When I first started playing golf, I was so self conscious I refused to hit balls in front of anyone. I thought everything about my “game” was inadequate compared to everyone else. Eventually this passed as my game improved but is this how women feel when they start golf? I certainly hope not but I wouldn't be surprised. Golf has been such an amazing sport for me and I want more women to enjoy the game we all love.
What other sport can you play throughout your lifetime with family, friends, or in business? Golf isn’t just a game, it helped shape my adolescent and adult life. Golf is unique in the challenges it presents. It’s you against the course but it’s ultimately you against yourself. It’s a mental grind that tests you in ways you never thought possible. Golf is one of the rare games that teaches discipline, dedication, patience, and focus all in one. Those character traits aren't just learned or used on the golf course either. They also translate to aspects of your everyday life.
There are several great programs and initiatives to help bring more women to golf but more can always be done. I have found the biggest hurdle is that women say they don’t know where to start. Being overwhelmed by all the information about the swing, clubs, lessons, and rules is a big deterrent. In golf, you have to take things one step at a time. But most don't know what the first step should be…
I think beginners need an encouraging, relaxed, and non-intimidating environment to diminish the initial overall fears of starting an intimidating game like golf. Today, beginner clinics are available for women in order to help with some of those initial fears. Beginner clinics bring women together with similar skill levels which provides a level of comfort. It allows them to decide if they want to devote more time and effort into learning the game.
The obvious question is how do we get them there? I challenge you to pay it forward, if you know a female that doesn’t play golf and might be interested, give back to the game. Take them to the golf course with you. Give them a little introduction to the game you love. If their interest is peaked, help them find a beginner clinic. Also I’m willing to help in whatever way I can whether that be pointing them in the right direction or simply offering encouragement.
Let’s get more women playing golf!