Although it may seem to be a male-dominated industry, the sports world is beginning to see changes. Women are becoming more involved with sports, as both athletes and fans, and the community is taking notice. On Yahoo’s top ten most searched athletes of 2015, seven of them were women. With this trend, sports-related businesses should make female-targeted initiatives a priority in 2016.

However, within the golf industry, it can be difficult to encourage women’s participation. Currently, only about 20% of golfers are women – and that hasn’t changed much in decades. Women may not play golf for several reasons – time, access, difficulty, or a fear of an unwelcoming environment.

Tim Schwartz, PGA General Manager of The Broadlands Golf Course, a Landscapes Unlimited course in Broomfield Colorado, has developed a successful program to grow women’s participation at his facility.  Each Tuesday at 5:30 April through September, Tim hosts a women’s clinic.  The $18 fee to participate is affordable and includes range balls, instruction and “swing lube” in the form of a cooler of adult beverages on the range.  The atmosphere is necessarily relaxed and social – each week starts with a joke and an icebreaker to introduce all participants.

“The social environment is the real key” notes Schwartz, “it is very low pressure, we are all to have a few laughs and make new friends.”

Indeed, focusing on the social aspects of golf has proved successful.  “We generally see 15-25 participants each week and our loyal guests are constantly bringing new friends.”

The trickle down effect has really helped the Broadlands, too.  “The clinic is a great introduction, and we see our participants engaging more with the game through our Nine & Wine events, 8” Cup Scrambles and we even have a small group forming who play every week before the clinic”, says Schwartz.

Thinking a bit differently and focusing on the social side of golf can pay dividends.  Many of Tim’s ideas can be expanded to attract a whole new variety of players – including beginners, seniors, and juniors.

For more than 25 years, Landscapes Unlimited has been providing golf course owners, private club boards, and financial institutions with solutions for golf course operations. Contact us today for more information.