Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Commentary: Golf Digest's Woman Undercover

Commentary:  Golf Digest's Woman Undercover by Sean Mysel - MODERN GOLF MARKETING
Article By Peter Finch of

Perhaps one of the most frustrating parts of working and enjoying the game of golf is the "Augusta National" complex of many golfers and clubs.  Augusta National of course is where The Masters tournament is held in Augusta, GA and one of the most coveted tournaments in the sport.  Augusta National is known for its remarkable beauty with some of the most breathtaking and dangerous holes in golf, yet it's also known for other  unfortunate things as well.  For instance, Bill Wolfrum's article in  the Golf Channel's "World Golf" section talked about Martha Burk and her fight to have Augusta National publish it's long standing "men's only" policy for members. Augusta National is at the same time what's about golf and what is entirely wrong about it all rolled into one green mess. This attitude bleeds through the game into public and private courses even if it's not so defiant.

In Finch's article, he talks about different scenarios where a LPGA pro, Kim Hall dresses in a Tom Boy outfit, housewife and dashing blonde outfits and with different skill levels.  Overall, the reluctance, if not outright disdain for playing with Hall is insulting, even for a male.  When I've played with my wife or attempted to find equipment, we've had the same experiences.  My wife, Stefanie has worked to get herself to a point where she can hit the ball solidly most times.  Yet, when we go into our local Golfsmith, which rarely happens now, she gets ignored.  Add onto the fact she's left handed and she may as well have rabies or lepracy.  So here's the major question, how do you deal with this?

It's not an easy question to answer and is perplexing to understand.  But I'm not one for simply complaining, but finding answers.  First thing that needs to happen is the powers that be in the game need to reshape the way they present the game to women.  This means make the game more inviting to women.  Put out ads in the newspaper and invite women down to the course for a meet and greet.  Let them hit some shots and learn the fundamentals of the game.  Women tend to control the purse strings in American households so don't you want to sell to the main decision makers.  Second, we as men need to let go of our predisposed feeling that a golf course is our birthright.  One of the comments that caught Finch's attention was a man who ranted against the "knuckle dragger" comment.  Essentially the rant was about how he doesn't have to play with women and it's not fair he's being categorized as a Neanderthal.  Yet, he still said he wouldn't allow women in his group.

What Finch's article along with many of the other writers for Golf Digest illustrate is the problem with the game isn't at a national level, it's at the local Muni course.  It's a controllable problem if people pay attention to what's going on their tee sheet.  Slow play in my opinion is not being caused by a crowded course, it's because we as customers feel a sense of entitlement, that we paid money and it's our time.  Yes, you paid money, but no it's everyone's time and everyone should have access.

1 comment:

Sherry Tabb said...

Great article, Sean. Thanks for tapping my quote as well.

Your idea of 'giving to get' is such a logical approach to building and increasing business. It's a shame most golf facilities don't 'get it' when it comes to attracting very lucrative market....the women golfers!

Keep up the good work...