Attract more ladies with Syngenta’s initiative

While recent market research suggests the long-term decline in golf club membership is bottoming out, clubs still face challenges in recruiting and retaining new members.

While recent market research suggests the long-term decline in golf club membership is bottoming out, clubs still face challenges in recruiting and retaining new members.

The proportion of female club golfers – less than 15% in England – remains low. Yet it also offers a significant opportunity for the golf industry. A nationwide survey commissioned by Syngenta (‘The Opportunity to Grow Golf: Female Participation’, 2014) found that around 640,000 British women would be ‘very interested’ in taking up golf.

While many clubs are taking steps to make themselves more female and family friendly, more activity is required to rid golf clubs of their sometimes intimidating masculine culture while simultaneously creating customer focused pathways for prospective female golfers to successfully take up the sport.

As part of its key initiative to ‘unlock golf’s true potential’, Syngenta has teamed up with award-winning PGA Professional, Alastair Spink, to launch, the pioneering new female-only group coaching programme, in a bid to help golf clubs attract and retain female golfers.

Based on academic and market research on what women want at golf venues, focuses on learning golf in a relaxed, social environment and playing on the course rather than taking a series of technical lessons on a driving range.

The programme was initially introduced by Alastair at his home club, Fynn Valley, Suffolk, which successfully introduced more than 300 women to golf, with over 30 becoming full members, equating to approximately £10,000 worth of revenue.

Alastair said: “It is hugely rewarding to see the groups of women develop as golfers and gain confidence, not just at Fynn Valley but at some of the new golf clubs that are joining the network. It’s also positive to see PGA Professionals sharing their experiences and learning from each other, while adding value to their own businesses and those of their clubs.”

Peter Myers, PGA Professional and owner of Dunes Golf Centre in Scotland, has recently joined the coaching team: “I firmly believe that the future of golf lies in getting the whole family playing together, so this means we need to make the game easier for women and children to get into.

“Since starting the coaching programme in June, 11 of my female customers have already joined the golf club as members.”

The programme gives PGA Professionals the opportunity to earn up to £84.44 per hour and provides venues with the knowledge and skills to attract and retain female golfers, as well as their families and friends, including marketing materials and support.

Jenny Holmes, Club Manager at Fynn Valley understands the need for increasing female participation in the game in order to ensure golf club development and survival. Jenny said: “There’s still the perception among women that they’re going to come into an unwelcoming environment, which doesn’t encourage them to want to step foot through the door of any golf establishment.

“There shouldn’t be barriers within golf: you should be able to hire clubs, wear what you want, play when you want and with who you want. Any golf club putting up barriers and preventing anyone from playing needs to change. We need to be more open in order to help encourage women to take up golf as it’s a great way to ensure we arrest the decline in golf membership.” is now being rolled out across the UK, with forward thinking clubs and PGA Professionals being recruited to join the programme. To find out more about how you can get involved with, visit or email [email protected] today.