and were always looking for better wood or the best rock for arrow tips.

  3. Alex

    Jul 30, 2018 at 11:28 am

    There are plenty of young women entering the golf industry, maybe we don’t engage on golf forums as much because there are few posts relevant to the trials we face playing a male-dominated sport. Would love to talk about the lack of equipment fit for professional women golfers and such, that I would get on a forum for. Thanks for the article Inga!

  4. James T

    Jul 29, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    I love it. This is the first-ever golf forum article I’ve read with references/footnotes! More of that should be required in the comments for those of us who bloviate.

  5. JB

    Jul 29, 2018 at 8:13 am

    I tried to start a conversation with my wife about Ryan Moore’s iron shafts and ………She didn’t care.

  6. Brian

    Jul 29, 2018 at 1:40 am

    It’s the same way on cycling forums. I think guys just like talking about their toys more.

  7. Tish

    Jul 29, 2018 at 1:21 am

    I’ve a women…love the sport, carry a single digit handicap and have been reading the forums on here for a few years. I do like the forums truly stick with golf…I’ve never see a rant.

    One thing that disappoints me is female golfers are NEVER chosen to test clubs and equipment. VERY, VERY sad. What I really want to know is what other women are using, wearing, swinging, etc…or how they review some of the equipment. I’ve put in dozens of times, but have never been tapped. I don’t try anymore. We need an equipment section and style section for women.

  8. Wiger Toods

    Jul 29, 2018 at 12:17 am

    A well researched article saying this place is a Sausage Party – and she’s definitely right – and then you get to the bottom and see about 93% “shanks”. My goodness… if we had women’s participation go up just 20%, you wouldn’t see all the courses closing as they are. Yet, here’s this old-timey manly men garbage.

    Ladies, PLEASE, show up. Your tour is more interesting to watch from a mere-mortal standpoint. Your growth in this game will save it from itself. Your opinions are welcome and encouraged, and if you have a problem with anyone based on gender in a post, REPORT IT.

    Shame on many, many of you. The answer to golf being more mainstream is simply your not acting like belligerent teenage boys. ¯\_(?)_/¯

  9. bob

    Jul 28, 2018 at 11:47 pm

    who cares

  10. Kip

    Jul 28, 2018 at 10:09 pm

    3/10 sounds really high. In fact, I would think an article of this nature would celebrate that ratio. That must be significantly greater than the proportion of women/men on the golf course.

    • Joe

      Jul 30, 2018 at 1:57 pm

      That was my thought. I’d say maybe 2 out of 10 posters on a forum like WRX are female. Maybe.

      • Just the facts

        Jul 30, 2018 at 2:31 pm

        And two out of ten golfers as well.

  11. Bruce Ferguson

    Jul 28, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    I have to wonder what the split is on tennis forums.

    Men can go on and on about clubs, brand loyalty, shovels vs. blades, etc. Women are wired differently and probably couldn’t care less. Women are more focused on relationships. Outside of the LPGA-related forums relating to tour players and tour drama (aka-gossip), there’s evidently little interest beyond that.

  12. KandyMan

    Jul 28, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    Huh this just made me realize ive never noticed a womens section on the BST. Maybe there is one and i just never paid any attention? Though from the few women i know that do play golf its 99% reason to get out of the house and socialize. The ole “my drinking team has a golfing problem” thing.

  13. Acemandrake

    Jul 28, 2018 at 9:14 pm

    Do/say what you want, have thick skin, & ignore the critics.

    Remember, an attack is not personal if the other person doesn’t know you.

  14. Geohogan

    Jul 28, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    According to the web audience measurement tool Quantcast, the split on golf forums is around 70 percent men and 30 percent women

    I am surprised that 30% of golf forum web audiences are women.
    Do we know % of all golfers who are women?

