England Golf has launched a drive to attract more women and girls to play the game and join golf clubs.
It’s being led by Lauren Spray, the new Women and Girls’ Participation Manager, who is herself a keen golfer and huge enthusiast for the game.
“There are so many reasons to play golf,” said Lauren (pictured). “There are lots of health and fitness benefits, it’s something you can do with family and friends and you can enjoy the great outdoors on hundreds of different courses across the country.”
The England Golf Strategic Plan 2014-17 aims to increase participation and club membership and it highlights the current state of the women’s game, showing that only 15 per cent of the membership is female. This is in contrast to the average in Europe where women and girls make up around 30 per cent of club membership.
In addition, latest participation figures from Sport England show that 113,300 women and girls are regular, once-a-week golfers, compared with almost 600,000 men.
England Golf will support clubs to attract more women into the game with a targeted programme to grow female participation and membership, which will be launched in 2015. Guidance on good practice will also be available to clubs. Support for junior girls will also form part of England Golf’s Club Junior Offer. Details will be available soon on the England Golf website.
A Women and Girls’ Advisory Group is also being created to support Lauren’s work. This will include up to eight volunteers who will help to shape the content and delivery of women and girls’ activity.
Applications are invited and the closing date for applications is 31 October 2014.
Lauren has a degree in golf management from Birmingham University and is working towards her Masters. She has been a member of the England Golf Partnership’s Youth Panel, which gives young golfers a voice in the development of the game, and now helps to lead it. Before taking on this role she worked for the Nottinghamshire Golf Partnership as the Get into golf officer and for the PGA as a regional coach development officer.
She has played golf since she was about 12, has a scratch handicap and represents Nottinghamshire where she’s a member at Stanton on the Wold and at Notts Ladies’ – and is ladies’ champion at both. “I like to play golf both socially with my friends and to compete,” she said. “Golf is great because the handicap system means players of all different abilities can enjoy playing together.”