I Want To Empower Male Golfers To Invite More Women - Mia Baker

Social media sensation Mia Baker on changing perceptions to help attract more women and girls to the game.

Mia Baker with Gary Favell, CEO American Golf
Mia Baker with Gary Favell, CEO American Golf
(Image credit: American Golf)

In 2019 Mia Baker didn’t know very much about golf at all, she’d heard of Tiger Woods, but that was the extent of her golfing knowledge.

Fast forward to 2022, and we spoke to the golf social media sensation ahead of International Women’s Day (opens in new tab), as the 27-year-old from London continues to help change perceptions and inspire more women and girls to take up the sport through her myriad of channels.

Baker’s golf journey began during 2019 after she was invited by her ex-boyfriend’s father to experience a golf course on a family holiday and she thought, “Wow, this is so cool.” Back in the UK and wanting to kit herself out with the right gear is when she hit a stumbling block. “I went on the hunt for a pair of golf shoes, but the pro shops that I visited had absolutely nothing for women.”

Disillusioned, but determined to pursue her new sporting passion, Baker headed to American Golf’s flagship store in London. “It was the strangest thing because again there was nothing for women. I have been very lucky in my life, as whenever I’ve wanted to do something I’ve been able to do it, but as far as golf was concerned, it was made really difficult for me to get started.”

An email she sent to Gary Favell, CEO of American Golf (opens in new tab), to bring this unfair state of affairs to his attention in what she had identified as a massively untapped market changed her life. “I didn’t just want to complain, but to try and work with them to improve the situation for others. If women can’t buy golf gear then they won’t get into the sport.”

American Golf listened. “Everything was geared towards men, there was no inspiration online for women which is what I struggled with.” Baker was signed up almost immediately as an ambassador and influencer of the brand to help drive female inclusivity within the golf industry and retail space. More women featured in social posts and women’s and junior collections were introduced in-store.

Mia Baker at the ISPS Handa World Invitational 2021

Mia Baker at the 2021 ISPS Handa World Invitational 

(Image credit: American Golf)

Since 2020, Baker has documented her golfing journey through YouTube, Instagram and podcasts. Breaking with tradition, she does it her way, from learning to play through online coaching and preferring to practise at the range or at a simulator rather than venturing out onto a golf course whilst she’s still learning.

“I want to show that golf is not just about playing on a course. On social I used to get backlash for this, but I have really come to learn and be confident that this is my way of golfing. Also, people don’t have loads of time and that’s a big movement nowadays. I work with adidas and one of their latest campaigns is, ‘Golf is what you want it to be and not what everyone else makes it to be,’ that’s an important message.”

Young women and potential golfers reach out and tell her that she is an inspiration. She told us: “The weird thing is, I don’t feel like I’m an inspiration, I’m just trying to put things out there to show women that they are not alone, which is how I felt.”

She added: “I know that a lot of men play golf, but how did I get into golf? Someone had to invite me. I want to empower those people who already play the game to invite those in their personal network to give golf a try, as that person can take the beginner’s stresses away and make their experience as enjoyable as possible. That’s where new golfers will come from.”

Alison Root has over 25 years experience working in media and events, predominantly dedicated to golf, in particular the women’s game. Until 2020, for over a decade Alison edited Women & Golf magazine and website, and in addition to writing, overseeing all content and developing industry relationships, she was the go-to voice for TV and radio to comment on breaking women’s golf stories. Alison is also the Editorial Director of Glorious, the new digital platform devoted to elevating women’s sport and that includes golf! She is a 14-handicap golfer (should be better) and despite having had the fantastic opportunity to play some of the best golf courses around the world, Kingsbarns in Scotland is her favourite.