Techniques for Instructing Female Athletes in Traditionally Male Sports: A Case Study of LPGA Teaching Professionals

By Vanessa MacKinnon.

Published by The Sport Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Some sports have traditionally been dominated by men. As a result, the techniques used for instructing these sports were often developed by male instructors using their experiences with an overwhelmingly male student base. Golf is one such sport. While more women are taking up golf, they are still a minority among both the ranks of instructors and students, and as a result the instructional needs of female golfers are often overlooked. This study surveyed 100 female golf professionals with regard to their views on golf instruction for women. The results show the majority of survey participants believe there are certain “best practices” for instructing female golfers: practices requiring modifications to the traditional instructional techniques developed by men for men. This paper will examine some of these suggested modifications, and address ways in which the results can be used in the instruction of other traditionally male-dominated sports. It is hoped that by examining instructional techniques from a female perspective, more female-friendly instructional techniques will emerge. It is in turn hoped that more women will find the sporting environment more welcoming, helping to narrow the gender gap in sport and making for a more inclusive sporting environment.

Keywords: Golf, Golf Instructional Techniques, Instructing Female Athletes, Female Friendly Sport Instruction

The International Journal of Sport and Society, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp.75-88. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 777.464KB).

Dr. Vanessa MacKinnon

Assistant Professor, Department of Exercise Science and Sport Studies, Professional Golf Management Program, California University of Pennsylvania, California, Pennsylvania, USA

Ms. MacKinnon is an Assistant Professor of Exercise Science and Sport Studies at California University of Pennsylvania, teaching primarily within the Professional Golf Management Program. Prior to entering academia, Ms. MacKinnon spent over a decade as a golf professional, teaching golf around the world and competing in several professional competitions. She holds membership in the LPGA and the PGA of America. A graduate of the prestigious Yale University, she was a member of the Yale women’s varsity golf team. She also holds a Master's degree from McGill University in Montreal Canada, where she was a member of the varsity squash team. She is currently ABD in a doctoral program (Ed.D., Sport Management specialization) at Northcentral University, where she is focusing her research on gender issues in sport, with a particular emphasis on golf.