    • Jack

      Jul 30, 2018 at 2:50 am

      Exactly… This article does all that research but doesn’t bother to tell us that core number. Where I play it’s a lot less than 30 pct female golfers. So 30 pct forum makeup would be high.

    • Just the facts

      Jul 30, 2018 at 9:37 am

      20%

  15. Jamie

    Jul 28, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    … but mainly about golf issues that are of interest to men and promoting the men’s game. A man would be crucified if this were listed in their professional description.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Opinion & Analysis

The Wedge Guy: What really makes a wedge work? Part 1

Published

on

Of all the clubs in our bags, wedges are almost always the simplest in construction and, therefore, the easiest to analyze what might make one work differently from another if you know what to look for.

Wedges are a lot less mysterious than drivers, of course, as the major brands are working with a lot of “pixie dust” inside these modern marvels. That’s carrying over more to irons now, with so many new models featuring internal multi-material technologies, and almost all of them having a “badge” or insert in the back to allow more complex graphics while hiding the actual distribution of mass.

But when it comes to wedges, most on the market today are still single pieces of molded steel, either cast or forged into that shape. So, if you look closely at where the mass is distributed, it’s pretty clear how that wedge is going to perform.

To start, because of their wider soles, the majority of the mass of almost any wedge is along the bottom third of the clubhead. So, the best wedge shots are always those hit between the 2nd and 5th grooves so that more mass is directly behind that impact. Elite tour professionals practice incessantly to learn to do that consistently, wearing out a spot about the size of a penny right there. If impact moves higher than that, the face is dramatically thinner, so smash factor is compromised significantly, which reduces the overall distance the ball will fly.

Every one of us, tour players included, knows that maddening shot that we feel a bit high on the face and it doesn’t go anywhere, it’s not your fault.

If your wedges show a wear pattern the size of a silver dollar, and centered above the 3rd or 4th groove, you are not getting anywhere near the same performance from shot to shot. Robot testing proves impact even two to three grooves higher in the face can cause distance loss of up to 35 to 55 feet with modern ‘tour design’ wedges.

In addition, as impact moves above the center of mass, the golf club principle of gear effect causes the ball to fly higher with less spin. Think of modern drivers for a minute. The “holy grail” of driving is high launch and low spin, and the driver engineers are pulling out all stops to get the mass as low in the clubhead as possible to optimize this combination.

Where is all the mass in your wedges? Low. So, disregarding the higher lofts, wedges “want” to launch the ball high with low spin – exactly the opposite of what good wedge play requires penetrating ball flight with high spin.

While almost all major brand wedges have begun putting a tiny bit more thickness in the top portion of the clubhead, conventional and modern ‘tour design’ wedges perform pretty much like they always have. Elite players learn to hit those crisp, spinny penetrating wedge shots by spending lots of practice time learning to consistently make contact low in the face.

So, what about grooves and face texture?

Grooves on any club can only do so much, and no one has any material advantage here. The USGA tightly defines what we manufacturers can do with grooves and face texture, and modern manufacturing techniques allow all of us to push those limits ever closer. And we all do. End of story.

Then there’s the topic of bounce and grinds, the most complex and confusing part of the wedge formula. Many top brands offer a complex array of sole configurations, all of them admittedly specialized to a particular kind of lie or turf conditions, and/or a particular divot pattern.

But if you don’t play the same turf all the time, and make the same size divot on every swing, how would you ever figure this out?

The only way is to take any wedge you are considering and play it a few rounds, hitting all the shots you face and observing the results. There’s simply no other way.

So, hopefully this will inspire a lively conversation in our comments section, and I’ll chime in to answer any questions you might have.

And next week, I’ll dive into the rest of the wedge formula. Yes, shafts, grips and specifications are essential, too.

Your Reaction?
  • 19
  • LEGIT6
  • WOW1
  • LOL1
  • IDHT2
  • FLOP2
  • OB1
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading

Golf's Perfect Imperfections

Golf’s Perfect Imperfections: Amazing Session with Performance Coach Savannah Meyer-Clement

Published

on

In this week’s episode, we spent some time with performance coach Savannah Meyer-Clement who provides many useful insights that you’ll be able to implement on the golf course.

