According to the National Golf Foundation, about 25% of golfers are women. Which, by default leaves 75% of golfers as men. As long as there has been golf, there have been “country club deals.” Deals or negotiations were made during a friendly (or not so friendly in some cases) round of golf. Names were dropped and partnerships were formed.
The PGA of America says golfing is all about networking. “If you’re not on the course, you could be missing out on important networking and potential clients/business.”
So why should women learn to play golf?
According to Jenn Harris, founder of High Heel Golfer, women working in a male dominated industry should learn to play golf for the informal work and networking opportunities. Harris points out that, many informal networks are created on the course and career opportunities often grow out of them. And in other business situations, playing golf can come in handy. Often, retreats and training sessions involve a friendly round of golf.
As golfers, women may be hesitant to take their game to the links but they should persevere and stand tall. “Most people are bad at golf,” says Harris. “The difference between men and women is that men show up and they don’t care.” Harris’s business began thriving after she learned to play golf and she hopes to empower other women with High Heel Golfer to get comfortable “making the grade” on the course.
So here are 6 reasons why I think women should play golf:
- Golf gets you outdoors! The benefits of fresh air and exercise are undisputed! Too many sports require you to spend time indoors, in a dark, windowless building. Golf gets you out on the course, near water (if you’re lucky), nature, plants and flowers, and of course, other golfers. However, be warned. With nature in West Michigan comes bugs. So carry bug repellant on the golf course, and check for ticks after every round, regardless of whether you walked in the deep rough or not.
- Golf is an international sport. You can play golf most anywhere you visit (and rent clubs there-bonus). What a great way to start an important business event…showing your golf stuff off. Whether you’re driving a couple hours east to attend a networking event, or flying to the Carolinas for an extended vacation, your clubs can travel with you and you’ll likely find a golf course within just a few miles of your destination.
- Golfers can wear cute clothes. Not everyone is a size 4 or looks good in a leotard. The golf industry has recognized that and progressed with real-woman sizes. Most golf clothing for women is made from flexible, breathable fabric and come in a multitude of colors and patterns to mix, match, or clash (like some PGA pros). And don’t forget accessories! Cute little ditty bags hold your glove (matching color of course), balls, and tees, and just enough cash for the beverage car. Shoes complete the look and metal spikes are passé. You’ll want a pair of shoes—sandals or athletic style—with soft spikes so you don’t damage turf or greens.
- Golf is not as physically demanding as many other sports. Like other sports, golf gets you up and moving, but unlike other sports, walking from cart to ball and swinging a club isn’t usually considered extremely exertive. Be sure to stretch shoulders, back and legs before and after a round, like you would for any sport. And walking an average 18-hole course burns calories equal to your favorite fast foot combo (1,400+).
- There’s no age limit to golf! Kids starting as young as 4 play golf. And the PGA of America is constantly working to make golf accessible for seniors, and those who need special accommodations for adaptive golf. It’s never too late to learn, and you can disregard that old adage that baseball players can’t be golfers! There are too many baseball playing golfers to support that claim. And for teens, there are more than 200 women’s golf scholarships that go unclaimed each year!
- Not every game of golf is cutthroat! In fact, many times, especially in outings and group golfing events, the game is played in a “Scramble” format. In a Scramble format, each person gets to hit the ball off the tee and then players progress to the best ball for the next shot. So, even though women may not have the distance of men on the golf course, often even the least skilled golfer can contribute to the final winning score.
So grab a group of women friends and go learn how to whack the ball around at your local club or driving range. Group lessons are a fun way to get together with friends, take out some frustrations pounding on a ball with a stick, and sometimes even enjoy refreshments. Don’t worry if you don’t have a partner or a foursome, your local course will pair you with like-minded golfers while you learn.
You never know who you’re going to meet (or sign) on the golf course and the benefits of playing golf will last you a lifetime.