In December 2022, the R&A published their Playbook, which explains what the R&A does and their plans for making golf more accessible and inclusive, and outlines their investment plans for the next 10 years, where they will invest £200m in the development of amateur golf.
The Playbook can be viewed and downloaded HERE
The R&A have re-vamped their website – to view please click HERE
R&A Women & Girls Initiatives
In 2018, the R&A launched the Women in Golf Charter, since then National Governing Bodies and Organisations providing products and services to Golf from around the World have signed up and pledged to make Golf accessible to anyone in whichever format works for their lifestyle, ability, aspiration and budget.
In 2019, the R&A committed £80m to Women and Girls Golf, through the Women in Golf Charter, over 10years, their initial focus is on 5 (alphabetical) key markets:
NB: Other markets are working on developing their golf programs, and are featured below.
The Women in Golf Charter is focused on 2 areas of Golf:
- Participation – developing Golf in to an accessible, inclusive and welcoming sport for women to participate in
- Employment – developing and supporting women working in Golf today and creating new opportunities for women across every aspect of the golf industry – The Women in Golf Leadership Programme
Below is a summary of some of the initiatives from around the World and from different organisations focused on developing and evolving Golf as a sport #FOREEveryone
#ForeEveryone is a global campaign to inspire more women and girls of all ages and abilities into playing the sport and go onto enjoy it throughout their lives.
Women & Girls Initiatives
Golf Australia and other Australian Governing Bodies have signed up to and are supporting the implementation of
bringing all areas of golf together to support the development of women’s golf across the country.
In 2019, Golf Australia’s Female engagement manager, an ex-footballer and non-golf club member, ran a roadshow introducing Vision 2025 to clubs and organisations across Australia to articulate the vision and engage the different groups across the country, gaining their support for Vision 2025.
The video below is 1hour 42 minutes of passion and honesty which provides a great insight in to the value of golf, and how one persons introduction and journey in to golf reflects the challenges which have been overcome in order to get golf to work for her and how her experience can provide insights and ideas can ensure golf becomes more accessible.
Golf Australia Vision 2025 – Steering Group
The Vision 2025 Steering Group has moved away from being a “committee” to being a “group” of members working together from different governing bodies representing a broad spectrum of individuals and groups involved in Golf. The current “Steering Group”, January 2023 members are:
- Jill Spargo – Former Golf Australia Board Member
- Sarah Chia – Golf Australia Board Member
- James Sutherland – CEO Golf Australia
- David Gallichio – General Manager – Game Development, Golf Australia
- Chyloe Kurdas – Female Engagement Senior Manager, Golf Australia
- Karen Lunn – CEO – WPGA Australia
- Gavin Kirkman – CEO, PGA of Australia
- Paul Vardy – Golf Management Australia
- Karrie Webb – 7 Time Major Champion – ALPG & LPGA Player
- Stuart Fraser – CEO – GOLF NSW
- Gary Thomas – CEO – GOLF WA
The Steering Group has representatives from all aspects and organisations within the Australian Golf Eco-system
- The R&A
- Australian Ladies Professional Golf (ALPG)
- PGA of Australia (PGA)
- Golf Management Australia (GMA)
- Golf NSW
- Golf WA
working together to deliver a shared annual plan for the Australian golf industry. With all stakeholders contributing ideas and resources to growing the game at all levels for women and girls, the future of golf looks very bright!
Language and Vocabulary
A key mechanism utilised by Golf Australia in the evolution of Golf is the adoption of a modern vocabulary in their Womens Initiatives:
- Ladies Golf – Womens Golf
- Steering Committee – Steering Group
Changing the vocabulary around Golf has the ability to change perceptions and make golf more accessible to a broad spectrum of potential participants on and off the course and attract new skills and people to working roles within Golf.
From the England Golf Website:
“England Golf – Our role in promoting the Charter
The R&A is committed to leading change and England Golf was one of the first organisations to sign the Charter and pledge its support for:
- A stronger focus on gender balance across the industry
- Commitment from national federations and organisations to support measures to increase participation of women, girls and families in golf
- Positive action to support the recruitment, retention and progress of women working at all levels of the sport
- Annual targets for national associations for participation and membership
- An inclusive environment for women and girls within golf”
England Golf Keep A Register of Signatories to the Women in Golf Charter Across England:
From the Golf Ireland Website:
“A commitment to a more inclusive culture within golf”
Across the globe, women as a whole have and continue to be under represented at all levels of the Golf Club, namely; categories of membership, access to the course, access to competitions, coaching, refereeing and leadership opportunities. Over the past 15 years there has been a noticeable shift in all areas mentioned above, particularly in the Republic of Ireland largely due to the Equal Status Act.
