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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

16 LIV Golf pros threaten legal action against DP World Tour; DP World Tour responds

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16 LIV Golf players have threatened the DP World Tour with legal action after being banned from the Scottish Open and fined £100,000.

The 16 players will likely include Europeans such as Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell and Martin Kaymer. In the letter obtained by “The Telegraph”, the players said that the Tour’s actions to ban and fine players “will have adverse consequences on the DP World Tour.”

The letter ‘implored’ the DP World Tour to “reconsider your recent penalties and sanctions” and rescind the fines and suspensions by 5pm on Friday. If the Tour doesn’t rescind the bans and fines by that time, the players will be taking immediate legal action. “If not, you will leave us with no choice but to employ the various other means and methods at our disposal to rectify these wrongs,” the letter states.

The letter also criticizes the DP World Tour’s decision to partner with the PGA TOUR for the Scottish Open and Barracuda Championship. Due to their alliance, some DP World Tour players have been forced out of the Scottish Open to make room for PGA Tour players. Therefore, some DP World Tour players will have to fly to Kentucky to play for a smaller purse in the week before the 150th Open Championship.

Additionally, the 16 players criticized the DP World Tour’s new deal with the PGA Tour that will see the top 10 players on the Race to Dubai rankings earn PGA Tour cards.

“That the DP World Tour top performers will now earn PGA Tour cards serves only to solidify the DP World Tour as second fiddle to the PGA Tour and depletes the DP World Tour’s top rising talent even further”.

Full letter here:

“In Mr Pelley’s latest communication, he uses the statement that every action in life comes with a consequence. We agree, and we are concerned that the actions of the Tour against us, LIV Golf, and golf in general will have adverse consequences on the DP World Tour, a tour and an organisation that, despite our recent interactions, we care deeply for.

“The intention of this letter is not to further divide us, but to respond to Tour statements and to pose questions that the Tour should answer and we should discuss in detail. Instead of spending our time, energy, financial resources, and focus on appeals, injunctions, and lawsuits, we would implore you, the custodians of the DP World Tour, to reconsider your recent penalties and sanctions, and instead focus our energies on forging a path forward that is better for the DP World Tour members and the game of golf.

“To this end, we ask that you rescind your fines and suspensions by 5:00 pm on Friday, July 1, 2022. In addition, we represent over 5 percent of the DP World Tour membership and, under its articles of association, we ask you to convene a meeting of Tour membership to discuss these important matters further. If not, you will leave us with no choice but to employ the various other means and methods at our disposal to rectify these wrongs.

“We appreciate that the argument being put forward is that the ‘strategic alliance’ with the PGA Tour will provide overall benefit to DP World Tour members – hence the competitive threat to the PGA Tour being treated differently when it comes to releases and other matters.

“To begin with, we do not accept that protecting the PGA Tour through this alliance could in any way justify this disparate treatment. Even if it could, what are these benefits? This a question we have asked for many months.

“Thus far, the option to play the Barracuda Championship instead of the Scottish Open doesn’t appear to be one that benefits the membership at all. Ultimately, approximately 40 DP World Tour members who would have been eligible for the Scottish Open on the DP World tour will now not be eligible, and instead will only have the option to go and play on the PGA Tour in Kentucky the week before The Open, for less money but at a higher cost to participate.

“In addition, PGA Tour players have been encouraged to play the Scottish Open through a stipend to cover travel costs, but the same benefit is not afforded to DP World Tour members?! That the DP World Tour top performers will now earn PGA Tour cards serves only to solidify the DP World Tour as second fiddle to the PGA Tour and depletes the DP World Tour’s top rising talent even further. And without regard to whether this collaboration is lawful, would this collaboration be happening without LIV Golf entering the market?”

In response, the DP World Tour released this statement on Friday morning:

“There has been a leak to the media of a letter we received on behalf of a number of LIV Golf players which contains so many inaccuracies that it cannot remain unchallenged.

“Before joining LIV Golf, players knew there would be consequences if they chose money over competition. Many of them at the time understood and accepted that. Indeed, as one player named in the letter said in a media interview earlier this year; ‘If they ban me, they ban me.’ It is not credible that some are now surprised with the actions we have taken.

“The letter claims that these players ‘care deeply’ for the DP World Tour. An analysis of the past participation statistics on our Tour in recent years of several of the leading players named, suggests otherwise.

“One player in particular named in the note has only played six Rolex Series events in the past five years. Another one, only four. I wish many of them had been as keen to play on our Tour then as they seem to be now, based on the fact they have either resigned their membership of the PGA TOUR or, if they are still in membership, have been suspended indefinitely.

“Furthermore, given how deeply these players say they care about the DP World Tour, perhaps some of them could have played in Ireland this week in support of our new title sponsor, in particular one player who gave us a signed commitment to play at Mount Juliet.

“With that player currently in action at Pumpkin Ridge, you can imagine the allegation in the letter that we are in the wrong, is hard to accept.

