Gender Differences in Perceptions and Attitudes Toward the LPGA and Its Tour Professionals: An Empirical Investigation

Marlene A. Dixon

Sport marketing literature suggests that consumers?perceptions of and attitudes toward a product affect their consumption of that product (Mullin, Hardy, & Sutton, 1993; Shank, 1999). In the case of women’s professional golf, the product is comprised of the LPGA Tour; LPGA clothing; a variety of golf equipment including clubs and shoes; and the LPGA Tour Professionals themselves, as marketed to commercial sponsors. Using Long’s (1991) typology regarding attitude formation, the purpose of this study was, first, to provide a theoretical basis for understanding factors contributing to the attitudes and perceptions of golf participants regarding the LPGA and its Tour Professionals. In particular, the study explores attitude differences between males and females as well as differences that exist among active golf participants (golfers) who have had varying levels of exposure to the LPGA Tour. Surveys were distributed, and 489 were collected from golfers at 13 private and public golf courses in 12 different states. Results revealed a number of differences between male and female golfers but none between volunteers and nonvolunteers. The results suggest a need for further exploration of the factors that may influence the perceptions male and female active golf participants have of golf and of the LPGA.