What Women Want – It’s all in the details

Apr 26, 2013   //   by Mike   //   Latest News  //  Comments Off on What Women Want – It’s all in the details

A big part of our market base that always seems to get overlooked is the female golfer. Golf has generally been male dominated over the years, but times have been changing. The facilities that take a proactive approach to welcoming this market segment will not just grow their female member base, but will also increase their male member base at the same time. All big family decisions, like what club to join, are not just made by a single person in relationships nowadays but usually by both parties.

The released 2008 Play Golf America report found during the past five years women have emerged as the fastest-growing demographic for growing participation in the game in the U.S.A.

The 2004 Golf Australia report identified the women’s national participation rate in golf was around three percent and this participation as a percentage of the population does not exceed two percent until the 35 to 44 age group is reached. So what can we do as operators to improve these percentages and attract more women to the game, especially the under 35’s?

Is your facility “female friendly”? This isn’t just referring to being polite to women when you see them at your club (which hopefully you already are). It means taking a look at the club environment and management culture at your facility.

Club Environment

Women tend to see the details of your facility that can sometimes go unnoticed by management staff who are there on a regular basis. How do you rate the cleanliness of your restrooms, locker rooms, and general clubhouse areas?

Not all women are created equal – are you stocking the appropriate sized clothing in your pro shops? Ask your clothing supplier to let you know which sizes are selling the most and change your orders to match this need. An easy test is to look at the items remaining on your clearance rack each month. These are probably not the best sizes to order. Do you have discreet, clean changing areas with mirrors and decorated with flowers for good measure. Remember, it’s in the details. Have a mix of styles that are suited to your membership demographic, young and old. Do you have any female staff helping out in the pro shop, especially on ladies days? You will see a spike in revenue if you do.

Is your restaurant suited to children and families and do you have children-sized meals, toys and space available for them to play while parents enjoy their meals? Make sure you also have clean presentation on your tables i.e. flowers, colour books for the kids and clean menus. Menu cleanliness is one of those small but important details commonly overlooked.

More and more facilities are finding space to build a “kids zone” just for this reason. This strategy will pay off in the long run. So have a look at your clubhouse floor plan for any unused area that could be converted.

Help beginner female players get over the intimidation factor by offering some free monthly golf clinics or free education seminars about the game.

Women generally like to socialise with other women, and they will usually know members from other clubs in the area. A good word-of-mouth referral is always helpful in gaining a good reputation as a “female friendly” facility.

Management Culture

All members, not just women, love to see their General Manager around the club. When did you last go out and play a round of golf or a few holes with your female members, or showed up to help with their presentations? Or if you want to create a real lasting impression, take out a tray of cheese and fruit and stop to greet each group on the course. It’s not always feasible to do this, but you could choose a special occasion.

Are you flexible in your tee time bookings? Allow female golfers an opportunity to access the course during times that fit into their personal schedules, as many have young families and need time to drop kids off at school before they are able to get on the course. Offer different competition formats to accommodate these times so women are still participating in some way.

Get to know who your members’ partners are and survey them to see how many actually may be interested in trying the game. Take a proactive approach to your business and reap the rewards.

5 Simple ideas for a female-friendlier facility:

1) Put potted flowers on the 1st and 10th tees as tee markers for the Lady Comp.

2) Offer smaller portion food sizes and healthy alternatives on the menu.

3) Connect your female members with other female members and guests through various social non-golf functions.

4) Have female representation on the club’s committee.

5) Host women’s only networking events – they can include golf but it is not always necessary.

If you simply show you really care and attend to the small things – you’ll make a big difference.

Author: Mike Orloff © Copyright Golf Industry Central December 2008

Contact Mike for all your marketing and operational needs, big or small. Were here to help you operate a more profitable facility.

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