“We also take great exception to an allegation made near the end of the letter which states we are somehow playing ‘second fiddle’ to the PGA TOUR. Nothing could be further from the truth.

“We held a player meeting in Ireland on Tuesday where we outlined in great detail all the many benefits of our expanded relationship with the PGA TOUR.

“One of those is an unprecedented ten cards on offer to the PGA TOUR, cards that many of the players named in this letter desperately wanted to attain in the early stages of their careers. Why now be critical of those trying to do the same?

“The letter also expresses supposed concern about the future of the DP World Tour. Rest assured no-one should have any worries on that score.

“The DP World Tour is a vibrant, independent and global Tour with increasing and guaranteed prize fund growth over the next five years. We have fantastic tournaments across the year including a host of wonderful national Opens, all played in front of huge crowds, illustrated perfectly by this week’s Horizon Irish Open.

“Finally, it would not be appropriate for me to comment on any potential legal matters.

“I will simply reiterate that our Members’ Regulations which have been in force for more than 30 years, have been accepted by all the players, are there to protect all of our members, and we will use them to take all necessary steps to protect their interests.

“The sanctions for those members who knowingly broke our rules by playing at the Centurion Club without a release are proportionate, fair and, I believe, considered necessary by the majority of our members.”

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19th Hole

Phil Mickelson makes a couple of interesting equipment changes for LIV Golf’s Portland event

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For many years, golf fans watched Phil Mickelson using what may have been one of the shortest putters on tour, but while he won the PGA Championship with his trusty Odyssey Milled Blade “Phil Mickelson” he’s been tinkering with the length for a while.

Last September at the Fortinet Championship, Phil was spotted with a new, extended, grip on the flat stick, allowing him to create an ‘arm-lock’ style that made him feel as if, “I’ll get on a roll and just start making a lot.”

So to this week’s LIV tournament at Pumpkin Ridge, and the six-time major winner is experimenting once again.

Twitter’s ‘Phil Mickelson Tracker’ posted a photo of his extended putter with the one-word exclamation “#Armlock!”

The replies were mostly positive, suggesting it can only help the three-time Masters champion improve past some poor putting stats. Indeed, since a standout gain of over 12 shots putting at Kiawah Island, Lefty has lost strokes to the field in nine of his last 12 recorded starts, with his worst performance being a loss of over ten shots at the BMW Championship last August. No wonder he lobbed on the extra rubber at Napa.

With his Callaway deal on hold, Mickelson has also made a change in his wedges.

Lefty has a Ping Eye2 wedge in the bag this week, with the model being an Eye2 XG (a reproduction of the original Eye 2 but with 2010 conforming grooves) which he has used occasionally since 2014. 

Mickelson sits T30 after the opening day’s action in Portland, after shooting a disappointing round of 3 over par on Thursday.

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19th Hole

Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia’s personal relationship has reportedly turned toxic

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In 2014 Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia were the so-called ‘dream team’ of the Ryder Cup.

The pair totted up a combined total of 5-and-a-half points of the 16-and-a-half won by the victorious European team, beating the pairing of Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan in the second day foursomes before both winning their singles.

Their relationship was so solid that McIlroy was honored to be an usher at Garcia’s wedding in 2017, but recently it’s all gone sour, with Golf Monthly reporting a “complete deterioration” of the relationship.

A week ago, it was widley reported that the Spaniard had told his Northern Irish friend that they were now “finally getting paid what we deserve,” a comment that received the reply, “Sergio. We’re golfers. We don’t deserve to be paid anything.”

According to Golf Monthly, the relationship has now “turned personal,” with the world number three unhappy that his old friend has dedicated himself to the Saudi-backed tour, putting the selection process for the Ryder Cup into confusion. The rhetoric between the two is reported to be “bitter and personal.”

At the Wells Fargo Championship in May, as he was hacking out of the rough after a ruling, Garcia was heard muttering, “I can’t wait to leave this tour,” before being confirmed as one of the initial participants of the LIV Golf Series.

Whilst it is unclear exactly what the sanctions are with regards to the Ryder Cup 2023, the way the PGA and DP Tours are moving, there is a distinct possibility that LIV players will be seriously affected – though Garcia has made clear that he wants to be a part of it.

At a press conference before the inaugural LIV event at the Centurion Club, Garcia stated, “I haven’t resigned from the European Tour because I would like to still be a member. I’m European, I love the European Tour. I played it for 23 years. Obviously we’re going to have to wait and see what the European Tour does. But I definitely would like to keep my membership and get my chance to make the Ryder Cup team because I love that event. But we’ll wait and see what happens over there.”

Whilst recent LIV press conferences on site have caused their own controversy, Garcia has prompted his own backlash.

After reportedly delivering an anti-DP World Tour rant at the BMW International in Germany last week, Golf Monthly reports that one tour player commented:

“They (LIV players) all think they are untouchable, and they all think the tours can’t do anything. I think they’re all about to realize they’re wrong. It is short sighted to think regulations can’t change and that there isn’t a lot of ill-feeling towards them. I think they’ve miscalculated quite dramatically.

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