Picture this: Two guys decide to play a round of golf. One does not have any golf clothes or equipment, so he and his buddy stop by the pro shop before their round. The guy buys a golf shirt, some pants, a pair of shoes, a hat, golf glove, balls and tees. He rents some clubs, but decides to buy a putter. Once he has all of his gear, the friends head out and enjoy a great round of golf.
Now substitute those two guys for two women. They also stop by the pro shop before their round. The woman who does not have any golf clothes or equipment ends up buying a men’s shirt, because the pro shop doesn’t stock any women’s apparel, except for the ever-present oversized pink sun visor. She finds a small men’s golf glove and a small pair of men’s golf shoes that fit well enough, balls and tees. She rents some clubs, buys a putter, and the friends head out to enjoy a great round of golf.
This is not meant to be a feminist call to arms for equal pro shop floor space for women’s golf apparel. It’s also not meant to bash the many professionals that run pro shops. This is simply the reality at many golf courses. Women are certainly more welcome at golf courses now than ever before in the history of the sport. However until their numbers increase, many pro shops do not have any incentive to stock items for women. It’s simple supply and demand.
Now at the golf resorts and the higher end (read: more expensive) courses I have visited, the pro shops have been decently stocked with a variety of apparel and accessories for women. But many golf course pro shops, like those conveniently located and reasonably priced municipal courses located in Any Neighborhood USA, often have slim pickings for women, if anything at all. Other than the ever present oversized pink visor.
The golf industry is making a valiant effort to promote golf as an inclusive sport, encouraging women and other groups who have generally been underrepresented in golf to try it. This effort should be applauded. However, once women get to the golf course, that effort often gives way to the reality of little to no merchandise for women to purchase in order to play golf.
Some of the best golf apparel and accessory deals can be found online. Golf4her.com and BudgetGolf.com are two great sites that offer the latest golf fashions at good price points. There are also brick-and-mortar retailers like Golfsmith, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Sports Authority. These stores have a nice selection of women’s golf apparel and accessories, and their sales are great.
So ladies, if you have a burning desire to cross “learn to play golf” off your bucket list and decide to head straight to your local golf course, don’t get discouraged if the pro shop doesn’t have everything you need to get started. As more women start to play regularly, pro shop selections will catch up.