There are many reasons why people don’t play golf or more golf. I wanted to know why. How can we expand this game to include more people? So far, I have focused on just women. I asked around to find the most common reasoning behind why women don’t play golf or play more golf. I can’t say I’m surprised behind the reasoning of it. I myself have many of the same hang ups.
I don’t play golf for some of the reasons of other women but I’ve decided to change that. I have approached my husbands coach to try and teach me why not my husband? How would you be with your husband trying to teach you something new, he frustrates me. So I’ve decided now that I’m a contributor at UTNT and that I’m starting to travel a little bit I should maybe learn the game. As I learn I will be writing about the challenges that I face trying to learn the game. I’m sure it won’t be anything surprising to other people that have attempted to take up golf.
Back to my research. I was able to find out there are many hang-ups a lot of women suffer from which prevent them from playing the game. A lot of the hang-ups stem from how they are treated by the men on golf courses. I am not saying it is all men but as my husband says “The old boys’ network”. We want to go out there and play the sport just like the men want to but we are uncomfortable. A lot of the men have a tendency of gawking at a woman when she comes on a course or even a driving range. There are some men that will try to help a female if they think there is something that can be fixed. The only issue is more men are looking at a women just to stare. Newsflash guys… we don’t like to be started at. We want to go there for our peace and quiet and to improve. If you have any sense of respect please don’t stare at us…let us do our thing.
Time constraints. In talking to several women I just wanted to touch on this factor. Not to sound “old country” but for the most part women have said that they simply don’t have time. Between work, getting children to and from school and parenting in general many have have said that they don’t have the time. Closely related to having the time and parenting is that from one individual I heard that pregnancy has taken away the desire to get to a range or course to take up the game. Both LPGA Tour Hall of Fame golfers Lorena Ochoa and Annika Sorenstam walked away from professional golf to start a family. They were at the height of their careers.
Another big hang-up is how often female golfers get insulted. Just because the average female can’t drive the ball 285 or 300 yards (then again neither can the typical recreational golfer)… don’t judge! You already have us hitting from a shorter distance, be patient and once again don’t judge. The mumbling under your breath or the complaints to other golfers 9 times out of 10 it gets back to us. Why do we have to be judged based on our gender? If a male cannot drive a ball 250 yards and drives it a similar distance to a woman we don’t hear you complaining about that. If you are going to complain about 1 person complain about everyone with that issue despite the gender.
Cost, for the love of everything golf. Why does the sport need to be so darn pricey? If it wasn’t so expensive to play maybe more people would. Newsflash… this is for the manufacturers. Everyone that wants to play golf is not rich so stop making it a rich persons sport. Be realistic or you know what? Make a secondary line. If you made the products more affordable more people would take it up and buy your products. Also the golf courses themselves. Is a $120 green fee for 18 holes is that really necessary. Is it not better to lower the rates and get more people on the course? Or is it better to have higher rates and not get as many? The carts aren’t making you money sitting in the cart compound.
The course marshals. Yes, you are an issue as well. Stop rushing us off the course. I can understand if we are taking an unrealistic time but come on now. Whether it’s males, females, young or old. We all deserve the same amount of time. Marshals, if there’s one thing that you need to know it’s that breathing down our necks isn’t going to make us move faster. Instead, we’re going to feel frozen because you’re riding us. I understand though… we also have an obligation to keep up with the group in front of us.
Another concern about the game is feeling intimidated. It can be about the game but it is mostly by the men. I know it sounds like I’m man bashing but all I am doing is bringing to the forefront what the issues are with the game. Not all men fit this mold and I don’t mean to stereotype but this is from personal experiences that each woman I have spoken to has voiced. They feel like the men are trying to intimidate them. They make comments like they don’t belong on a course etc. Everyone belongs on a course people! Man, Woman, Boy, Girl, Young or Old. It is a form of exercise and dare I say relaxation.
The final issue that I have is one that I’ve touched on it in a previous article. CLOTHING! Yes clothing. There is not enough “nice, affordable” pieces of clothing for women. I have been in contact with a couple of companies (Knights of Golf, Golftini and Gretchen Scott to name a couple) and I look forward to getting a chance to talk to them. These lines I feel may have some great pieces of clothing that we can feel comfortable in wearing. Keep your eyes open for what I have to say about the clothing maybe I can enlighten you all and assist with perhaps making you feel more comfortable to play this game.
I just want to re-iterate one more time. I’m not bashing all men. I am simply voicing concerns of the ones that cause these issues. Don’t get me wrong, I guarantee you that there are woman that cause the issues too… possibly for the men. What this write up comes down to is WE NEED TO MAKE A CHANGE! At least if we want to grow the sport. The generations are dying and the game of golf is dying with it. Let’s try to bring it back for our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to enjoy too. There are too many electronics out there now and the newer generation are indoors playing games. Let’s spread the word and get these kids out of the house and onto a course.
Until The Next Tee!!