Women...Really! Part 3, Long Term Growth

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  We realize that golf is perhaps the toughest sport to learn and to play well.  For women, golf can be a landmine of frustration.  Today, in this 3rd segment of my blog on growing the game for women, I will work through developing strategies to keep these new golfers around for perhaps a lifetime.  Think about building several programs that can create interest and enthusiasm for different segments of women: the young business professional, the wife and mother, and women 45+.  It can be invaluable to customize your programs while staying away from that one size fits all situation.  Moms want a healthy way for the family to spend time, while women 45+ want exercise and new ways to socialize, meet new friends, while getting into something very different.  Finally, teaching young business professionals how to play business golf with the "guys" and clients can become a valuable program for you and the club.

  Family golf can be about 3-4 holes, one evening each week with a friendly night out at the club.  Define it as the Mac & Cheese Open night, where you teach a bit while having an assistant walk a few holes, creating new family fun.  With women 45+, create first a program of learning with regular socializing.  Never believe a women is too old to learn.  They want to have FUN while learning to be competitive.  Make sure you create a very social atmosphere, complete with wine, some fun games, and continuing education.  Finally, for the many women business professionals, combine instruction in the swing, with information on how to play golf with a boss, peers, or a client.  Fear keeps people away from golf.  Understand that you are the expert and that creating value with meaningful programs for generations of women, will create a unique name and new value for the club.  Think two years of active programs for each new golfer.

  Keys for building beginning women golfers into long term players, include a very proactive, educated staff, regular events for all of the women in your programs, and an education that does not end.  Yes, women want to play golf, but it will take "heavy lifting" from you and your staff to build real success over time.  Never be afraid to ask for that one thing each golfer likes in a program, while you stay focused on tweaking your events in order to stay interesting and meaningful.  The invitation is critical.  Invite residents, business leaders, and staff to learn.  Invite the local press to promote your story and the variety of great programs.

  To fight the frustration that becomes part of every new golfer's golf bag, ask several members of your WGA to become Big Sisters.  These women will mentor your new golfers past the frustrations we know will be a part of the process.  These Big Sisters should be part of the long term education and a real part of the FUN.  Make these members feel like a part of your inner team and they will become great promoters.  Look to all of the assets you can use, both inside the club and beyond.  Look toward your local section, women's groups in your area, and the PGA office for assistance.  Look in every direction to make your 2013 programs very unique and meaningful to your new players.  Think about these keys in building your women's golf programs: education, comfort, FUN, social, family.....and the biggest value of them all.... respect.  Give them your time, your experience, some equipment, with a bit of FUN and they may just be with you for a lifetime.

Jack Dillon is available to help with your player development programs, or to improve your operation, especially your golf shop.  You can reach Jack at 407-973-6136 or highfives81@yahoo.com.


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