Published 2 months ago.
About a 5 minute read.
Image: Girls Golf
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Dow is partnering to elevate both gender and sustainability in golf to show how the sport can be an inspiring source of progress for people and planet alike.
Can you name three professional female golfers? Given golf has long been a
male-dominated sport — as a means for doing both
and recreation — likely not.
As recently as 2021, only 25 percent of all US
were women. However, according to the National Golf
than 820,000 women took up the sport between 2020 and 2022 — while only 465,000
men did the same. What’s more, 38 percent of golfers under the age of 18 are
Improving gender representation is just one big opportunity for the sport of
golf. Dow is taking action now through partnerships to elevate both
gender and sustainability in golf to show how the sport can be an inspiring
source of progress for people and planet alike.
Since its inception almost 75 years ago, the Ladies’ Professional Golf
Association (LPGA) has advocated for women golfers.
Today, it stands as one of the world’s largest women’s professional-sports
organizations — with a clear focus on philanthropy, diversity and opportunity.
Now, with Dow as its Official Sustainability
the LPGA is bringing together social and environmental progress. The
partnership, specifically designed to combine women’s passion for golf with a
passion for the environment, comes to life in programs such as Girls
Girls Golf is a community of more than 90,000 girls around the world who play
golf; and the group aims to make every girl golfer feel important, appreciated,
respected and supported. Dow’s “Play, Love, Think Green” curriculum for the
program aims to educate girls ages 6-17 on the many ways they can make a
difference for the planet — empowering the next generation of women and creating
mentorship opportunities that can benefit them throughout their lives.
With sustainability tied into their golf experiences, young girls can hone their
golf skills and become informed and responsible environmental stewards. The
Girls Golf initiative is fostering a dynamic community where young girls can
build life-long friendships, gain leadership skills and develop a strong sense
of self-confidence — all while contributing to a more sustainable future. In
addition to teaching environmental stewardship, Dow has made more than 100,000
recycled golf tees and donated 35,000 of them to Girls Golf this year.
Cori Matheson, Director
of LPGA*USGA Girls Golf of Phoenix; and Lauren
Director at Southern California Golf Association Junior Golf Foundation, see
firsthand the impact this programming is having. For Fesler, bringing more girls
into the sport helps provide greater access.
“Our program is focused on holistically developing juniors and creating golf
communities in low-income areas. Through Girls Golf programming, our kids meet
other girls who have the same interests and goals as them. This helps foster
their confidence and encourages them to feel comfortable on the course.”
For Matheson, who works with 1,000 girl golfers annually in the Phoenix area, it
“empowers girls to dream big and develop confidence.” There is also a unique
opportunity to drive environmental impact. “Living in the Arizona desert,
water consumption by golf courses is a constant discussion in our community. It
is important for the girls to understand how a course can use water responsibly
to enjoy golf for years to come,” she says.
The LPGA’s annual tour is another prime example of how it delivers on its
mission of enabling female professionals to pursue their dreams in the game of
golf. And part of the annual tour — the Dow Great Lakes Bay
Invitational (GLBI) tournament, held for the
fourth time in July 2023 — is showing how sustainability and inclusivity can be
front and center at major sporting events.
In addition to helping shift gender and environmental trends, the tournament has
an eye toward future leaders — and, as part of its goals, is investing in local
organizations promoting the advancement of women and girls. Since its
establishment, GLBI has donated more than $1 million to local charities
including Women of Colors (a youth robotics
academy), Bay Area Women’s Center and Girls on the
Run Great Lakes Bay.
As part of the GLBI, Dow has also partnered with organizations and companies
such as Core Technology Molding
Plastics, Evolve Golf
and more to reuse and recycle the previous year’s high-density polyethylene
(HDPE) plastic mesh fencing into new items including ball markers, divot tools
This mesh recycling was key to the course receiving the first GEO
certification on the LPGA tour.
To be certified, the course must have a five-year sustainability plan and
commitment in partnership with the GEO Foundation; and it must focus on low
water use, low waste output and low carbon emissions. Each year, nearly 78
percent of waste generated from GLBI is recycled into something new.
And it’s not just the LPGA at large that’s taking action on sustainability — the
players are, too. Some of the biggest names in women’s golf, including Maria
Fassi and Katherine
Kirk, are teaming up with Dow as
These professional golfers, among others, are committing to minimizing and
offsetting their personal travel, calculating their carbon footprints, and
compensating for unavoidable carbon emissions through mitigation. At every
level, women golfers are leading the transformation to a sustainable future.
In 1950, golf looked quite different than it does today. The creation of the
LPGA has played a large part in the transformation. And the partnership with Dow
is helping set higher standards for the future — where the names of both women
golfers and the sustainable tournaments they bring to life are a commonplace and
inspiring part of the sport.
Published Sep 21, 2023 8am EDT / 5am PDT / 1pm BST / 2pm CEST
This article, produced in cooperation with the Sustainable Brands editorial team, has been paid for by one of our sponsors.
Everyone has a role to play in creating a more sustainable world: Dow is taking action to address the full scale of challenges, collaborating with partners to improve the industry’s processes and through innovation to help communities become more sustainable.