More women’s golf on TV and lifestyle content on Instagram and TikTok could attract more female customers to clubs and courses, research from Syngenta and Ipsos has found.
On the eve of the Solheim Cup, Syngenta is publishing Golf & Social Media: Engaging Women, part of a landmark study analyzing 16.1 million social media posts, shares, comments and blogs over a three-year period to help golf businesses understand what is being said about golf online.
Despite recent increases in both the number and proportion of women golfers, social media continues to reflect some of golf’s long-term challenges in attracting women, the study found, including a lack of visibility and feminine content, as well as blatant misogyny. Challenges particularly acute when attracting female golfers from minority communities.
Claire Martin, Ipsos Social Intelligence Researcher, said: “Online, golf has the image of a white, male dominated sport. There’s low visibility of women’s golf, on social media and TV and, as a result, women feel left out.
“You don’t see women professional players and tournaments on TV to the same degree as other women’s sports. While some brand ambassadors and celebrities who endorse golf brands are visible, it’s limited and tends to reach the existing golf community, not a wider public audience.
“There’s also some misogyny online, and offline at the course, making women feel unwelcome and excluded from the golf community.”
In addition to greater visibility, solutions include greater femininity in content, recognizing women golfers and new players want different experiences to men, as well as better promotion of opportunities to start golf.
The study found that a lifestyle-themed approach using Instagram and TikTok, with posts and hashtags relating to women’s golf, was among the most effective solutions.
Mark Birchmore Syngenta Global Head of Marketing, Turf and Landscape, who commissioned the report, said: “The findings chime with earlier market research into the $35 billion a year economic opportunity to increase female participation. Our 2014 study found that 10% of non-golfers became interested in new sports by seeing them on TV.
“Since then, the perception and popularity of women’s football and cricket have developed rapidly thanks to a potent combination of TV and social media amplification.
“Channels such as Instagram and TikTok are used as key points in the customer journey to determine whether a golfing experience is suitable for them or not, and so if that content does not exist, golf will lose prospective customers to other more attractive sports and experiences.
“Events such as the Solheim Cup represent a significant opportunity for female golf, as does the finding that relevant lifestyle and experience-focused content on Instagram and TikTok can reach much larger female audiences than are currently being achieved.
“There is a real and present opportunity for golf to attract new female golfers to the game with the right content on the right channels.”
To download this report and all previous Syngenta market studies, visit: www.syngentagolf.com