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2006 Event Recap
Participation Increases 14 Percent in U.S. and Canada
Moms, dads and daughters turned out in record numbers during the National Golf Course Owners Association's seventh annual Take Your Daughter to the Course Week, adding nearly 75,000 players to clinics, tee sheets and lesson books of golf courses in the U.S. and Canada. The number of participants increased 14 percent - from just over 64,000 in 2005 to 74,490 this year - and the number of host courses grew from 1,063 last year to 1,242 during the July 10-16 promotional period, according to the NGCOA.
"Parents are obviously interested in helping their daughters enjoy the same opportunities boys have to make golf a part of their lives," said Mike Hughes, chief executive officer of the NGCOA, which sponsors Take Your Daughter Week as part of the PGA's Play Golf America player development program. "We're excited to see this program continuing to gain popularity and closing the gender gap between boys and girls in golf.".
"People around here have really started looking forward to it," said Stacy Pickavance, assistant general manager of The Bridges GC in San Ramon, CA, where 70 young girls and adults participated in the program. "Fathers especially like it as a way to get their daughters interested in a game they're interested in and spend time together."
About 100 young girls and adults participated in the program at Blissful Meadows GC in Uxbridge, MA, according to Joe Griffin, director of golf. "We were hoping to get maybe 20 or 30, and to get that many was almost more than we were able to handle. But that's a good problem," he said. Griffin said intensive promotion was the key to the surprising turnout. "We promoted heavily with flyers and e-mails and through word of mouth. Then we tried to make it fun for the girls and the adults." Those efforts included a long-drive contest where marshmallows were substituted for golf balls.
There are approximately three million junior golfers between the ages of 12 and 17 in the U.S., but of that number only about 17 percent are girls. The NGCOA developed Take Your Daughter to the Course Week to support its members and help grow overall participation in golf. Participating courses offered free green fees and clinics to young girls who were accompanied by a paying adult.
The PGA of America, LPGA-USGA Girls Golf, the LPGA and the Executive Women's Golf Association are supporting sponsors of Take Your Daughter to the Course Week. PGA Tour professional Brad Faxon, the father of four daughters, was this year's national spokesperson