Advocacy Program Reflects Research on How to Get More Women into the Game
PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL, January 26, 2011 – Fair Way Forward™ is an advocacy initiative launched by the EWGA (Executive Women's Golf Association) to encourage golf facilities to embrace the latest research on how to get more women involved in the game. On Friday, January 28 at the PGA Merchandise Show, the program will be introduced to the golf industry as part of the panel "Putting Yourself In Her Shoes" scheduled for 2 pm on the main show floor.
A EWGA membership survey identified many of the key issues that impact women's on-course experience. This data paralleled a recent industry study funded by the Little Family Foundation and conducted on behalf of the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA). With this outside research validating its internal survey, EWGA has revamped its women-friendly golf course criteria and introduced Fair Way Forward™ to advocate for positive change.
The NGCOA study gives the golf industry a guide to meaningful increases in women's golf participation and satisfaction, as well as profitability for golf course owners and operators. See www.golfwithwomen.com for the full study results.
Key areas in the updated EWGA women-friendly criteria include playability of the course, customer service experience and equal access to programs and services. For example, the length of golf holes from the tees is addressed to allow players of various skill levels a fair opportunity to reach greens in regulation. This means at least two sets of tees rated for women with the following range of yardages: 4,200 to 4,500 yards for 1st set; 4,800 to 5,100 yards for 2nd set; with a recommended 3rd set in the 5,400 – 5,700 yard range.
Some of the other factors include having the forward tees maintained as other tees, clean restrooms, healthy food choices and a consistent, equal and fair approach to all golfers regardless of gender and skill level. The complete criteria are available in the "About Us" section of the EWGA website at www.ewga.com
"By naming this program ' Fair Way Forward™' we want to emphasize forward thinking, ways to treat women golfers fairly and the importance of the placement and condition of the forward tees," says Val Littlefield, Chair of the EWGA Advocacy Committee, which has worked on this initiative for the past two years. "It is exciting to finally launch this program, knowing the strong foundation of research on which it is based and how it can benefit the entire golf industry to grow the game."
The Fair Way Forward™ criteria will be utilized in the selection of EWGA association-wide events and help EWGA members and chapters choose the best places to play to optimize enjoyment of the game. This initial awareness-building phase also will provide guidance to educate and guide golf facilities about what women want - in a supportive, constructive manner. A recognition program is planned as the second-phase of this initiative.
"We believe we are paving a 'Fair Way Forward™' for all women golfers," says Littlefield. "It is all about enhancing the playing experience – the more enjoyable that experience, the more women will stay in the game."
Since its founding in 1991 as the Executive Women's Golf Association, the EWGA has touched the lives of more than 100,000 women connecting them to learn, play, and enjoy golf for business and fun. This tax-exempt association delivers a wide range of golf, social and networking activities for both new and experienced golfers.
A 2010 survey of EWGA members conducted by the PGA of America found that the average EWGA member plays 35 rounds per year. EWGA members spent an average of $3,775 on golf activities, merchandise and golf related travel, with each local EWGA chapter annually generating $550,000 in golf related spending and an average of 4,300 rounds of golf. With over 120 chapters throughout the United States, as well as international chapters in Canada, the EWGA represents nearly $70 million to the golf industry.
A survey of former EWGA members found that 84% of these women continued to play golf. While the former EWGA member survey did not include golf-related travel, this group's golf spending accounted for an additional $98 million, totaling over $168 million and 1.7 million rounds of golf per year.
The EWGA is headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. For more information about the association and its membership, visit www.ewga.com