More than 150 golf industry leaders attended the Golf 20/20 Forum this week at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, FL. The mission of the forum was to align the industry behind the common goal of ensuring the future vitality of golf through growing participation in the sport. The theme was “The Time Is Now” and the emphasis was on action and execution.
The presentations of the day focused on three areas: opening doors to minorities and women in order to increase the game’s accessibility, creating new golfers through the successful Get Golf Ready program and increasing participation by utilizing new approaches that match today’s lifestyle.
I had the opportunity to host a panel discussion on welcoming women and minorities called “The Time is Now to Open Doors to All” with Arthur Little from the Little Family Foundation, Suzy Whaley, Member of the PGA of America Board of Directors and PGA and LPGA Teaching Professional extraordinaire and Marie Jackson-Dunovant, CEO of SydMar Golf Management in Decatur, GA. It was a dynamic and energetic session.
As many know, twenty years ago, EWGA was created to welcome women into the game of golf and provide a fun and non-intimidating environment to attract women to play the game. There were many naysayers at that time who were convinced that it wouldn’t catch on – and what began as a niche market opportunity has evolved with EWGA becoming the most recognizable grassroots women’s golf organization in the country. Over 100,000 women have been involved with EWGA since its inception and collectively we contribute over $300M annually to the golf economy in greens fees, food and beverage, lessons and equipment purchases. Just imagine scaling this to even greater heights!
And with women accounting for 85% of all consumer purchases and influencing over 91% of purchases, our sphere of influence shouldn’t be underestimated. As primary shoppers for our households, women are buying not only for themselves but for all family members. They are the gatekeepers. And the time is now to create opportunities to engage, influence, inspire and encourage women to be at the course on an emotional and physical level.
What can you do today to connect to her? How much feedback have you sought from female customers in the last year? How many women are involved in developing your marketing and sales strategies? Have you played your course from where she plays? Is your course set up in a welcoming manner? Is par attainable? No matter whether you are selling lessons, equipment, apparel or tee times – women want assurances up front they won’t be left high and dry. How you connect with and develop a relationship with her is critically important. Put yourself in her shoes and experience what she does.
The time is now to capture the heart of women customers. There are many faces to women and golf and the time is now to develop that relationship. EWGA has been doing it for over 20 years
and is still going strong.
Andrea Jung, Chairman and CEO of Avon Products said it best: “The biggest emerging market in the world isn’t a country. It’s women.”
To view pictures of the event, go to http://www.myewga.com/MYEWGA/MYEWGA/Resources/Blogs/BlogViewer/Default.aspx?BlogKey=683d9d5b-ceca-401f-bc2b-8498eeb4ffc5