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Posted: July 11, 2013 7:13 p.m.

Women needed on golf courses

Decades after the women’s liberation movement, one would think females would make up more than just 20 percent of active golfers.

However at only 19 percent, they are even under that number of the golfing public.

Why is this?

While the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) of America is trying to answer this question, I will give an answer as best I can from both a female and PGA member perspective. I’m curious as to why there aren’t more female golfers, and seek plausible reasons which justify the lack of involvement with my gender on the golf course and in the golf industry.

The corporate world has embraced women more in the last decade than ever before and has proved this acceptance with more female CEOs, and salaries approaching male equivalents.

The golf industry though, is a different story.

Augusta National Golf Club, the home of the Masters, admitted its first two female members just last year, and the Women’s Open is held at St. Andrews, a male-only club. Why do the governing bodies allow these things to happen? Why have we not seen more women in executive positions with golf equipment companies or more female officers in the PGA of America? If we want to encourage women to play golf, why do we not use women role models? Until the PGA and the LPGA get on board completely with this conflict of interest, the growth of women in golf will continue to stagnate.

With economic strains, career pressures, and life in a fast-paced, high-tech world fulfilling our many responsibilities, we are left with little time to unwind, whether spending time with friends or participating in recreational activities such as golf.

However, there are many reasons for women to play golf despite the rigors of life.

A few of these include its requirement of finesse, not strength, its social nature, its stress-relieving qualities, and the great conversation over cocktails at the end of the day. Hitting a bucket of range balls to release your stress and frustrations or retreating onto the course for two to four hours of fresh air and sunshine (hopefully!) are great ways to keep both a sound mind and body. The majority of games are played in stadiums or on courts that lack the natural beauty golf courses strive to preserve for a relaxing and rejuvenating atmosphere. Golf is easy on the joints while still keeping the body in shape, and is a sport that can be played by anyone who can hold a golf club, no matter if your age is single, double, or triple digits. Spending a morning, afternoon or evening on the golf course provides both women and men with a much-needed temporary escape from the hectic pressures of day-to-day life.

When accepting the position as the Head Golf Professional at The Oaks Course, one of my goals was to bring more women to the game, and as a result, I am preparing clinics, events, and outings exclusively for women as well as men. The first of these outings is a Women’s Nine and Dine at the Oaks Course.

Lisa Vaught is the PGA Golf Professional at The Oaks and can be reached at 770-786-3801 or www.golfoaks.com

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