In 1991, just 13% of female members were “allowed” to attend their club AGM’s, with only 7% having a vote. This is one of the largest shifts in modern day club membership with 51% of females now having full membership and voting rights in their club, his differs significantly in Northern Ireland where just 15% of women are full members.
However, with women and girls making up 22% of Golf Club membership across 368 Golf Clubs and only half of them having full rights there is a clear opportunity to improve the voice of women and the support available to clubs across the country in Golf Ireland.
A key objective of Golf Ireland is to promote equality and inclusivity in golf across the island of Ireland. While many Golf Clubs are already committed to this objective, statistics from a recent survey shows that challenges continue to exist in terms of fairness for all particularly in the areas of membership, timesheet access, coaching and governance. “
Golf Ireland Open Competition Directory
Golf Ireland are creating a directory of open competitions across the country, to provide golfers with information and access to club opens for womne, men, mixed and junior players, a link to the directory can is HERE.
From the Scottish Golf Website:
Scottish Golf is committed to increasing women and girls’ participation, membership and representation in the game. By championing equality within golf clubs, we want to create an inclusive and welcoming environment that everyone can enjoy. Only 14% of our national membership is female and the support we provide our clubs is designed to help every club contribute to increasing that.
Scottish Golf Have 4 initiatives aimed at developing Women and Girls Golf:
Scottish Golf is working with the R&A on the Golf.golf pilot programme, developing pathways into golf.
From the Wales Golf Website:
The Women in Golf Charter intends to inspire an industry-wide commitment to developing a more inclusive culture within golf around the world and enable more women and girls to flourish and maximise their potential at all levels of the sport.
Adoption of the Charter requires national federations and other golf bodies to build on and develop initiatives which will focus on encouraging more women and girls to play golf and stay within the sport as members of clubs, while also empowering women to enjoy successful careers working within the golf industry.
Wales Golf – Golf is Good For You
Independent Golfer Initiatives
With the roll out of the World Handicap System and the use of new mobile technology,
National Governing Bodies have created virtual clubs for independent and casual golfers, whose lifestyle suits a more flexible way to play golf, while gaining a handicap and playing in open handicap qualifying competitions. National Governing bodies who have introduced these include:
England Golf – England I Golf is HERE
New Zealand – Flexiclub is HERE
Scottish Golf – Open Play is HERE
Wales Golf – Flexi Club is HERE
- an inclusive online club with golfers of all skill levels
- an official handicap,
- an opportunity to play with friends
- meet new golfers across Australia
- participate in competitions throughout Australia
Each Emajin Event has multiple elements
- Compete – 9 holes
- Compete – 18 holes
- Socialise and Network
Ensuring players from all backgrounds and abilities have the opportunity to participate and enjoy golf together.
The Emajin Challenge ensures golf club members who play at their own clubs are included in the Emajin Community, and have created an online competition that is open to any golfer with a GolfLink (World Handicap in Australia) number.
Scores are taken directly from Golf Australia:
- weekly prize draw – the top 5 players each week are entered in to a prize draw
- monthly prize draw – the top 20 player scores each month are entered in to a prize draw
- annual prize – for players who have entered 10 or more of their rounds in to the Emajin Challenge
Other Women Golfer Initiatives
Aramco, is one of the world’s largest integrated energy and chemicals companies.
“The Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by Public Investment Fund (PIF) will feature its strongest-ever field at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club, including 60 LET players and 50 players from within the top 300 of the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, after the tournament announced its commitment to women’s golf by elevating the prize fund to $5million.”
Aramco Team Series – Ladies European Tour
In November 2020, Aramco launched the “Aramco Team Series” in partnership with the Ladies European Tour, with the aim of elevating women’s golf and extending Aramco’s “commitment to female advancement through sport.”
In February 2023, the Aramco Saudi Ladies International will offer US$5million prize fund, the largest for any ladies tournament outside of the Majors, with a further $4.5 million prize fund for the other 5 tournaments in the series.
