Break down the barriers of intimidation
Leading Texas golf course owner Cathy Harbin says there is one critical challenge to overcome when introducing new players to golf: intimidation.
“If I had one message for golf course owners anywhere in the world, it is know that new golfers are really intimidated and you need to do everything you can to break that barrier down.”
The solution, says Harbin, is not on the practice range – it’s on the course.
She highlights a wall of intimidation that exists between the practice tee (driving range) and the actual golf course, and the need for people within the club environment to better understand it and develop tactics to support an easier, more welcoming transition to the course.
“Know that new golfers are really intimidated.
“Get them out on the golf course as soon as possible, hitting some drives, have them hit on a par-3, do some putting drills, whatever you can do to take them to the golf course so they feel, ‘Hey, this is not so scary’.”
Harbin’s approach has energised her community of Paris, Texas. Where there were no female or junior players before, by taking coaching into local parks and recreation grounds, it has helped build a new wave of players at her course Pine Ridge.
Evidence also backs up the importance of that initial transition from practice tee to golf course.
30% of women who give up the game after two or three tries label it as ‘not fun’*, coinciding with the time they may be transitioning to the golf course for the first time. If that transition is laced with fear and intimidation, it’s perhaps no surprise that for many, the experience turns them away from the game.
Hear more from Cathy Harbin in the feature ‘Rethinking Golf - How to reset golf for the new normal’
Learn more about love.golf, the pioneering coaching program exclusively for women which takes them out on the golf course from day one.
*The Global Economic Value of Increased Female Participation in Golf