This club has been praised for bringing both juniors and females into golf

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 11, 2016 11:16

A golf club in Cheshire has been praised by both a leading charity and a sport development group for its work at introducing children and females to golf.

In the UK women and children make up a disproportionately small number of participants of golf – a smaller ratio than almost every other golfing country in the world despite surveys showing huge demand to play the game from both sectors.

In January Sandiway Golf Club aimed to mark its 100th year in 2020 by introducing 100 girls to the game of golf – and has already hit its target.

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The club has hailed the response from local schools and junior girls’ social groups as ‘phenomenal’.

Sandiway member, Ruth Elliott-Smith, said: “We have had a phenomenal response from local schools. All of those we have approached have welcomed us to take over a sports lesson to give the girls golf coaching.

“Sandiway PGA professional Gareth Jones coaches girls aged from nine to 18 at local schools and groups in how to use junior-sized clubs, which make the game much easier to play and to pick up the skills needed more quickly.

“The club then invites the girls to a free session at Sandiway’s newly-refurbished practice ground at its Chester Road.

“From there it is hoped the girls will develop an interest in the sport in a like-minded friendly group and go on to enjoy further lessons and the chance to get out on the course.”

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She said the club has already coached 102 girls and now offers free group sessions for girls aged six to 18 every Saturday.

“Women and junior girls are under-represented in golf and Sandiway wants to help redress the balance,” she said.

“For us to exceed our target in the first few months when we had given ourselves four years, is amazing, and just shows the demand is there.

“We just need to let the girls know that golf needs them and wants them and I believe we will continue to exceed our expectations. Golf is a great sport and a lot of fun, but it is one which girls do not normally consider. We want them to and we will teach them how!”

Alison Lysons, development officer for the Cheshire Golf Development Group, added: “Sandiway is to be congratulated on the fantastic results it has achieved in such a short time.

“This project just goes to show that where there is a will at a club to take golf out into the local community, they will find new players ready and willing to get involved.

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“By bringing girls together in this way, it will help show them how much fun there is to be had from learning and playing golf and how it can help them lead a healthier lifestyle and enjoy the company of new friends.”

Meanwhile, charity the Golf Foundation, which provides young people of all backgrounds and abilities with the opportunity to enjoy golf and the benefits it has to offer, has praised the members of Sandiway after they agreed to add an extra £2 to their membership subscriptions to raise £1,000 for it.

Brendon Pyle, chief executive of the Golf Foundation, said: “Sandiway Golf Club offers a fantastic example of how club members care about encouraging the next generation of young golfers and they deserve great credit. We now want members from far more clubs to read this and understand the simple, important and dynamic fundraising opportunity that can be created nationally if more clubs added £2 to member subscriptions.

“With the assistance of golf club members this charity aims to create 10,000 new regular junior players per year by 2018 and see over 50,000 juniors going through the gates of a golf club.

Sandiway cheque

“This is why the backing from our golf clubs is so important and why the ‘£2 per member’ subscription option is a genuine winner. For the price of a post-round cup of coffee or less than the cost of a golf ball, club members can make a massive difference to junior participation at a stroke; it really is that simple if the will is there.”

Anthony Roberts, general manager at Sandiway Golf Club, said: “The committee were more than delighted to support junior charity the Golf Foundation and including the optional donation at our membership renewals time was an excellent idea.”

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 11, 2016 11:16
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