There may be more than 1,300 golf courses in Florida, but it’s fairly rare to find women out on the green. In fact, nine out of every 10 golfers are of the male gender. International Women’s Golf Day is trying to change that by inspiring women across 46 different countries to try out the sport, and the organizers’ efforts have been a smashing success. In only its second year, participation has increased by a staggering 68% worldwide.
In 2016, the event’s inaugural year, 28 countries took part and a total of 495 locations were listed as official areas for women and girls to try their hand at golf. This year, the number of locations grew to more than 700. According to the official Women’s Golf Day website, organizers want to provide a “fun, non-intimidating environment” for participants of any age and comfort level. Empowerment, connection, and support are among their top initiatives.
Founder Elisa Gaudet expressed her joy about the substantial growth in a press release:
“I am elated and proud that this one-day international event has introduced thousands of new female golfers to the sport and impassioned existing golfers while transcending language, culture, religion, and race to celebrate golf, women, and community,” she said.
Learning to play and enjoy golf may allow women to infiltrate the boys’ club in more ways than one. According to a recent study conducted by the National University of Singapore Business School and the Department of Real Estate at the NUS School of Design and Environment, corporate boards that are predominantly male might be more likely to embrace female colleagues who participate in male-dominated recreational activities like golf.
Research found that women are 89% less likely to serve on corporate boards than men. However, the study showed that women who played golf were 90% more likely to serve on a board than those women who didn’t. In addition, female golfers had a 54% greater chance of serving on a corporate board than male golfers.
Clearly, there seem to be some distinct advantages, both on the green and in the board room, for women to get their own set of clubs and get swinging.