Female Golfers ‘Under-Served’, Says Study

Orlando, United States: Golf Datatech, LLC, the golf industry’s leading independent research firm for consumer, trade and retail golf trends, has released the results of the Women in Golf 2014 Study.

It’s a comprehensive study of the playing and purchasing habits of the serious female golfer. Today, female golfers make up more than 20% of the estimated 25 million golfers in the United States, and approximately 19% of all golf sales nationally.

The Women in Golf 2014 Study explores a range of topics about the US$900 million women’s golf equipment/apparel market, while discovering valuable insights about the playing habits, opinions and preferences of golf’s most under-served market.

The study also focuses on women golfers’ attitudes about the game and the facilities they play, revealing deep insights into their attitudes about equipment and brand choices, as well as their purchasing habits. Further, the study uncovers how women golfers’ media preferences and use of social media differ greatly from men.

“If the industry is going to market effectively to women golfers and grow that piece of the market, then knowing the size and scope of the segment is critical,” said John Krzynowek, a partner at Golf Datatech. “The women’s golf market has long been under-served, in spite of the fact women are passionate about the game and have proven to spend considerably on apparel and shoes, while being under-served in equipment, particularly in golf clubs.

“This study is the largest and most comprehensive research we’ve ever conducted on female golfers and it sets the benchmark regarding attitudes and preferences, rather than leaving them open to speculation.”

The 300-plus page study’s results are based on responses from nearly 2,000 female golfers drawn from Golf Datatech’s exclusive Serious Golfer Database. These individuals average 60 rounds per year, while also actively participating in other activities, including walking, exercising, swimming and cycling.

“At a time when the golf industry is looking for ways to expand and grow, the results suggest the female golfer continues to offer great unrealised potential,” Krzynowek said.

“Studies have shown that women are better able to balance work, family and social life, so managing to fit in a nine-hole round instead of a full 18 could well meet their needs, and is completely in line with the direction many believe the game should be heading. Golf doesn’t have to always mean 18 holes, and women understand that the game can still be part of a busy lifestyle.

“Rather than be hindered by the many obstacles facing the game today, such as time and cost constraints, this study also shows that women greatly value the social, physical and aesthetic attributes that have made golf an attractive sport for many generations.”

Additional key findings of the study are that female golfers under the age of 40 are more likely to use golf as a valuable business resource. Among the three biggest positive attributes for playing the game, 90% cited general well-being (outdoors, exercise), 80% cited the challenge and competition of golf, and nearly 70% cited the social interactions of playing the game with family and friends.

In contrast, when asked what they don’t like about the game, a majority of respondents cited that the average golf course is a very ‘male dominated’ place.

“Serious female golfers represent a robust portion of the game and are vital to golf’s future,” added Krzynowek. “The industry would do well to focus and expand this already important category.”

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