Double Standard for Women's Golf MarketingAnswer me this - why does the mainstream media treat women golfers as a completely different species of golfer? Don't they play the same game as men?
With over 5 million women playing the game each year, it seems to me that mainstream golf television, as well as magazines targeted to women, handle their reporting and advertising like women are only interested in a nice walk in the fresh air and more importantly, they need to make sure that their hair and clothes make them look like fashion models. Please, give me a break.
I just leafed through the Sept/Oct, 2005 issue of Golf For Women, a publication from the same publishers as Golf Digest, and I was especially humored by some of the magazine's display ads. You've got Polo, Liz Clairborne, Golfsmith and Bette & Court advertising clothing that most lady golfers wouldn't be caught dead in on the course. Even worse, the LPGA Ad on page 142, has a woman that has too much eye liner, is incorrectly holding a belly putter pointed at least 18 inches from the target, and has her hands in the WRONG POSITION.
To make matters worse, it seems that every women's magazine, even when the topic is sports, has to have a fashion spread. Golf For Women is no different. Their spread To the Manor Worn, is a joke. They've got models (not real golfers) wearing stuff that has them dressing up like Christmas trees. Just because a model is holding a golf club or wearing a golf glove, doesn't make them ready for a round of golf. Even the male model pictured looks like a clown.
As I was writing this, I also saw Eric Barzeski's post on his blog The Sand Trap that trashes The Golf Channel's coverage of the Solheim Cup. He states "Sunday's coverage was some of the weakest golf coverage I can remember in over 15 years of watching golf on television. Not only did The Golf Channel fail with poor technology, but they failed with lackluster broadcasting "talent" and insipid storytelling."
Now how can this happen? Women are the fastest growing segment of the golf universe. They are growing while the number of male golfers hasn't grown for more than five years. Isn't this a market that is just emerging? I'm surprised that we don't hear more women complain that the mainstream media treats them as a marketing afterthought.