Men may rule the golf course, but women control the wallet. So when it comes to marketing products – even sports products – women’s taste should be in focus.
According to the National Golf Foundation, 80 percent of golfers are men. But when it comes to making purchasing decisions, women are responsible for more than 80 percent of all consumer purchases. The same holds true for sports apparel. The consumer marketing research firm, NDP Group, reports women spend 80 percent of all sport apparel dollars and control 60 percent of all money spent on men’s clothing.
When you take these facts into consideration, it’s no shock that the golf world has taken notice and stepped up their fashion, because if women aren’t buying, then it’s because you aren’t making something attractive to them.
At this season’s PGA Expo in Las Vegas, Annmarie Dodd, a veteran fashion reporter, and Elizabeth Noblitt, Founder and CEO of ShiShiPutter.com, hosted a session with apparel leaders and up-and-coming designers about what is influencing fashion in golf's ever-changing landscape.
Here are the keys to giving women what they want when it comes to golf apparel according to Lauren Dimen, Brand Manager from Abacus; Debbie Munoz, founder of 9&Dine; Jessica Eaves Mathews, founders of Grace & Game Golf; and Jeehee Han, founder of Evan Golf:
1. Fuss-free clothing. Women hate having to mess with their clothing on the course, especially when playing alongside men and/or in a business setting. Clothes need to be well-fitted and comfortable for women all over the golf course from climbing into a bunker to bending over to mark a ball.
2. Natural fibers. Organic cottons, washable silks, and other natural fibers like bamboo and soy that are also naturally functional, can achieve the same performance ability but without the synthetics.
3. Day to Night. It’s a nuisance to not be able to wear the same clothing throughout the golf day. Guys can wear the same clothes in many cases from the office to the course, and then to the 19th hole, women want the same “golf course to concourse” wearability in their clothing.
4. Functionality. Women’s clothes for golf still need all the performance functions kept in mind for men. A deep pocket for a yardage book and comfortable stretchable fabrics used for menswear that allow for a full range of motion shouldn’t be ignored.
5. Zen lifestyle. Yoga wear is a big trend for women’s apparel. This sporty chic zen look transfers from the yoga studio and carpool lane to the golf course.
6. Variety. Women do not want the limited cookie cutter golf options that were the way the golf industry traditionally treated fashion. Golf used to be one size/style fits all, but now different body types are considered in hem lengths, etc.
7. The Dress. This is certainly a statement for spring fashion. Love the feminine flirty but sporty golf dress.
8. Unique. Fashion and function are important, but women also want to be able to express and show off their identity through fashion.
9. Value. Women are certainly budget-conscious, but they’re also emotional buyers. With the economy, a good price tag is important, but women want special pieces and will save money to have that perfect look. So the cost-per-wear or CPW factor is huge.
10. Accessories. Ball markers on your hat or tees in your hair can give you that sporty girl look, but a fun patterned golf glove or stylish coordinating shoe adds the finishing touches to the overall look and certainly shouldn’t be ignored!