Last Updated on November 19, 2016 by JB

When my husband and I play a round of golf together we often talk about how we look forward to sharing this game with our children someday. We are blessed to have one boy and one girl, so it will be exciting to see which one (or both) pick up the game. While I think it’s easier to assume that my son may be more inclined to play golf, I also hope my daughter shows a strong interest in the game, especially at an early age. I have discovered the importance of Mothers, Daughters, and Golf.

Teach Your Daughter to Golf

The reason for my wanting my daughter to play? I think it’s due to my belief that the future of golf lies in the hands of women. Right now, women golfers make up 19% of the golfing population. A smaller percentage than I had expected to hear, but one that I hope to see grow over the next generation of players.

 

According to PGA VP Sandra Cross, “For women, it’s not because there is a lack of interest in playing, but rather a feeling of not being ‘invited’ to play in the first place.”

Women have been dated to golf as far back as the 16th century. The LPGA was founded in 1950 and there has been a parade of many successful women golfers throughout the years. So where is this division between women and golf that hinders some from playing?

Golf tends to cater to the male population. Societal expectations tend to push more boys towards playing golf, and no one has really challenged the status quo of it.

When I was 16, I was the first ‘cart girl’ that worked at our local country club. I assisted in loading clubs, talking about the golf course, picking up golf balls from the driving range and cleaning the golf carts as they came back in from the course. During my tenure there we had three ‘cart girls’ to the 10 ‘cart guys.’ It was small, but it was still larger than what I see at this golf course now. This course has also had five golf Pros since I’ve left…all males.

I have actually never met one female Professional golfer at a golf course. Granted, most of my experience in playing golf courses is in Pennsylvania, but I have met my fair share of professionals through the years; not one of them have been a woman.

The famous and exclusive Augusta National Golf Course finally extended memberships to two women in 2012. These women were Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore. Augusta was founded in 1933 and has hosted The Masters Major PGA Tournament since 1934. It took 79 years to extend a membership to a woman after much pressure to finally do so.

 

 

Augusta National - Men Only

 

 

For a game with such class and a golf course with such respectability, it’s baffling as to why it took so long to include women to their exclusive list. Women golfers deserved better than that.

 

Unfortunately, golf has seen a decline in popularity over the last few years. But it’s not because people aren’t playing, it’s basically ‘leveled off’ to what it was pre-Tiger days. As you may recall, Tiger Woods brought an excitement to golf that hadn’t been seen before. Golf courses popped up everywhere just to keep up with the overwhelming interest in the game. As time went on, and Tiger got older and more human, the interest and excitement dwindled and so did the need for golf courses.

 

 

Women Golfers Wanted

 

 

Now we are left to wonder, where do we go from here? I think the best place to start is with our children, especially our daughters.

 

I feel as if my son already has an ‘in’ within the game. He’s a boy and has been given many sport related toys (plastic golf set included) already. As for my daughter, it would not only mean a golfing partner for me but also a world of possibilities for her.  Women have come so far in their quest for golf equality, but it’s still a journey that can’t be given up on.

Different golf initiatives have been introduced by the PGA that have really helped with introducing golf to potential women golfers. Sandra Cross said that one specific program called “Get Golf Ready” has truly resonated with women.  Cross says, “the program teaches the basic elements of the game in a friendly, affordable (around $99) and social learning environment.”  Women have enjoyed learning about the game, while appreciating the social aspects of it as well.

Some golf courses are also offering unique deals on how many holes you can play. Ideas like “Six after Six” and “Nine and Dine” have also been popular for women. From my personal experience, I have had a lot of fellow women golfers tell me that nine holes is too little golf and 18 holes is too much golf. They wish they could play 12 holes; a happy median between the two.

 

As for the younger woman golfers, there are a lot of opportunities out there that could really help grow the game and keep it steady.

First off, there are great programs that cater to young golfers. The First Tee is a wonderful example of such a program. Its mission is to introduce golf to children from all walks of life and instill the strong core values that golf personifies. This program was created by the great minds of the PGA Tour, LPGA, The Masters, PGA of America and the USGA to get more kids to golf. It has been instrumental in keeping youth involved with the game, and giving them opportunities that they wouldn’t have had outside of this program.

Girls Golf is another terrific program brought to you by the LPGA & USGA, helping young girls learn and enjoy the life-long benefits and fun golf can give.

One final, and very important, factor to bring up are the availability of scholarships for women golfers.  According to website, Athletic Scholarships, “there are thousands of women’s golf scholarships that go unused every year.” For many young women golfers, scoring a golf scholarship may actually be a possibility now, and one may that entice more to play the game in the first place.

 

Golf isn’t just a game! It’s an adventure that teaches humility, determination, honesty and perseverance. Women have come a long way for equality in golf, and I have grown to appreciate their efforts even more as a woman golfer.

 

As time goes on, I know that both of my kids have the possibility to keep the game alive for future generations to enjoy. I may not know what the future holds, but I can only hope that someday I will proudly walk off the 18th green with both my son and my daughter, together and as equal players, and I have come to realize the importance of Mothers, Daughters, and Golf.

 

 

Resources:
Brennan, B. (2013, Feb. 7) PGA Looks to Women to Grow Golf. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/bridgetbrennan/2013/02/07/pga-looks-to-women-to-grow-golf/#375136c24cfc
College Women’s Golf Scholarship. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.athleticscholarships.net/womens-golf-scholarships.htm