Golf has historically been a boys’ club — literally.
But the sport seems to be entering the modern era, with a surge of women showing interest. More than 800k American women started playing golf between 2020 and 2022, according to the National Golf Foundation, representing a 15% increase.
And 38% of players under 18 years old today are girls, compared to just 14% in 1986, indicating that this demographic shift might be here to stay.
Multiple factors are likely contributing to the influx of women into the sport, per The Washington Post:
- Overall interest in golf surged during the pandemic as people looked for outdoor, socially distant activities. Plus, remote work freed up time for hobbies.
- Millennial and Gen Z women are exposed to golf on social media, where celebrities and professional athletes alike have posted about the sport.
- Indoor golfing businesses and bars have grown increasingly popular, serving as accessible entry points to the sport.
All that interest adds up: In 2021, Golf Datatech found that women accounted for ~20% of the then $5.59B golf market.
Vying fore women’s wallets
With billions of dollars up for grabs, brands are quickly adapting to capitalize on female spending power.
- In 2021, Callaway launched a product line specifically engineered for female players.
- Activewear brands like Lululemon, Adidas, and Nike carry golf clothing for women, as do high-end fashion brands.
This is all good news, considering research suggests that not playing golf can actually hurt women’s careers.