Three more counties have now signed The R&A’s Women in Golf Charter and demonstrated their total commitment to promoting female participation on and off the course.
Kent Golf, Middlesex Golf and Surrey Ladies’ County Golf Association have added their support to the campaign which has the full backing of England Golf.
Kent, Middlesex and Surrey Ladies join Shropshire and Hertfordshire as signatories with a number of other counties engaged in the process and well on their way to achieving full accreditation.
The Charter’s fundamental aim is to create a culture of inclusivity and increase the number of women and girls playing the game as well as working in the golf industry.
Creating a welcoming atmosphere for women, girls and families is recognised as being key to growing the game and ensuring females have an equal chance to play a lead role in the continued modernisation and development of the sport.
Kent Golf’s drive to sign the Women in Golf Charter is a further sign of positive change in the game.
Cheryl Power, Director, Golf Development and Kent’s Charter Champion said: “Following the unification of our women’s association and men’s union last November, Kent Golf has been making great strides in a bid to encourage more and more women and girls to become involved in or return to golf and take up golf club membership.
“Our board’s unanimous decision to embrace and sign up to the Women in Golf Charter and the commitments Kent has made, underline this.
“My colleagues and I very much look forward to working with our member clubs, our wonderful hard-working volunteers and England Golf to deliver on these commitments and will continue to ensure golf in the county is portrayed and, is indeed, a sport that is accessible to all.”
Kent aims to achieve a minimum 30% female representation on their board as well as developing their social media platforms for golfers and non-golfers alike, while also driving up participation numbers of females at their championships and member events and also in junior academies.
On behalf of Middlesex Golf, Charter Champion Ruth Holmes said: “I have been part of a Middlesex Women in Golf development group for about three years.
“Our efforts to improve consultation, communication and cooperation across the county were disrupted by COVID and the Women in Golf Charter has provided a useful catalyst in getting us operating again, mainly remotely to date.
“The whole of the development group is keen to share ideas and local experience to make golf a more welcoming and inclusive activity.
“The Charter, along with the various England Golf initiatives such as Girls Golf Rocks, are providing extremely valuable assistance.”
Middlesex has pledged to increase the total female membership of golf clubs by 25% by 2024.
They have also committed to setting up and running a women’s Order of Merit and delivering three women and girl golf initiatives a year.
Sue Wild, county captain of Surrey Ladies, is thrilled that the association has become a signatory.
She said: “Throughout our history we have been committed to women’s golf in Surrey and our Charter now sets out targets for the coming year and beyond as we aim to increase participation by women and girls in golf while ensuring the highest standards of governance and safeguarding.
“We want to give women and girls the opportunity to experience the benefits of golf first- hand and are planning a series of initiatives, working with England Golf, the Golf Foundation, clubs and PGA professionals across the county, to give them access to facilities, taster days and tuition, while continuing to encourage those already involved in the sport.
“We hope that by signing the Women in Golf Charter we will also encourage more golf clubs in Surrey to follow our example and become signatories to this important R&A initiative.”
Surrey has pledged to deliver four initiatives a year targeting women and girls in order to increase the number playing golf across the county.
On top of counties signing up to the Charter, over 300 English golf clubs have now also pledged their support.
Earlier this year Cheadle Golf Club in Cheshire became the 300th club signatory to the Charter.
In November 2020, as a follow-up to the Women in Golf Charter, England Golf backed The R&A’s #FOREeveryone campaign.
This new campaign builds on the charter to give counties, clubs and facilities further information and resources to bring about positive change in the game for women and girls.
#FOREeveryone highlights the many benefits of playing golf, including the opportunities to improve physical and mental health, spend time with friends and family, or the simple thrill of competition, while challenging unhelpful misconceptions that non-golfers have about the sport.
Prospective players can now visit FOREeveryone.com to receive practical advice on how to start, as well as hear from existing women golfers across Great Britain and Ireland about the reasons they play and why others should give it a go.
Counties, clubs or facilities interested in signing up to the Women in Golf Charter can find more information here.
Photography credit: The R&A