The Opportunity to Grow Golf: Female Participation

This report follows on from Syngenta’s Growing Golf in the UK (2013) study, which was one of the largest and most comprehensive quantitative surveys ever undertaken in the golf industry, canvassing the opinions of more than 3,500 UK residents, including golfers, non-golfers and lapsed players.

The purpose of our ongoing golf market research is to provide golf clubs with market intelligence that informs their decisions on how to retain existing customers and recruit new players, ultimately benefiting the long-term business sustainability of individual golf courses and the UK golf industry as a whole.

What emerged from Growing Golf in the UK (2013) were two key growth opportunities for the UK golf course industry to focus on:

  • Female participation
  • Youth participation

To gain a deeper understanding of these opportunities, Syngenta commissioned further market research studies in spring 2014. This included a series of qualitative focus groups, which form the core of this report, and an additional quantitative survey of 1,500 women.

The face-to-face focus groups, which were conducted at professional market research studios in Edinburgh, Manchester and Wimbledon, were important in better understanding the emotional ties that retain existing female golfers, as well as the emotive responses of non-golfers and lapsed players.

Specifically, the objectives of The Opportunity to Grow Golf: Female Participation (2014) were to:

  • Identify the reasons why women participate in sport – and how golf could fulfill those needs
  • Understand the drivers and reasons why existing female golfers enjoy the sport, the needs it fulfills and the emotional ties
  • Learn why female golfers leave the sport 
  • Better understand factors that may discourage female participation, such as expense and intimidation
  • Identify what would lead prospective players to ‘take the next step’ and commit to becoming a golfer.

Female participation is an important strategic opportunity for golf as a sport and a business. We hope the results of this extensive listening exercise, and our growing portfolio of market research, which is free to download from, will help golf clubs better understand the wants and needs of existing female golfers as well as prospective players. We will also soon be broadcasting a series of videos featuring case studies of golf courses successfully growing their businesses through encouraging female participation.

Syngenta (2014).

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