Ladies Love Golf – and they’re flocking to join a new-style club to prove it.
In less than three weeks, 54 women have signed up for the mix of tuition, friendship, regular away-days and discounted green fees at local clubs. They include club members as well as complete beginners.
Ladies Love Golf is the brainchild of John Cheetham, a PGA Professional at the 3 Hammers Golf Complex in Staffordshire, which supports England Golf’s campaign to inspire adults to Get into golf.
He describes Ladies Love Golf as a golfing community which backs the drive to get more women playing the game and he says: “The take up has just been incredible!”
The 3 Hammers complex includes a driving range, an 18-hole short course, a learn to play zone and an indoor putting green and it’s popular with both experienced players and beginners. Individual coaching, junior programmes and Get into golf courses for adults are all on offer and Ladies Love Golf grew from John’s regular coaching sessions for women attending on a Wednesday morning.
“I started thinking about what else we could offer and Ladies Love Golf is the result,” said John.
Membership entitles the women to a range of benefits. There’s a weekly coaching programme which includes time for a coffee and perhaps a short quiz, a website which includes video tips, away days to play local courses, green fee discounts, reductions on individual tuition and the opportunity to take overseas coaching breaks.
The 3 Hammers academy team are building links with local clubs and encouraging the women to consider memberships. “It’s all about getting ladies on fairways, playing and enjoying their golf,” he said.
The Ladies Love Golf members include a group of seven women whom he coached from novices to handicap players in the space of a year. They were among a group of 10 women who took a structured beginner course with John at Stafford Castle Golf Club, beginning in August 2013. Each session was followed with a drink in the clubhouse and some of the club members attended to welcome the beginners and socialise with them. “A friendly face is key for ladies,” said John.
They continued their tuition throughout the winter on the undercover range at 3 Hammers and, as their confidence grew, seven of them decided to take up a membership offer from Stafford Castle. As the 2014 season got underway they continued their coaching on the course and by September all seven had handicaps, ranging from 24 to 36. The same month they went on a four-day coaching break with John in Portugal and now they’ve joined Ladies Love Golf to continue their improvement and love for the game.
“They were seven strangers and now they’re seven really good friends,” said John. “They’re totally hooked on the game and if we can repeat that with more groups it’s got to be the way forward.”
Click here for more information about Ladies Love Golf.
Click here to find out more about Get into golf coaching opportunities across the country. Get into golf is England Golf’s campaign to inspire adults to take up the game and become club members.
Caption: (from left) Beth Batham and Karla Wentworth, who were part of the Stafford Castle group, signing up to Ladies Love Golf on the launch night.