National Golf Month tees off in May with hundreds of free coaching opportunities across the UK aiming to encourage more than 100,000 people to give golf a go for the first time.
This year there is a special focus on encouraging more women to try golf – and 2015 European Solheim Cup Captain Carin Koch will join Kate Hoey MP, the Mayor’s Commissioner for Sport in London and the former Minister for Sport, to launch the participation drive.
The month-long campaign will tee off at Wimbledon Common Golf Club on Thursday, April 30 where Carin Koch will play a nine-hole exhibition match at 11am. The club, which until 2005 was all-male, now has a thriving women’s section and a successful ladies’ academy, which introduces and mentors new female golfers.
Market research commissioned in 2014 by Syngenta, a golf course turfcare specialist, revealed that 5% of women in the UK already participating in at least one other sport or activity would be ‘very interested’ in taking up golf, equating to a potential 640,000 new female golfers. Spending time with family and friends, socialising outdoors and stress relief are the key factors that appeal to women about golf.
The research also showed that prospective new players are looking for accessible and affordable coaching opportunities, which National Golf Month is aiming to deliver throughout May.
“Golf is a sport that can be enjoyed by men and women, boys and girls, and is a wonderful game for life,” said Carin Koch, an ambassador for Syngenta, which is supporting National Golf Month.
“I started golf when I was young and now, as a mum to two children, we enjoy playing golf as a family. Golf is a healthy, social, outdoor sport and I’d encourage women to get together with friends and family and take part in one of the many National Golf Month free taster sessions and experience for themselves what a fun game golf is.”
Doug Poole, founder of National Golf Month, said: “What has happened at Wimbledon Common Golf Club is a great example of how golf is evolving in the UK. The ladies’ academy is introducing women of all ages and from different walks of life to golf and it’s great to see how, through the coaching and mentoring programme, new players are developing from starters to regular golfers.
TalkSPORT presenter Georgie Bingham is the latest celebrity to join National Golf Month (nearly 1 million listeners) and offer her support quotes “I’m not from a golf playing family but the more I watched the more I wanted to play. I’ve always been able to hit the ball long so as soon as I started playing I was hooked, then it came down to improving my short game to bring my handicap down! (My short game is still my biggest problem!)
“Golf is my greatest pleasure, a walk with people I like, coupled with the challenge of improving round on round. Nothing can put me off it, I’m totally obsessed and there’s so much room for improvement in my game! I’ve found my greatest challenge and my biggest love. I don’t look forward to any activity as much as golf. I’m hooked!
“Of course, you don’t have to be a member of a golf club to play golf and there are many starter schemes at different venues throughout the UK, especially during National Golf Month in May when you can sign up for a free taster session or affordable coaching with a golf professional.”
To take part in a National Golf Month free taster session near you, visit: www.nationalgolfmonth.com