Former men-only golf club now has thriving ladies’ academy

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 1, 2015 13:46

A golf club that was male only just 10 years ago has set up a ladies’ golf academy that is being showcased as an example of best practice when it comes to attracting women to golf.

Wimbledon Common Golf Club in London was all-male until 2005. Today it is driving business through increased female participation.

Carin Koch & Joanna Croker

Carin Koch and Joanna Croker

“Thanks to the introduction of its Ladies Academy, featuring an innovative blend of professional coaching, on-course mentoring and social activity, the club has a thriving female section, which is growing year-on-year,” said a spokesman.

The academy was set up in 2014, and resulted in nine of the 10 new golfers signing up as full members, as this video explains:



“The high conversion rate has been credited to the scheme’s focus on active play. Academy members receive two one-hour lessons a month and, crucially, play the course three times a month with a mentor, typically an existing member,” added the spokesman.

Lindy Ratner, ladies academy organiser at Wimbledon Common Golf Club, said: “The feedback we got very quickly from the academy players was that they were so glad they weren’t just getting lessons; they needed to go out on the course straight away to practice what they’d learned.”

Ladies academy player Pamela Roche concurred. She said: “You feel like you are playing a proper game; you are learning as you play and it’s a lovely experience. When you go out on a course you realise what fun it is.”

The club’s approach reflects the findings of Syngenta’s free market research report ‘The Opportunity to Grow Golf: Female Participation’, which gives clubs insights and tips on how to attract more female players.

Simon Elsworth, Syngenta head turf and landscape EAME, said: “Our research shows that active women are interested in golf and Wimbledon Common Golf Club is an outstanding example of how clubs can appeal to and engage prospective customers.

“Its Ladies Academy focuses on the fun aspects of playing, empowering the new golfers through coaching and on-course mentoring. The club also offers a welcoming, social and female-friendly atmosphere that appeals to golfers and non-golfers of all ages.”

Fourteen new golfers have now joined the 2015 Ladies Academy and there is already a waiting list for the 2016 scheme.

Carin Koch, 2015 European Solheim Cup captain and Syngenta golf ambassador, who visited the club in April to help launch National Golf Month, said: “What they’ve done here at Wimbledon Common Golf Club is wonderful. To change in that short period of time and get so many women involved is impressive.”

To download Syngenta’s free golf market research reports, including ‘The Opportunity to Grow Golf: Female Participation’, visit:


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 1, 2015 13:46
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1 Comment

  1. Sam September 5, 03:45

    Great article! No time better then now
    to get into the wonderful game of golf. Check out this blog post for
    help in picking out your first golf club set!

    Reply to this comment
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