Signs of a Female-Friendly Golf Course

Golf Clubs
How to Make Sure You’re Playing With the Right Clubs
July 13, 2018
How to get the Best out of a Lesson
How to Get the Best out of a Golf Lesson
July 18, 2018

Signs of a Female-Friendly Golf Course

Things to keep in mind when deciding where to spend your money to play
Female Friendly Golf Course

Written By:

Sue Powers

Sue Powers is Co-Owner Nancy Lopez Golf Adventures, 2017-18 LPGA Top 50 Best Teachers, 2013 National Teacher of the Year, LPGA-USGA Girls Golf Site Director, and Controller & Teaching Pro at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club located in Venice, Fl.

Female-friendly golf courses focus on how to help women feel more welcome on and off the course, unfortunately not all golf courses are designed or built in a way that is welcoming to women.

So how can you recognize a female-friendly golf course?

Let’s start with the course design.

Most female-friendly courses have forward-thinking golf course architects who reimagine the course design flaws that punish the slow swing players, eliminating or reducing the obstacles that shorter-hitting players cannot hit over from the ladies tees, feature fewer thick roughs so it’s easier to hit out of, and create more short grass around the greens to allows players to use their putters more. 

Course design is not the only factor to consider when looking for a course interested in attracting more females to golf. A welcoming atmosphere is essential, from the time you enter the premises to the 19th hole.

Here are some questions I always like to ask myself when making my decision on where to spend my time and money: 

  1. Am I greeted with a smile by the person at the bag drop area?
  2. Is the pro shop staff friendly and accommodating or just collecting my money?
  3. Is there a female professional on staff? Better yet, is she a leader in the organization?
  4. Does the course encourage family play opportunities? Are there rental clubs for females and juniors?
  5. Are there female-only events posted and marketed?
    Female -friendly courses understand that the more events they have for women, the more women will come and play.  Look for free clinics, leagues, group instructional programs, club demos, fashion shows, 9-hole scramble, special tournaments, greet & meet events, golf & social events, and special discounts.
  6. Does the pro shop offer as much or more women’s goods and apparel as the men’s section?  Do they strive to stock items and lines I can’t typically find in a retail store?
    Stocking the golf shop to be attractive and welcoming to females is a good indicator that you are a valued customer.
  7. Are the overall facility appearance and restrooms clean?  Are there amenities in the restroom for freshening up before or after your round?
  8. Is the overall condition of the golf course acceptable?
  9. Do the restaurant’s hours of operation accommodate your playing schedule? What’s on the menu? Are there healthy alternatives? Is the atmosphere inviting and friendly?
  10. Would I recommend the overall experience to my friends and family?


Join the movement to remove the barriers and find for your truly female-friendly course that offers programs, opportunities, amenities, and staff that encourages women to learn the game and that support playing opportunities for females. Play Happy!   

Leave a Reply

14 Comment threads
2 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
16 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

Great points, and I’d like to add one. Last week at Bayonet and Black Horse in Monterey, the drink cart had not just beer but wine by the can. Now, that’s a woman-welcoming touch!


I feel all of the 10 would apply to all, regardless of gender. In regards to pro shop, I find very frustrating as a size 14-16 XL-XXL . Not much to pick from and we definitely SHOP and probably in the majority. We play a lot of golf and travel.

virginia m mishkin

Me too. I’m a well-endowed size 14 and find it difficult to find items for me. Pants are especially difficult because they have narrow legs and I don’t. Add to the frustration that I am a left-handed novice golfer. It ain’t easy!

Robbie Cohen

Perhaps more significantly, does the course have on on-course restrooms accessible every 5 or 6 holes? Personally, I’ll settle for Port-a-Potties, but many women require more established facilities. We can’t, after all, just turn to a nearby tree for relief!

Judy Metken

Any of the Robert Trent Jones courses on the trail have always treated us gals well. Many have gone a step farther than was asked. A great shout out to Mike and his staff at Capitol Hill. They are a special group..

Denise Ryan

I would love to find the one pro shop that stocks as apparel and gear for women as men. For that matter, any retail location. Do they not realize we are the fastest growing segment, and BTW, spend more?

Anita Nelson

Great article! I would also add ball washers on the forward tees. It’s amazing how few courses have them.

Patricia Ayres

Ball washers were recently removed from a local course because a player hitting from tees behind them , hit the washer, sending the ball into someone’s head and a law suite followed.


My number one indication of a woman-friendly golf course is washroom(s) strategically located throughout the course. Not just the club house or half-way house. Unlike our male counterparts, sometimes the nearest tree just doesn’t cut it!

Patricia Bona

Trash cans, ball cleaners and a reminder of distance on forward tees. Male juniors tee off from those tees in tournaments … maybe that’s a better argument?

Dorien Baker

For me, a truly female friendly course is one that provides course ratings for females from a variety of tee boxes. The vast majority of courses provide female ratings only from the forward tee. Also providing a “hybrid” rated tee offers more of a challenge to those who find a forward tee too short and the next tee too long.


How about (1) do they give women preferred tee times? (2) do the male members treat women with respect? (3) does the teaching pro take women seeking to improve their game seriously? Women’s golf is not always about clothes, kids, and amenities. It is also about playing competitive golf. Please stop boxing us in to these sexist norms.

Sally Anderson

Label the tee boxes by handicap NOT gender, many men I play with should play the forward tees, but when the course even refers to them with their signage as Women tees, that is a big turn off to me.

Dee Dee Fischer

Another question to add: Does the club have a male-only grill? So many do, and for me, it’s a dealbreaker.


These are great points. Sometimes we just pick a course for the low priced green fees but leave there feeling like second class citizens. Shout out to the folks at Chateau Elan in Braselton GA for meeting all your criteria.

Brilliant article Sue and comments too, I will forward it to the PGA pros I work with in the UK. I find that most of the time it is lack of imagination so I keep explaining what we women need. I have my own company teaching Pilates for golf so I help golf clubs see the potential with having events and social activities to attract more female members. I started playing golf as a very young girl and have loved it since.