Research compiled by US golf supplier Golf Styles shows women represent the fastest growing demographic in the sport with 41 per cent of all new players being female, and according to a local golf business Australia is not far behind.
Go Golfing, a diversified golf, travel and leisure company, says those who still believe that golf is predominantly a male domain hold an archaic perspective of the sport.
“The influx of females taking an interest in the sport within Australia could soon see females on par with men in what was traditionally a male-centric game,” Go Golfing managing director Peter McCarthy says.
“We have reached a point where members of the golf industry need to acknowledge the new trend, adapt, and see women golfers as a key market for their business. The significant increase of women playing in the sport is subsequently driving a massive amount of money into the economy each year.”
Industry research compiled by Golf Australia found that 21 per cent of club members are females.
This means of the 29.2 million rounds of golf played in Australia; females alone would play around 6.1 million rounds, creating an economic value of over $398 million.
The NGF’s research also shows that although the average age of women golfers is 42, the interest in golf is rising significantly for those between the ages of 18 and 26.
Professional golfer Jenny Sevil says there has been a wave of a brand new generation of golfers within Australian golf and many are rising in the ranks as professional players.
“Many non-golfers still imagine the majority of players to be like the age-old stereotype of an older man in tartan shorts,” Jenny Sevil says.
“But in doing so, they are underestimating just how prominent the demographic of young females enjoying and excelling in golf is becoming. Players such as 16-year-old Lexi Thompson, 14-year-old Lydia Ko and 18-year-old Jessica Korda and more have all created a worldwide status for themselves as professionals under the age of 26.”
New Zealander Ko became the youngest ever World No.1 Amateur female the day after her 14th birthday and also won the 2012 NSW Women’s Open becoming the youngest ever winner of a professional tournament for females or males.
Other young guns include 13-year-old Tiana Beakey, 15-year-olds Annie Choi and Su Hyun Oh, 16-year-old Jennie Lee and 17-year-old Victoria Tanco.
Mr McCarthy says having a new generation of women golfers coming through the ranks creates an entirely new demographic for the golf industry in Australia.
“Go Golfing has already made changes and introduced the female coaching clinics in order to cater for the growth in this market segment,” Mr McCarthy said. “The four-day programs are complete with training for every aspect to support players in improving their technique and to foster the growth of female players.”
“We recognised that women are developing a greater presence in the sport and golfing companies need to target them and provide services for their demographic specifically.”
Go Golfing is renowned for running Australia’s biggest amateur golfing tournament, The Mitsubishi World Masters Golf Championships each year on the Gold Coast for the past 17 years.