Our west coast editor, Alex Gill, takes us to some of B.C.’s hottest new golf locales.
Call me an anomaly. I am a woman who has recently fallen in love with the game of golf. This puts me way off-trend – or ahead of the curve.
Golf players are dropping like flies all over the U.S. and Canada, especially in B.C., where the game once flourished. In 2013, 10 per cent of the B.C. population played golf, compared with 20 per cent in 2002 – then the highest rate in Canada. According to the same B.C. golf report, participation will drop to eight per cent by 2020.
Women account for the highest attrition rate. Since 2008, an astounding 25 per cent of B.C. female golfers said farewell to the course, compared to 2.5 per cent of male golfers.
Why is golf turning women off? No one knows for sure, but a brief interview with Kris Jonasson, director of B.C. Golf, provides some clues.
“A tremendous amount of the women who got into golf didn’t have to work,” he explains. “[After the financial crisis of 2008] everyone is now working.”
Golf is an expensive game for a privileged few. The B.C. organization is trying to change that perception by reaching out to career women, millennials and minorities with recent focus groups, upcoming workshops and planned media campaigns. But for now, the greenways are still dominated by old, rich, (mostly) white men in ugly shorts.
So why do I love it so?
When lining up the shot, you have to think of so many things – feet shoulder width apart, butt out, distance from the ball, fingers aligned, loose grip, smooth backswing, eye on the ball, follow through, power in the hips. It’s just like yoga!
You’re in the Great Outdoors
Sure, the course is a manicured version of nature. But there’s fresh air, water, trees, wildlife, sunshine. Leave your mobile phone in the clubhouse and consider it a mini-retreat.
It’s actually a great workout
Forget pushups. Swinging a club for hours is a killer workout for your arms, shoulders and core. If you walk 18 holes, that’s equivalent to six kilometres. And if you carry your clubs, you can burn about 2,000 calories (not that I’ve ever tried).
Last weekend, I went out with a girlfriend to play pitch ‘n’ putt. (And yes, pitch ‘n’ putt is golf). We took a few ciders. Unlike running groups, you can actually talk comfortably and catch up on all the gossip. On the first hole we both hit par, we screamed and jumped in the air and high-fived. The guys behind us started hollering: “Go girls!” “Alright!” Did I mention that the game is dominated by men? It’s a great way to meet guys.
Where Girls Can Get Their Golf Game On In B.C:
What are some of your favourite golf courses in British Columbia? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.