College Women’s Golf Scholarships
Even with all the hysteria surrounding Tiger Woods for the last decade and a half, the growth of golf has remained relatively stagnant. Women’s golf, however, has bucked the trend. Now girls’ golf is seeing explosive growth with recruiting and scouting becoming part of the game in a way few could have imagined just a few short years ago.
And with this growth in women’s golf, girls’ golf scholarships are now a realistic goal for teenagers. There have also been many cases of female golfers gaining full scholarships without having played golf before. The reality is that houndreds of women’s golf scholarships go unused each year.
It is generally believed that the women’s golf market is underserved with a golf subculture that has long been dominated by a male sensibility. But with the ready availability of women’s golf scholarships, that may soon change.
Women have been traditionally drawn to golf for the same reasons as men: getting in some exercise in the great outdoors, hanging on the course with good friends, and the challenge of hitting that perfect golf shot. Since women often dictate where household income is spent, it becomes increasingly important for the game to look for ways to appeal to women. Scouting for talented female players and recruiting them to play college golf on scholarship is one way to grow the game. While it’s true that the rate of growth in women’s golf has doubled and—in some instances—tripled the rate of growth among men, women still make up less than 25 percent of golfers. In fact, of the 6.5 million women golfers in America, only 2.5 million are considered “core” golfers—those who play eight or more times a year.
Despite the growth in the women’s game, the number of golf courses nationwide continues to dwindle, down to about 16,000 combined public and private course across the country. Many women would love to take up the game, but family responsibilities come first, and for others, the game can be cost prohibitive.
The LPGA is doing its part to keep girls golf on an upward trend. The organization sponsors girls’ golf programs for girls ages seven to seventeen at over two hundred sites across the country. Not only do these girl golfers build skills and friendships that can last a lifetime, but they also gain valuable exposure to the golf movers and shakers who are scouting their skills and have the connections to guide them toward a golf scholarship.
As women continue to flock to the sport of golf, there will be subtle but noticeable changes on the golf course. There has already been the introduction of golf clothing that is both fashionable and comfortable. You can now find entire clothing lines catering exclusively to female players.
Another recent change: women golfers are becoming increasingly aware of how the new and ever-evolving golf equipment technology can make their game more competitive. The more efficient a golf club becomes, the more it reduces the natural strength advantage of the male players.
No matter how much things change in golf, there will always be one constant. People play the game for fun. Recruiting and scholarships won’t change that.
But as opportunities in golf continue to grow for women players, so will a woman golfer’s expertise. She may have started the game for a variety of reasons, but now she understands the mechanics of the swing, the proper grip, and even the importance of stance and follow-through.
For outstanding schoolgirl golfers, it’s time to recalibrate those expectations and realize that a golf scholarship is a real possibility.