By Janie C. Farina
“When your heart is in your dreams, no request is too extreme.”
~ Jiminy Cricket, “When You Wish Upon a Star,” Walt Disney’s 1940 adaptation of “Pinocchio”
Are women getting “what they want,” or wish for, when it comes to golf? Or are women getting what the golf industry has provided?
Here are some simple requests that women continually approach me with:
- I want to just play golf without embarrassment.
- I want to be able to play with my family or my colleagues.
- I want proper equipment suited to me and my needs.
- I want to get exercise, fresh air, and scenery.
- I want to not have pain when I play.
- I want to be able to play despite my injuries or challenges and not hurt myself.
- I want to be a respectable player without putting hours of practice time in my busy schedule.
- I want advice and guidance concerning golf attire.
- I want to know the rules, etiquette, and scoring for golf “dummies.”
- Above all, “I want to have fun.”
As the golf industry struggles to provide “what women want” for those who want to play golf, we should consider why women are still asking for the same golf “wish list.” Just like Mel Gibson heard the voices of women in the movie “What Women Want,” golf as a business, if we are really listening, could bloom in the market of women.
One solution to granting golf wishes would include providing teaching staff at facilities that focus on player development for signature populations such as women, seniors, rehab patients, challenged golfers, and juniors. A dedicated teaching professional is trained to encourage, empathize, and be compassionate to the player’s efforts, while providing instruction in a safe, comfortable setting.
A simple example of granting another wish list item could be introducing beginners to Par Scoring, which allows the player to tee off from the forward tees, hit the ball until they reach the designated Par for that hole, pick up the ball and drop it to where she can chip on the green and putt until it’s in the hole. A typical Par Scoring scorecard hole would look like a bowling score — on a Par 5, the top score would be 5, then the number of shots it took to finish out, say 5, the score for that hole would be 5/5.
What better way to “fake it till you make it” as this type of game allows the player to tee off, hit fairway shots, chip, pitch and putt — all the ingredients on a golf hole minus the agony of hitting too many shots in the middle, holding up her partners, and hacking away endlessly down the fairway.
Just as Pinocchio’s telltale nose makes an obvious statement, so does a golfer swinging clubs that are an improper length, causing her to stand too upright or bend too low and have to dive or duck up from the ball. Unsuitable club weight can feel like an anchor, or a flyswatter, restricting a free flowing natural balanced swinging motion.
If the Tour player finds it necessary to be fitted, amateurs are especially subject to equipment error and its effect on attaining that dream swing come true.
Golf “dummies” will be dummies no longer with a few indoor classroom rules and etiquette sessions. Taking away the distractions of the golf course and teaching a few golf warm up exercises can be relaxing and provide social interaction among newcomer players, or members who aren’t sure they want to learn how to play yet. These sessions may generate interest by easing a person into the sport.
These are only a few ideas for golf wishes granted, but when a facility listens to “a wish upon a star” for all 10 requests, they not only grant “what women want” who want to play golf, but what we all want, who want to play.
Happy Golf Wishes!
Contact Janie Farina with your “wishes” feedback, questions or requests at Hitthedirt2@gmail.com.