Your Reaction?
  • 0
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Vincenzi’s 2024 RBC Heritage betting preview: Patrick Cantlay ready to get back inside winner’s circle

Published

on

Just a two-hour drive from Augusta National, the PGA TOUR heads to Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, S.C. Hilton Head Island is a golfer’s paradise and Harbour Town is one of the most beautiful and scenic courses on the PGA TOUR.

Harbour Town Golf Links is a par-71 that measures 7,121 yards and features Bermuda grass greens. A Pete Dye design, the course is heavily tree lined and features small greens and many dog legs, protecting it from “bomb-and-gauge” type golfers.

The field is loaded this week with 69 golfers with no cut. Last year was quite possibly the best field in RBC Heritage history and the event this week is yet another designated event, meaning there is a $20 million prize pool.

Most of the big names on the PGA Tour will be in attendance this week with the exceptions of Hideki Matsuyama and Viktor Hovland. Additionally, Webb Simpson, Shane Lowry, Gary Woodland and Kevin Kisner have been granted sponsors exemptions. 

Past Winners at Harbour Town

  • 2023: Matt Fitzpatrick (-17)
  • 2022: Jordan Spieth (-13)
  • 2021: Stewart Cink (-19)
  • 2020: Webb Simpson (-22)
  • 2019: CT Pan (-12)
  • 2018: Sotoshi Kodaira (-12)
  • 2017: Wesley Bryan (-13)
  • 2016: Branden Grace (-9)
  • 2015: Jim Furyk (-18)

In this article and going forward, I’ll be using the Rabbit Hole by Betsperts Golf data engine to develop my custom model. If you want to build your own model or check out all of the detailed stats, you can sign up using promo code: MATTVIN for 25% off any subscription package (yearly is best value).

Key Stats For Harbour Town

Let’s take a look at key metrics for Harbour Town Golf Links to determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their past 24 rounds.

Strokes Gained: Approach

Strokes Gained: Approach is exceedingly important this week. The greens at Harbour Town are about half the size of PGA TOUR average and feature the second-smallest greens on the tour. Typical of a Pete Dye design, golfers will pay the price for missed greens.

Total SG: Approach Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Scottie Scheffler (+1.27)
  2. Tom Hoge (+1.27)
  3. Corey Conners (+1.16)
  4. Austin Eckroat (+0.95)
  5. Cameron Young (+0.93)

Good Drive %

The fairways at Harbour Town are tree lined and feature many dog legs. Bombers tend to struggle at the course because it forces layups and doesn’t allow long drivers to overpower it. Accuracy is far more important than power.

Good Drive % Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Brice Garnett (88.8%)
  2. Shane Lowry (+87.2%)
  3. Akshay Bhatia (+86.0%)
  4. Si Woo Kim (+85.8%)
  5. Sepp Straka (+85.1%)

Strokes Gained: Total at Pete Dye Designs

Pete Dye specialists tend to play very well at Harbour Town. Si Woo Kim, Matt Kuchar, Jim Furyk and Webb Simpson are all Pete Dye specialists who have had great success here. It is likely we see some more specialists near the top of the leaderboard this week.

SG: TOT Pete Dye per round over past 36 rounds:

  1. Xander Schauffele (+2.27)
  2. Scottie Scheffler (+2.24)
  3. Ludvig Aberg (+2.11)
  4. Brian Harman (+1.89)
  5. Sungjae Im (+1.58)

4. Strokes Gained: Short Game (Bermuda)

Strokes Gained: Short Game factors in both around the green and putting. With many green-side bunkers and tricky green complexes, both statistics will be important. Past winners — such as Jim Furyk, Wes Bryan and Webb Simpson — highlight how crucial the short game skill set is around Harbour Town.

