Annika Sorenstam says golf clubs need to consider ways that they can make themselves more appealing to prospective female members, starting with the design of their clubhouses.
The Swede, one of the most successful women to have played golf, made the remarks as she took part in a Women’s Leadership Forum, an online event hosted by the R&A and Mastercard.
Sorenstam, 50, said: "From a club standpoint, I think the language – even the basic things like a pro shop – is a big deal if you are new to golf.
Also the ladies’ locker-room, it’s almost as though it’s a last-minute thought. There’s just nothing to it. It’s small. It’s old. It’s very dated. It’s just not welcoming. It’s not fresh.
"I think there are few things we need to do to invest in these clubs and I’m not talking about fancy country clubs. Let’s make golf attractive in the sense of being welcoming. It’s not just about hitting 7-irons and holing putts.”
CRAIG CONNELLY ON CADDYING FOR CASEY, KAYMER, MONTY & CO.
In other news, Sorenstam has been elected as the new president of the International Golf Federation. She will succeed former R&A chief executive on January 1, 2021.
“Peter did a great job in the last ten years as IGF president and I am humbled and honored to have been asked to succeed him,” said the ten-time major champion. “As an international player, having golf back in the Olympics means so much to me and to our sport.
"I very much look forward to working with the Board, the IOC and the governing bodies of golf in their efforts to continue to grow the game globally.”Dawson leaves big shoes to fill, having successfully led the IGF through the process of golf's Olympic Games reinstatement.
"It was a true thrill to witness our return at Rio 2016," he said. "Our Olympic status has been a strong catalyst for increasing cooperation and coordination between the major organisations in golf and has significantly strengthened the bonds between the IGF and our national federations."