Enville Golf Club has blazed a trail for others to follow by showing how great teamwork can help develop a flourishing female membership and a new culture of inclusivity at their facility.
By signing up to The R&A’s Women in Golf Charter in 2018, Enville demonstrated their commitment to providing fresh opportunities for women of all ages at the golf club – both in a playing sense and also by highlighting career opportunities in the industry for younger members.
And, as a result, the club hasn’t looked back with a new buoyancy brought about by positive change.
A dwindling female membership has been boosted thanks to the academy providing a clear pathway from beginner level to full membership.
From one junior girl member in 2018, the club now has 13 and the aim is to grow through participation in schemes such as Girls Golf Rocks – a joint initiative backed by England Golf and the Golf Foundation.
General manager, Heather Mulley, explained: “In 2017 we held the British Girls’ for the R&A. It was really inspirational and we decided to use some of the facility fee to start our academy.
“I had recognised that the ladies’ section was diminishing and it was down to our age demographic really.
“I also recognised it was quite daunting to take up golf so we decided to think how we could create a really friendly atmosphere.
“We had 13 ladies join in our first year and out of that five have joined as full members.
“We are on our third year of the academy now.
“It’s a real team effort and if you’re going to get your club involved then make sure everyone is on board and everyone buys into it.
“You need everyone from the board to the ladies’ section and they have done a terrific amount of work to make it a success at Enville. I can’t thank them enough.”
Enville was founded as a club in 1935 and continues to develop. The club now boasts two 18-hole heathland courses, improved practice facilities, an academy structure and a vibrant social scene.
Charter champion Donna Wharton feels that the academy has been a huge benefit to helping integrate the women and girls who are new to the game.
By starting out at academy level they have been able to find their feet, make friends quickly and feel at ease in the club environment which has benefited as a whole because of the vibes created by new members and new ideas.
She explained: “I’m here to support the ladies and junior girls in every sense of the word.
“We’ve made everyone in the club more aware and everyone in the local area more aware.
“We are a club that encourages ladies and juniors to play golf – not just at Enville, but to take up the game and play elsewhere if they want to.
“Two years ago we had one junior girl and it was my aim to double that. In January 2019 we had four and that still wasn’t enough and I wanted to double it again.
“We’ve now got 13 – and that’s a result of putting time, commitment and some small resources into it as well.
“For golf clubs it’s vital to get girls into the game but not just that, also the golf industry and golf as a career.”
Inspired by what you have read and seen here? Register your interest in becoming a Women in Golf Charter Signatory on the Resource Portal and begin using the assets available to help grow your club.