How to Get Girls

May 28, 2012
May 28, 2012

Table of Contents
May 28, 2012

  • The hero of Chelsea's historic Champions League final victory, Ivorian striker Didier Drogba is a man of the world whose intellect and impact extend far beyond the pitch

  • His final-lap crash in the Indy 500 last year could have been a career-defining moment, for all the wrong reasons. But JR Hildebrand handled the heartbreak of letting a sure victory slip away with grace. Now he's focused on closing the deal at the Brickyard

INDY 500
  • Since the first daredevils took to the bricks 101 years ago, the race has been on at Indy to find that balance of handling, safety and, above all, speed needed to prevail over 500 miles. Decade by decade, there have been both incremental advances and breathtaking leaps in automotive evolution—concluding with (for now) this year's wholly reimagined supercar

  • Playing fields have long been segregated on the basis of sex. But what happens to the athletes whose physiology doesn't match their gender identity? Against whom do they compete? What obstacles do they face? And how are they being treated by sports' governing bodies?


How to Get Girls

One of the growth opportunities for golf is women. Here's how to draw them in

There's a scene in Pretty Woman in which Julia Roberts goes shopping on Rodeo Drive, but she can't get waited on until Richard Gere goes with her. At one point Gere says to a hovering clerk, "I think we need some major sucking up." When the clerk proceeds to woo him, Gere says, "Not me, her."

This is an article from the May 28, 2012 issue

The golf industry historically has been run by men, for men. Despite all of the rhetoric in recent years about bringing women into the game, the truth (sadly) is that more women won't play golf until men insist that the golf industry learn how to make girls and women feel welcome.

So, guys, what can you do for the daughter, niece or wife who's thinking of taking up the game? Roll out the red carpet to the red tees:

• Golf is more of a social activity for most women, not a game or a sport, so dig around and find the social angle for the girl or woman in your life. Find the local nine-hole league and research how a new player gets involved. Encourage the girl or woman in your life to take up golf with a friend or two—women will be far less likely to quit if they have a buddy to play with.

• Do the research on golf clinics, instruction and instructors geared toward women. Don't simply go to the local "lady pro." Ask around to find women who are excited about their instruction and their instructor—that first connection is a critical first impression. Make it a good one.

• Be Richard Gere in the retail environment. Most women don't feel comfortable in a golf shop, whether on course or off. They feel like they walk in the door and get ignored. Walk in the door first, then insist that the girl or woman with you gets treated like what she is—a consumer, not a female.

• Find an appropriate course—don't expect her to know what to look for, she's a new golfer. Dig up a place with reasonable-length tees (about 4,900 yards), good playing conditions (grass in the fairway, etc.), clean bathrooms and, ideally, a decent selection of women's apparel. Women like aesthetics, remember?

After you lay out the red carpet, then what? Go with her the first time. Think of this as akin to teaching a kid how to ride a bike. Get her going and jog alongside, holding the seat until you're sure she's on her way. Then let go, and watch her enjoy the trip.

A former Disney executive with an M.B.A., Leslie Andrews is now a golf instructor. Her book, Even Par, came out in April.


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1.Jason Dufner (7)128
2.Rory McIlroy (4)1261
3.Matt Kuchar96T5
4.Bubba Watson (2)902
5.Luke Donald (2)863
6.Phil Mickelson774
7.Rickie Fowler71T5
8.Lee Westwood627
9.Hunter Mahan398
10.Ben Curtis2210

For expanded rankings, go to


Will the PGA Tour ever follow the LPGA's lead and issue slow-play penalties during its events?

YES 44%

NO 56%

PHOTOKATE POWERS/GETTY IMAGESNEW BLOOD Women represent a fraction of the golf population and therefore an opportunity for growth.