In 2011, we conducted an analysis of our female membership at the golf club where I coach and we discovered two clear trends; the number of regular players was decreasing and the average age of those players was increasing. We concluded that if we wanted to reverse both of these trends then we needed a new product; one that would appeal to a new breed of female golfer. But what would this new product look like?
My journey commenced by observing activity at the golf range. I was initially pleased to see lots of women visiting the facility although noticed they were often accompanying male partners or male family members and actually golfers. Generally, the man would proceed to hit the balls (normally all over the field) whilst his partner or daughter would just watch. Then at some point she would make a fatal error by asking… ‘Can I have a go please?’
Sadly, rather than just handing over the club, pleased that this was a fantastic opportunity to play a sport together, he would magically transform into the next ‘expert coach’ and proceed to relay all of his golfing knowledge, and this was all before she had even had the opportunity to just have a go!
Inevitably, after several swipes at the ball, and now with lots of unwanted and irrelevant technical information, the club was handed back concluding that this was indeed a very difficult game and requiring huge amounts of time and practice.
And that was the moment gone; a simple request to have a go met with copious amounts of technical and confusing information!
And so I began to reflect that perhaps my coaching wasn’t so far removed from this scenario. Of course, I hoped that I was more concise and relevant with my instruction but I began to wonder what would happen if rather than starting with technical information on a range we just went out on the golf course and see what happens. After all, that’s how I and my friends learnt to play and how I ultimately fell in love with the game; certainly not standing on the range learning lots of skills!
And so love.golf was born – lots of playing on the golf course, lots of self-discovery and lots of laughs!