Golf Equipment Manufacturers Miss the Boat!
After watching my daughter nearly bent over trying to hit a golf ball with her first set of clubs, we hopped into the car and drove to Golf Galaxy to buy a new set of clubs. I spent the driving time thinking about how I was going to handle her dismay that she wouldn't be able to have a pink bag like her Mama (you should have seen her delight three weeks ago when I opened the box containing my two-tone pink ultra-light Sun Mountain bag with white trim). In fact, she wasn't even going to be able to get a purple, yellow, lime green or light blue bag.
There are essentially two choices for kids clubs: USGA Kids and Walter Hagen clubs. USGA Kids appears to cater to the growing number of junior girls playing golf by offering each set size in two colors, one directed toward boys, the other toward girls. It's a feeble attempt in my mind since the "two" colors in her size are "orange" for boys and "tangerine" for girls. And even if I could sell her on "tangerine," she'd probably see that the size smaller is "lavendar" for girls and then INSIST that the "tangerine" clubs were too big and that she NEEDED the "lavendar" ones. You see my point here.
Fortunately, the orange/tangerine problem was avoided since Golf Galaxy only carries Walter Hagen clubs for kids and each size comes in only one color. So after some disappointment - instantly fixed when she got to "test" the clubs by hitting into the simulator screen for 15 minutes - we came home with the "red" Walter Hagan set you see below (pink headcover was added by yours truly).
She has a hybrid (made me smile, too!), a seven-iron, and a sand wedge that she didn't have before so there is still excitement over having new clubs. But as a mother who hopes and prays that her daughter stays interested in the game of golf, I really want to scream at these manufacturers who are missing the boat!
Of course, they must believe that you are going to buy the clubs regardless of the color, and they are right. But imagine if you could choose from six different colors when you order kids' clubs online! Or even if each size came in a decidely girly color in addition to the standard red, blue or orange. If one company did anything like that, we'd keep buying clubs from that company every time a set was outgrown. And if I could have bought a pink, purple, or yellow bag/set for my daughter yesterday, I'd be lighting up the phones (and my blog!) to let my friends with golfing daughters know who made it and where they could find it.
When I graduated from college nearly two decades ago, there weren't enough girls teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference (I'm talking the ACC, not the Big Ten or Big East!) to have a Women's ACC Tournament. But there are lots of girls playing golf these days. And there are probably even more parents who want their daughters to play golf. It's time for these manufacturers to get with the program. If you give a girl some "girly" options, you make her happy. If she's happy, she keeps playing. She'll show it off, talk about it, and maybe even come back for another color before it's outgrown or worn out. If you make golf "girly," they will come. And stay.