Helena Reis, Antónia Correia


Golf is a leisure activity that has always had constrains for women, mainly due to cultural barriers existing worldwide. In 1890, the British introduced golf in Portugal; the gendered policies of the game prevailed. This reality seems difficult to overcome: 85% of golfers in Portugal are men.



The study aims to understand whether Portuguese women perceive the intra-, inter- and structural factors advanced by literature; to identify the life contexts of female-golfers and to explain what moderates sports behaviour.

Having built a model based on the literature, we applied it to Portuguese women-golfers: 21 in-depth interviews were recorded and transcribed. The sample ranges from Portuguese national champions, to women who are initiating golf.

The research results in a theoretical contribution for consumer and gender behaviour studies. Based on a market-led approach, the main conclusions permit the identification of strategic guidelines to attract potential female markets.

The results indicate that structural and interpersonal factors are stronger than the intrapersonal. Cultural values persist, while women’s lifestyle has not changed much; these values are difficult to overcome even when women are motivated to participate in leisure. More than explicit discrimination, the exclusion of women is a cultural factor engrained in their lives, meaning that women exclude themselves, tacitly accepting discrimination.


Gender; Golf; Constraints/Facilitators Factors

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