Is it time for the golf industry to stop focusing on external factors and start looking internally to help to attract and retain people in the game?

100% responsibility

I absolutely love learning.

Podcasts, audiobooks, paperbacks, websites … anything I can get my teeth into that will make me smarter/happier/more productive/better at my job/ fill me with random knowledge is a winner from me.

And something I came across recently was the idea of 100% responsibility.

How does 100% responsibility work?

The theory of 100% responsibility works on the basis that if you want to be successful, you must take 100% responsibility for everything in your life; from the things you achieve to how you feel at any given moment.

For most of us, our default is to blame something or someone else for the parts of our lives we don’t like. It might be our parents, the weather (if you’re British anyway), your education, money, whatever – anything that means we don’t have to face the stark reality that the problem (and solution) lies within ourselves.

It’s not a new concept and I couldn’t really tell you where it was first coined. But ultimately, it’s about giving up the excuses and reasons why you can’t achieve something and believing instead that you – and only you – have the power to literally live your best life.

I like the idea that I have complete control over my life; nothing is left to chance, no one and nothing influencing how I feel or what I do. I choose.

But whether you buy into it or not, there are so many lessons we can all take from it – especially the golf industry.

Less about what, more about how

Last week I wrote about the recent boom in golf participation in Europe. In short, according to a recent report, golf has never been more popular across the continent, with more people flocking to the fairways than ever before.

The stats weren’t quite as inspiring when it came to the number of women and juniors involved in the sport, but they were heading in the right direction at least.

Now with no sign of golf’s post-lockdown popularity slowing down, there’s a consensus across the industry that we need to capitalise on the new demand and leverage it to keep growing the game. We need to establish clearer pathways into the sport, come up with shorter formats, and create more flexible membership options.

But are we all missing the point?

Should we be worrying less about the what and more about the how?

To come back to the idea of 100% responsibility, I think it’s time the industry started looking inwards.

Yes, we know there are external factors that stop or deter people from playing golf. Time is one that springs to mind.

But how much of a role do internal factors – like inclusivity, fairness and equality – play in attracting and retaining people to the game? Especially when it comes to women; the market with undoubtedly the biggest opportunity for growth.

There’s no denying that women’s golf has come a long way over the years, especially recently. But there’s still a long way to go.

At club level, mixed competitions are still a rarity, women’s lounges still exist and god forbid a woman tries to tee off before 9am on a Saturday.

We still rigidly call the red tees ‘the ladies tees’. And we still question if a 10-handicap woman is really as good a golfer as a 10-handicap man because she plays from those tees.

What it boils down to is that men and women are still a long way away from being equal in the game of golf.

Golf isn’t the only sport to fall victim to discrimination – a quick read of the current news headlines will tell you that. But whilst other sports are being called out for gender inequalities, racism and misogyny, golf seems to sit quietly under the radar.

But I have a feeling it won’t be like that for long.

The tides are changing.

Watch this space. 

Like this article? You’ll be interested in our recent discussion, Golf in Europe is booming – what’s next?. Read it now