Lancashire club establishes equal playing rights for male and female members

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 30, 2019 12:07

A 113-year-old Lancashire club has established equal playing rights and privileges for both male and female members of the club for the first time in its history.

The change at Walmersley Golf Club means full membership will cost the same for men and women, and although this means a subscription rise for some ladies it also ensures there are no restrictions on when they can play at the club.

Lady captain Helen Parkinson says: “If the game of golf seeks to move forward it needs to change with society and give equal opportunities to everyone regardless of gender.

“We have found in the past that it is quite difficult to recruit women for various reasons. For example, the time element is mentioned, particularly for those who have work or family to care for.

“Playing after work is not always possible while the alternative of playing on Sunday has not always been popular as this is seen as a family day. So being able to play at any time, even a few holes, will make the game more accessible.

“A big part of what it will mean at Walmersley is full acceptance for the women as equal to the men. It was clear that differences in attitude towards men and women were not acceptable in the 21st century, particularly to younger golfers.

“The women will now pay the same fees but consider this a huge step forward. Everyone knows all members are truly equal with no restrictions on playing times or access to various aspects of club life.”

Club captain Steve Fox said: “This major change has been well received by everyone and we are proud of the agreement to implement this proposal. It means equal opportunity for all and is welcomed by the male players at the club. Equal playing rights and the same privileges is seen as the only way forward.”

Competition days will be Tuesdays and Saturdays while the club will continue with its coaching programme for newcomers with a free ladies taster session on Tuesday, April 30 (6.30pm-8.30pm.

All equipment is provided on the day, with refreshments included. Further discounted group coaching lessons are available while the club operates a ‘buddy’ system to help new golfers when they get out on the course for the first time.

Says Helen Searle, club support officer for the Lancashire Golf Development Group and England Golf: “Walmersley have worked exceptionally hard in clearly communicating the message to their members as to the importance of equality and how this can grow the game and reach audiences that were once alienated.

“Women’s golf is a tough nut to crack, but creating a more welcoming environment is the first hurdle to overcome. I am so proud to work with clubs like Walmersley and others that are really trying to break the mould and make a difference to the game.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 30, 2019 12:07
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  1. Ian May 8, 19:47

    I can only imagine that this golf club has awoken following some sort of cryogenic freezing process keeping them in suspended animation over the past 20 years.

    “I am so proud to work with clubs like Walmersley and others that are really trying to break the mould and make a difference to the game.”

    Truly ahead of the times, bravo……..

    Reply to this comment
  2. Paul April 30, 14:27

    Next point of information should state the active gender mix on the board/council.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Peter April 30, 11:08

    I think that if I was on the club board I might have recommended letting this story happen quietly, rather than shout about it. Well done for finally catching up with the late 20th Century!!

    Reply to this comment
  4. Stuart April 29, 10:39

    Ive been at The Shropshire for 8 years and I’ve had this since day one!

    Reply to this comment
  5. Sam April 29, 04:44

    The fact this is still classed as big news in the golf industry is testament to the challenges our sport still faces

    Reply to this comment
  6. Abbie April 28, 13:11

    Just had to check the date….yep it’s actually 2019!

    Reply to this comment
  7. Clum mamager April 27, 05:46

    Is this article 20 years old???

    Reply to this comment
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