How Many Female Golfers Are There Anyway?

Female GolferIn the spirit of Mother’s Day, I began looking into some statistics regarding female golfers.  I’m not really sure how I connected the two though.  My mother doesn’t golf.  Neither do my sisters.  Although growing up, I remember my mother owning a set of clubs, but I never actually saw her use them.  Much like my father, I think she gave the game a try only to find that it wasn’t for her.  But nevertheless, I somehow connected Mother’s Day to golf anyway.

Did you know, depending upon where you look and what stats you find, it’s reported that anywhere between 20-25% of amateur golfers are women?  So one out of every four or five golfers out on the course are female?  I don’t know about you, but those numbers seem a bit inflated to me.  I don’t know why they would be inflated because I don’t think there’s any reason to inflate them.  But either way, it seems a little high to me.

See, the thing is, I use my own experiences to compare to these numbers.  On the small scale of my personal experience, I have played golf exactly one time so far this season.  And in that one round, I saw one female golfer out on the course.  She was in a threesome, two groups behind me.  Certainly not anywhere near the 20-25% claimed.

But that’s only one round.  So it’s not fair to judge off of that.  But it seems like this situation occurs anywhere I play.  It’s very rare that I see women out on the golf course anywhere or anytime I play.  I can count on one hand how many times I’ve been paired up with women when I’ve shown up to the course with less than a foursome.  As a matter of fact, I can think of only three times off the top of my head – all three times I showed up as a twosome, and two of those three we were paired up with a husband and wife.  Only once were we paired up with two women.

What’s my point?  I have no idea.  It’s just a stat I found to seem inflated for some reason.  As mentioned, none of the women in my family are golfers, and I have no female friends who have done any more than try the sport once or twice and never took it any further.  But I guess now that I’ve seen it and used my golf experiences for comparison, it does dishearten me a bit.  What I mean is, one of the great things about golf is that it’s a sport that can be played pretty much equally by men and women.  Sure, for the most part, men hit the ball farther.  But that’s only one facet of the game, and certainly not always an important one.  Otherwise, there isn’t a whole lot of difference between male and female golfers.  There’s still a technique and a certain level of discipline and judgment required to play the game – and those things have nothing to do with physical strength or how far you can hit the ball.

I, for one, would like to see more women out on the golf course.  I would like to see the 20-25% as stated out there.  Heck, I’d like it to be higher!  Why not?  As I stated earlier, this sport has little to do with physical strength and much more to do with things that make the playing field much more level between men and women.  So I think the real issue here is, why is it that women only represent 20-25% of golfers and not closer to 50%?  Maybe that’s something I should look further into…

Swing ’til you’re happy!


  1. If you lived in a retirement community you might think the 20-25% is too low. Given the general statistic that women live longer than men, I think the older we get the higher the percentage of women playing golf.

    • Interesting point Terry. I didn’t think of that. But now that you mention it, the women I do see on the course are mostly older. Young women out on the course are few and far between.

  2. I couldn’t agree more!

    Here, in Portugal, we have seen an increase of the number of women playing golf along the years but unfortunately it’s still too low. The crisis is not helping even though the prices are getting lower now…

    Actually that is one of the goals that i am trying to achieve with my blog… :)

    Btw, Mother’s day here in Portugal was on the first sunday of May.


    • Mariana,

      Same here – while the numbers say the amount of women on the golf course is increasing (albeit slowly), it certainly doesn’t show. If it’s like that in Portugal as well, then maybe there is something to inflating the numbers.

      Keep it up with your blog! Let’s get more women like you out there!

      And a happy belated Mother’s day to every mom in Portugal!

  3. I wonder if women tend to get together to play – “safety” in numbers and all (not that there’s a risk, just a better comfort level.)

    I live near a course, and one day of the week is reserved for a lot of the ladies’ leagues. When I drive past, I might see 1 guy out of 25 golfers. The rest of the week the numbers flip back.

    • Hey Ted,

      I get that. The last thing a woman wants when she shows up to a golf course is to spend the next 4-5 hours with two or three guys hitting on her and acting like all-around idiots.

      That’s the same thing I see out on the course. Rarely any women out there, and an entire foursome even more so.

  4. I have trouble buying into the 20-25% number as well. From my experience in the pro shop and out playing golf, I would estimate the number to be closer to 5-10% on a good day.

  5. I would put it right in that 5-10% area as well. I’d even venture to say the 10% is on the high side. When I can play nine holes and see only one woman out on the course, well, you can figure out the numbers…

  6. They are representing 19.3% of all golfers. Just in the US there is a potential 38 million women who are open to golf. HSBC in his latest report talked about the phenomenon that golf is becoming more unisex as women come into the game. In the Netherlands, golf is the fastest growing sport among women. Golf is the 3rd most popular sport among women and girls in the Netherlands. For more:

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