Why Clutch & Co wanted to enter the women's golfing apparel market? Plus, the rise of women's golf.
The Covid-19 pandemic has created a surge in women’s golf. In USA, 40% of new golfers who played during the pandemic were female. (According to the National Golf Foundation).
“With the absence of work commutes and business travel, we saw a golf boom with women leading the way taking advantage of the outdoors and attracting new players to the courses," said Mary Ann Sullivan, a chair of the 121st Women's Golf Amateur tournament. (via Kuhl, 2021)
Why does Clutch & Co want to enter the female apparel market?
Well, the answer is due to a combination of factors. Firstly, we listened to feedback. We have received a number of messages via social media and through multiple direct conversations with female golfers. And there is a constant theme; a lack of variety and accessibility to women’s golfing apparel items!
Secondly, we took a macro-view of the golfing industry here in Australia. In 2019, (prior to the pandemic) club memberships were close to 400,000 - of which, 20% were female. And the female participation numbers have grown post pandemic! This meant, if we didn’t expand into a women’s apparel range, we were missing out on a big segment of the market.
The rise of women’s golf on the professional level.
Australian female golfers continue to impress on the world stage, with the likes of Minjee Lee and Hannah Green regularly contending and winning the world’s biggest tournaments.
Tour pro, Georgia Hall, “The LPGA is probably the best it’s ever been; well run, you’re well looked after with amazing events nearly every week”. (Brown, K 2021)
International strategy_ The R&A launched its Women in Golf Charter, part of its drive to increase the number of women and girls playing golf and working within the industry. It also hiked the prize money for the Women’s Open by 40 percent, with R&A chief Martin Slumbers saying_ “This is an important first step and we know it will take time to move closer to achieving parity with the men’s game.” (via Brown, K, 2021)
Domestically, Golf Australia recently launched it’s ‘Vision 25’ strategy which aims to create a more inclusive future for women in golf. “Our ability to collaborate on such a crucial body of work is critical. Everybody has shown a great resolve to redress the historic gender imbalance in Australian golf and we look forward to driving the changes the industry needs,” Sutherland said. (via, Golf Industry Central, 2020)