Those who are familiar with our Southern Living-Inspired Community know that we are renowned for our wide array of resort-style amenities and activities. One of the most prominent is our award-winning, Weiskopf/Morrish-designed golf course. Our course is open to anyone who wants to play — especially women. Here at Harbor Club, the word “golf” is not synonymous with “gentlemen only, ladies forbidden.” We’re supportive and enthusiastic about all ladies who enjoy the game.
The future looks bright too, as both women and girls are increasingly taking part in golfing activities. Consider some of these fascinating facts about women in golf, then and now:
A historic beginning…
The first woman to play golf was Mary Queen of Scots. The infamous golf course at St. Andrews was built during her reign in 1552 and she is the one that coined the term “caddy” by calling her assistants “cadets”.
More women are playing golf now
In 2016, 34 percent of the 2.5 million new golfers were female. According to the National Golf Foundation’s 2018 Golf Industry Report, women make up 24 percent of all golfers. This represents an increase of more than 13 percent over the prior five years.
Girls are gaining an interest in golf
Of 2.9 million junior golfers in 2016, 33 percent were female (ages 6-17). This represents an increase of 17 percent since 1995. In 2017, girls made up 25 percent of participants in the PGA Junior League.
Golf aids women in the business world
According to a 2016 study with Sports and Leisure Research Group (SLRG) entitled “A New Context for Business Golf,” female executives agree that golf builds confidence and is an integral part of business. Almost 80 percent of women believe that playing golf in a business environment is a great networking tool for relationships with colleagues, clients, and potential clients. More than half of the businesswomen who play golf say that it has made them more comfortable being assertive, disciplined, and taking calculated risks. What’s more, nearly 60 percent of women golfers felt that playing golf has boosted their professional success and that it made them feel more included in work-related endeavors.
Women in the LPGA
There are now approximately 40 LPGA tournaments played each year, including four major tournaments. They are the Nabisco Championship, the U.S. Women’s Open, the LPGA Championship, and the Women’s British Open.
There are more women golfers — both “off-course” and online
Women account for 41 percent of “off-course golfers.” This stat suggests that places like Topgolf are increasing the sport’s exposure to females and, in turn, helps boost the health of the game. Instagram influencers are also proving that there is an interest in women who golf from both the brand and fan perspective, even if the focus is not on the LPGA players themselves. Tania Tare is a good example. She’s a golf trick shot artist with over 215,000 followers on Instagram alone.
Women continue to make progress in golf
In 2012, the home of The Masters, Augusta National Golf Club, invited former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore to become the first women to wear green jackets when the club opened for a new season in October. (The 80-year old club had been under fire during the last several years due to its all-male membership.)
We love that our neighbor, Augusta National, allowed women to play golf at their prestigious course. At Harbor Club, we champion and celebrate girls and women of all ages to participate in the sport. Our highly-active Ladies Golf Association holds several events, play days, and tournaments that help empower both new and experienced female golfers alike. We understand that golf creates meaningful connections as well as teaches skills that last a lifetime for all who play. Try it for yourself and see. Get your group together and book a tee time today.