Girl golf recruitment campaign is working

Emma Williams
By Emma Williams June 14, 2017 15:17

A campaign to get more girls in England playing golf appears to be working, according to England Golf.

Following research that girls are disproportionately under-represented among UK golf clubs, Girls Golf Rocks began in 2016 and over 80 per cent of girls who try the game at special taster sessions are going on to take coaching courses – and many are expected to move into club membership, states organisers.

The programme is helped by its ambassadors – all girls from county squads – who support the new players and show them that golf is a fun and friendly sport.

The recruitment campaign is run jointly by England Golf and the Golf Foundation and has received the backing of players like Annabel Dimmock, an England international in her amateur days and now a player on the Ladies European Tour.

She co-hosted a taster session at Wexham Golf Club in Buckinghamshire, helping to inspire 35 newcomers to the game and taking part in an ‘Ask Annabel’ Q&A session.

Buckinghamshire is one of 15 counties taking part in this year’s Girls Golf Rocks, up from nine counties in 2016. The others involved are Bedfordshire, Cumbria, Dorset, Durham, Essex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Kent, Leicestershire, Norfolk, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire, Wiltshire and Yorkshire.

Durham Girls Golf Rocks ambassadors / Leaderboard Photography

The campaign is successfully encouraging hundreds of girls to take free taster sessions followed by coaching courses with PGA professionals and then a fun golf day, also involving the ambassadors.

Those who completed at least four sessions received a free, custom-fitted seven-iron from US Kids Golf, the official equipment supplier to the Golf Foundation.

Dorset was notable with 71 out of 72 girls going on to take coaching, while in Cheshire all 53 girls made the transition – and all are making excellent use of their seven irons.

Kent girls made a video at their fun day, explaining what they like about the game.

“The best thing about golf is that anyone can do it,” said a 12-year-old. “As well as being a sport it’s fun, it makes you think and it is actually quite tactical.”

In Essex, the county has launched Girls Golf Rocks On Tour, offering a series of golf days combining coaching and fun competitions. They’re open to complete beginners as well as improvers and players from Girls Golf Rocks.

Lauren Spray, England Golf women and girls’ participation manager, said: “This is great news to pass on in England Golf’s ‘Women and Girls’ Month’.

“Girls Golf Rocks is creating a growing awareness of girls’ golf and proving that if we can get them to try the game they will keep on playing. We hope this will encourage clubs to run more girls-only events to get them involved.

“We’re also making much more impact on social media and it’s a really effective way to reach more girls.”

Martin Crowder, Golf Foundation development manager, added: “I’m delighted to see the momentum continue in the counties we worked with last year, but also see the same instant impact in the new ones. The seven-iron we have provided to each girl across all 15 counties has been warmly received and I really hope this inspires the girls to carry on playing golf regularly at clubs with their new friends.”

Girls who would like to join in should click here to visit the Girls Golf Rocks Facebook page for details of participating clubs.

 

Emma Williams
By Emma Williams June 14, 2017 15:17
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