Breaking With Tradition is a documentary about Women in Golf, the hidden histories and stories, it was researched, created, scripted, filmed and produced by a team:
- SANDRA MESRINE – DOCUMENTARY MAKER AND GOLF ADDICT
- DR ALI BOWES – LECTURER AND RESEARCHER IN THE SOCIOLOGY OF SPORT AT NOTTINGHAM TRENT UNIVERSITY
- NICOLE WHEATLEY – CEO OF MEDI8 GOLF
- TONY SALISBURY – PRODUCER
The documentary was broadcast by SkySports in December 2023 and is available on YouTube and via the link below:
From their website:
“In this film, we shine a light on the amazing women and men who are driving that change. We examine the roles that the industry, the media, governing bodies, golf clubs and golfers themselves are playing in shaping the future of the sport.
You will meet women who have broken with tradition, the pioneers making golf their career and a generation of female players whose stories are shocking and endearing in equal quantities. Stories that will make you laugh and cry, that will inspire and motivate!”
Since then, it has introduced thousands of women to the game and crossed borders into seven different countries, meaning today’s love.golfers are truly part of an international community of like-minded women!
The love Golf Ethos is
The Love.Golf Coaching Program trains and supports PGA coaches across the world, ensuring they have the tools and support network to introduce women to golf around the world. To learn more about the love.golf experience – watch the videos on their website HERE.
Golf Development Initiatives
Afriyea Golf Academy is a Ugandan initiative setup to encourage more Ugandans from all ages and backgrounds to play golf. Watch the video below to learn more about Afriyea and the programs they are running to make golf accessible and fun and attract more players in to Golf.
European Disabled Golf Association
The EDGA promotes golf for players with disability, while it is a European organisation it welcomes players from around the world.
In 2022, the G4D Tour launched, which comprised of 9 tournaments in 8 countries, Australia, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Sweden, England, Ireland and Dubai. The tour is open to amateur and professional players representing 10 nationalities in 2022. Through the G4D Tour the EDGA is developing a close relationship with the European Tour. The G4D has an international Order of Merit.
In addition to the tour, the EDGA, the EDGA
- run a number of events across the World, EDGA Upcoming Events (edgagolf.com)
- manage the WR4GD world rankings
- run golf development programs
- have pledged to get 500,000 new players to try Golf
The reach of the EDGA is growing each year, through their partnerships and their ambassadors.
Make Golf Your Thing is an American Golf Industry Coalition initiative, which 2020, brought together a number of other organisations from across the World of Golf in the US, came together to create, Make Golf Your Thing Their focus is to bring greater diversity to golf and to build on and continue the momentum in Golf Participation from the COVID Pandemic.
Make Golf Your Thing consist of 6 cross-industry work groups, which collaborate to advance golf’s diversity, equity and inclusion in the US. There are 6 areas of Focus:
- Education and Skills Development
- Talent Acquisition, Careers and Career Development
- Golf Business Development, encouraging new business to provide products and services to the golf industry
- Human Resources, working on developing industry policies and programs to promote DEI and improve the working environment for those working and entering in the Golf Industry Working Community
- Youth and Adult Player Development Programs and Grass Roots Grants to provide access to golf for youth and adults looking to learn and participate in golf.
- Marketing and Communication, focus on creating one unified voice across the golf industry.
Between its launch in May 2021 and June 2022, Make Golf Your Thing provided 155 grants for more than $1 million have been distributed to 110 unique organizations across the US.
Golf Insight and Development Partners
Gather brings golf, data insights and individuals together to inform the development and evolution of golf through working with organisations engaged in enhancing the golf experience.
The Gather Podcast provides unique insights from across the Golf Community, click on the image to listen.
Gather provide insight reports, click HERE to read their insights on Women Golfers as consumers and learn what is behind the
Attracting women to golf isn’t the problem. Getting them past the five-year mark is.
Forget conventional wisdom. Use data-driven insights to develop effective strategies that increase the odds of keeping women in golf.
By studying the consumer behaviour of women golfers, we can identify industry stakeholders with a vested interest in their retention.
Strategies should focus on retaining women golfers. Not just recruiting them.
Gestalt theory applies: The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. In the case of women golfers, collaboration between industry stakeholders will be more effective than them each operating individually.
To read this and other insight reports from the Golf Community Click HERE
Performance 54 is a Marketing Agency focused on developing golf through working closely with National Governing Bodies, Sponsors, Influencers, destinations and a number of stakeholders invested in the development of Golf, to make a positive impact throughout the golf community.
Performance 54 have a unique team who work across the globe creating and delivering a positive impact on Golf.