SG: SG Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Jordan Spieth (+1.11)
  2. Taylor Moore (+1.02)
  3. Wyndham Clark (+0.98)
  4. Mackenzie Hughes (+0.86)
  5. Andrew Putnam (+0.83)

5. Greens in Regulation %

The recipe for success at Harbour Town Golf Links is hitting fairways and greens. Missing either will prove to be consequential — golfers must be in total control of the ball to win.

Greens in Regulation % over past 24 rounds:

  1. Brice Garnett (+75.0%)
  2. Scottie Scheffler (+69.9%)
  3. Corey Conners (+69.0%)
  4. Shane Lowry (+68.3%)
  5. Patrick Rodgers (+67.6%)

6. Course History

Harbour Town is a course where players who have strong past results at the course always tend to pop up. 

Course History over past 24 rounds:

  1. Patrick Cantlay (+2.34)
  2. Cam Davis (+2.05)
  3. J.T. Poston (+1.69)
  4. Justin Rose (+1.68)
  5. Tommy Fleetwood (+1.59)

The RBC Heritage Model Rankings

Below, I’ve compiled overall model rankings using a combination of the five key statistical categories previously discussed — SG: Approach (24%), Good Drives (20%), SG: SG (14%), SG: Pete Dye (14%), GIR (14%), and Course History (14%)

  1. Shane Lowry
  2. Russell Henley
  3. Scottie Scheffler
  4. Xander Schauffele
  5. Corey Conners 
  6. Wyndham Clark
  7. Christiaan Bezuidenhout
  8. Matt Fitzpatrick
  9. Cameron Young
  10. Ludvig Aberg 

2024 RBC Heritage Picks

Patrick Cantlay +2000 (FanDuel)

With the exception of Scottie Scheffler, the PGA Tour has yet to have any of their star players show peak form during the 2024 season. Last week, Patrick Cantlay, who I believe is a top-5 players on the PGA Tour, took one step closer to regaining the form that’s helped him win eight events on Tour since 2017.

Cantlay limped into the Masters in poor form, but figured it out at Augusta National, finishing in a tie for 20th and ranking 17th for the week in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking. The former FedEx Cup champion will now head to one of his favorite golf courses in Harbour Town, where he’s had immaculate results over the years. In his six trips to the course, he’s only finished worse than 7th one time. The other finishes include three third places (2017, 2019, 2023) and one runner-up finish (2022). In his past 36 rounds at Harbour Town, Cantlay ranks 1st in Strokes Gained: Total per round at the course by a wide margin (+2.36).

Cantlay is winless since the 2022 BMW Championship, which is far too long for a player of his caliber. With signs pointing to the 32-year-old returning to form, a “signature event” at Harbour Town is just what he needs to get back on the winning track.

Tommy Fleetwood +3000 (FanDuel)

I truly believe Tommy Fleetwood will figure out a way to win on American soil in 2024. It’s certainly been a bugaboo for him throughout his career, but he is simply too talented to go another season without winning a PGA Tour event.

At last week’s Masters Tournament, Fleetwood made a Sunday charge and ended up finishing T3 in the event, which was his best ever finish at The Masters. For the week, the Englishman ranked 8th in the field in Strokes Gained: Approach, 10th in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking and 16th in Strokes Gained: Putting.

Harbour Town is a perfect layout for Fleetwood, and he’s had relative success at this Pete Dye design in the past.  In his four trips to the course, he’s finished inside of the top 25 three times, with his best finish, T10, coming in 2022. The course is pretty short and can’t be overpowered, which gives an advantage to more accurate players such as Fleetwood. Tommy ranks 8th in the field in Good Drive % and should be able to plot his way along this golf course.

The win is coming for Tommy lad. I believe there’s a chance this treasure of a golf course may be the perfect one for him to finally break through on Tour.

