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Friday, May 24, 2013

Do the Women Know You've Changed Their Tee Time?

Tuesday and Thursday are regular golf days for the Star Fort Ladies Golf Association and our established tee time is 9:20.  We negotiated vigorously for this time, because it puts us in front of a men's group that also plays on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  The men are old and slow (and don't even putt out their holes).  We are old and fast and putt out everything in our take-no-prisoners, don't-ever-concede anything approach to golf.

I got to the course a few minutes before 9, with enough time to hit a few balls, warm up my putter, and be ready to go at 9:20.  I was the first one to arrive.  When I walked in to the pro shop to register and pick up balls and a cart key, Sam told me our tee time had been changed to 9:12.

"What happened to 9:20?" I asked him.

"The men," he sighed.  The men?  "They don't want to start after 9:30.  It makes them too late finishing."

Thinking: They wouldn't be late finishing if they ramped up their pace of play.  "When was our tee time changed? Do the other women know?"

Sam sighed and gave me a look that conveyed the quintessential Southern male treatment of women who are being exasperating, poor thing.  "It was changed a couple of weeks ago.  I guess you haven't played in a while."

I played Tuesday, and before that I played Saturday, and before that, last Thursday.  I got a cart key and some balls and left the pro shop wondering who did what and when they did it.  Barb was just pulling into the parking lot and parking beside my car when I pulled up in the cart.  "Get loaded up," I told her.  "The Pro Shop changed out tee time to 9:12."

While Barb was changing shoes and making sartorial adjustments, I zipping around the parking lot in my cart, delivering the new of our accelerated tee time to one after another of the arriving members of the Star Fort Ladies Golf Association.  There was much fussing and fuming, rushing and hurried stretching as we tried to do in 10 minutes the pre-round tasks that require half an hour.  Clearly, the women were not aware that the pro shop had changed their tee time.   In the end, we teed off at 9:20, our original tee time, with the men lined up behind us, and after our round we sorted out the confusion with our Pro.  But the original question remains: why was our tee time changed without our knowledge and without consultation?

There are an estimated 4.7 million active adult women golfers  in the United States.  We constitute approximately 25% of adult golfers.  In any other industry -- and the golf industry certainly depends on active players for its revenue stream -- management would not jeopardize 25% of its dependable revenue stream.  When you do the math, in the +50 population, women control more wealth than men and that trend is continuing (check out Barbara Stanny's essay, Women, Wealth, and Power: The Emerging Paradigm).  From the LPGA to the Star Fort Ladies Golf Association, we have a club, if we're not afraid to give it a swing every now and then.