The golf industry takes a big swing on women players

Another multibillion-dollar industry moves closer to gender equality and finds out it’s good for business.

Golf has historically been a boys’ club — literally.

women's share of the golfing population

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.

And it’s not golf without clubs: many are springing up on social media, in the nonprofit space, and in local communities across the country.

This is all good news, considering research suggests that not playing golf can actually hurt women’s careers.

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