Staff at the Worcestershire and Herefordshire Chamber of Commerce have been getting into the swing to help more women and girls into golf.
The Chamber has launched a new women’s participation programme as part of their Women’s Business Forums.
And they have teamed up with Gaudet Luce Golf Club to offer special taster sessions. The club, which can be found in Middle Lane, Droitwich, is one of 100 clubs nationally taking part in an England Golf campaign to increase women’s participation.
The golf and leisure complex is working with Mark Laing, Worcestershire county development officer, to forge new links in the community as well as creating an easy pathway into the sport and potential club membership for new players.
Chamber staff have enjoyed a taste of what the programme offers – and now want to take the game further themselves.
Organiser Natalie Tanner, Business Development Executive, said: “Nine women came on the event and really enjoyed it. Now, everybody plans to sign up for further Get into golf events.”
Mark Laing says: “Working with partners to put on taster events like this really does help to break down the barriers to playing golf.”
The event was advertised internally at the Chamber and nine women signed up for the two-hour evening at the club’s driving range. Most were completely new to the game.
Natalie adds: “A few of the women were sceptical about whether they would be able to hit the ball, but they soon discovered they all could.
“There can be a perception that it’s mainly men who mix golf and business, but the success of this taster event shows women are just as keen and love to play if they are given the opportunity.”
The event with PGA professional Russell Adams covered golfing basics, such as how to stand, grip the club and hit the ball. It finished with a light-hearted competition to see who could hit the ball best using the skills they had just learnt.
Other innovative ideas also included a special golf day for insolvency firm Poppleton and Appleby, who wanted to a novel way to engage with women to discuss their field of expertise.
The greet and meet day included a warm-up session on the range with the club’s PGA professionals, a 9 hole Texas scramble on the par 3 course, a chat about golf, afternoon tea and networking.
The idea was extended into a six-week coaching programme while the greet and meet day has been repeated for a local accountant and lawyer, with 60 people overall enjoying the taster sessions.
Mark Laing says: “I have been using Gaudet Luce to pilot some of our projects before passing on what we have learnt to the other five clubs in the county involved. These are Ombersley, The Vale, Kings Norton, Cleobury Mortimer and Kidderminster.”
To find out more about the Get into golf campaign and how you can get started visit www.getintogolf.org or call 0800 118 2766
Get into golf is the national campaign to inspire adults to take up golf, run by England Golf and supported by Sport England National Lottery funding.
Caption: Some of the Chamber staff at their after-work taster session (image © John Felix). Click here to view a short film showing how they had fun and learnt a new skill while unwinding at the event.