Thursday, August 23, 2018

Surge in number of women and girls playing golf, says HowDidiDo

By Alistair Dunsmuir         
New data from a company that analyses millions of rounds of golf in the UK has found a surge in participation of the game by women and girls since the start of this year.
Clubs and golfing associations have brought in a raft of programmes in recent years to encourage more women to play golf as just 12 to 13 per cent of members of the average UK golf club are women, one of the lowest rates in the world, and it appears these are working.
Meanwhile, surveys have shown there is huge demand from women to play golf – and this at a time when golf clubs have been struggling with falling rates of participation.
HowDidiDo, Europe’s largest online golfing community, holds data from in excess of 53 million rounds of golf, along with the handicaps, results and scores of more than 1,300,000 UK golf club members.

It reports that the number of female club members on its system has increased by nearly 17 per cent since the end of 2017. Moreover, lady golfers now make up more than 14 per cent of the club members who registered with HowDidiDo in 2018 – suggesting that the ratio of female golfers in golf clubs has risen this year following several years of stagnation.
The website’s data also shows that more than 37 per cent of official club competitions since 2016 were ladies’ events; while the average handicap of the 50,584 lady golfers registered with HowDidiDo is 27.1.
HowDidiDo spokesman Barry Dyett, chairman of Yumax Media, said: “There are no definitive figures available for such things, but with HowDidiDo providing official CONGU handicapping and retaining competition results for more than 1,800 golf clubs, it’s fair to say the data is the most indicative available.
“And what it does illustrate is that recent initiatives to increase participation among lady golfers are starting to pay dividends. It is a long process, of course, but there appear to be green shoots of progress. What surprised me personally was that while lady golfers make up more than 14 per cent of the golfers in our system, they are playing so many more competitions.
“Surely this indicates the enthusiasm is already there among club members – we now need to encourage more transient golfers and juniors to become club members. And that process seems to be under way.”
HowDidiDo allows members to analyse their game and compare performance with other players, at their own club or across the entire HowDidiDo network. More than half-a-million club golfers from 1,800-plus registered UK and Ireland clubs, courtesy of their use of Club Systems International software, use the website regularly.

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