Cameron Young +3300 (FanDuel)

Cameron Young had a solid Masters Tournament last week, which is exactly what I’m looking for in players who I anticipate playing well this week at the RBC Heritage. He finished in a tie for 9th, but never felt the pressure of contending in the event. For the week, Young ranked 6th in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee and 6th in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking.

Despite being one of the longest players off the tee on the PGA Tour, Young has actually played some really good golf on shorter tracks. He finished T3 at Harbour Town in 2023 and ranks 20th in the field in Good Drive% and 16th in Greens in Regulation in his past 24 rounds. He also has strong finishes at other shorter courses that can take driver out of a players hand such as Copperhead and PGA National.

Young is simply one of the best players on the PGA Tour in 2024, and I strongly believe has what it takes to win a PGA Tour event in the very near future.

Corey Conners +5500 (FanDuel)

Corey Conners has had a disappointing year thus far on the PGA Tour, but absolutely loves Harbour Town.

At last week’s Masters Tournament, the Canadian finished T30 but ranked 20th in the field in Strokes Gained: Approach. In his past 24 rounds, Conners ranks 3rd in the field in Strokes Gained: Approach, 3rd in Greens in Regulation % and 24th in Good Drive %.

In Conners’ last four trips to Harbour Town, his worst finish was T31, last season. He finished T4 in 2021, T12 in 2022 and ranks 8th in Strokes Gained: Total at the course over his past 36 rounds.

Conners hasn’t been contending, but his recent finishes have been encouraging as he has finished in the top-25 in each of his past three starts prior to The Masters, including an impressive T13 at The PLAYERS. His recent improvement in ball striking as well as his suitability for Harbour Town makes Conners a high upside bet this week.

Shane Lowry (+7500) (FanDuel)

When these odds were posted after Lowry was announced in the field, I have to admit I was pretty stunned. Despite not offering much win equity on the PGA Tour over the last handful of years, Shane Lowry is still a top caliber player who has the ability to rise to the top of a signature event.

Lowry struggled to score at The Masters last week, but he actually hit the ball really well. The Irishman ranked 1st for Strokes Gained: Approach on the week and 7th in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking. As usual, it was the putter that let him down, as he ranked 60th in the field in Strokes Gained: Putting.

Harbour Town is most definitely one of Lowry’s favorite courses on the PGA Tour. In his six starts there, he’s finished in the top 10 three times, including third twice. Lowry is sensational at Pete Dye designs and ranks 7th in Strokes Gained: Total in his past 36 rounds on Dye tracks. 

Lowry is perfect for Harbour Town. In his past 24 rounds, he ranks 5th in Strokes Gained: Approach, 2nd in Good Drive% and 5th in Green in Regulation %. If he figures it out on the greens, Shane could have his first win in America since 2015.

Lucas Glover +12000 (FanDuel)

This is one of my weekly “bet the number” plays as I strongly believe the odds are just too long for a player of Glover’s caliber. The odds have been too long on Glover for a few weeks now, but this is the first event that I can get behind the veteran being able to actually contend at. 

Glover is quietly playing good golf and returning to the form he had after the understandable regression after his two massive victories at the end of 2023. He finished T20 at The Masters, which was his best ever finish at Augusta National. For the week, Lucas ranked 18th for Strokes Gained: Approach and 20th in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking.

Over his past 24 rounds, Glover ranks 9th in Strokes Gained: Approach and 13th in Good Drive %. Harbour Town is a short course that the 44-year-old will be able to keep up with the top players on Tour off the tee. He’s played the course more than 20 times, with mixed results. His best finishes at Harbour Town include a T7 in 2008, but recently has a finish of T21 in 2020.

Glover has proven he can contend with the stars of the Tour on any given week, and this number is flat out disrespectful.

Your Reaction?
  • 30
  • LEGIT5
  • WOW2
  • LOL1
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP2
  • OB0
  • SHANK2

Continue Reading

WITB

Facebook

Trending