Robin Holloway, a full-time graduate communications student at Wake Forest University, is a PGA Life Member in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Early or late spring is an optimal time to organize a women-only demo day extravaganza. Encourage women to try out the newest equipment from all of the major manufacturers and include other inviting elements to welcome women and generate interest. If possible, offer this event in an area away from main practice range traffic. Plan to offer other unique events alongside the club manufacturers like a merchandising table of some new specialty items from the golf shop, and a table showcasing new items from your favorite clothing representative. Offer a discount for the day for these items. Ask some of the golf clothing reps to donate clothing items. Get catering involved by providing coffee, tea and snacks or boxed lunches, and play music in the background. Try including any other offerings available at your facility to cater to the women. We invited the club spa to participate, and they provided two massage therapists for free massages during the event. We asked participants to sign in with an email (to be used to create a database for tip-of-the-week email blasts) and for a chance to win a playing lesson. We gave out a gift bag to all participants (free gift certificate from the spa, golf balls from a rep, pink tees and other assorted goodies from reps). I made sure to be available the entire block of time to offer learning and equipment assistance. We made the entire area of the range a haven just for the women. We even brought out SNAG clubs and created an area for young girls. Offering this special women-only demo day made a statement to women of all ages that the club recognizes and values its women members.
The business impact was immediate and long-term. We had over 75 women participate in the event. Four to five bought clubs that day and 10 percent total bought equipment soon after as a result of the offering. Many also set up group lessons. Others expressed gratitude for having a dedicated space to explore new clubs without the intimidation of the main practice range, usually dominated by the male members. The event remained a conversation topic for months. The women who attended (and even the women who were unable to attend) appreciated the attention, the opportunity to demo new golf clubs in a nonthreatening environment and enjoyed the festive atmosphere. Many stayed for a massage, shopped the boutique-like tables and loved their goodie bags. Taking thoughtful steps to break down intimidating barriers for women in golf is a wise investment for any club