WPGA Chairman Tracey Loveys is one of the women professionals offering free lessons today in the swingzone at the Ricoh Women’s British Open. Tracey, from Bigbury Golf Club, tells how she encourages women and girls to get into golf.
What’s your golfing background?
I started to learn how to play at the age of 13. My father was a keen golfer and he encouraged me to ‘have a go’, even though my initial thoughts were that ladies didn’t play golf!
How long have you been a PGA pro?
I turned professional in 1992
How often do you work with women and girls?
Almost on a daily basis, more so with women rather than girls as our location doesn’t lend itself to many juniors as we off the beaten track! However, our current junior captain is a girl.
I run group coaching sessions for our ladies’ section at the start of the year to help brush off some winter rustiness and we also have a group of higher handicap ladies that ‘roll up’ once a week and I organise a few group sessions specifically for them too throughout the year.
How do you encourage them to play golf?
I have a Get into Golf banner at the golf club main entrance which attracts quite a few people. I also advertise these sessions on my village’s Facebook page. This too has proved successful.
The number of ladies taking up these lessons outweighs the gent beginner by about 8:2. I do believe that the fact I am a female pro has a big influence on this figure. They are learning together, they then go on to form lifelong friendships, their golf grows together and then, hopefully, join our club and become part of a ‘bigger family’.
How supportive is your club?
I have been at Bigbury for 10years now and the club have always been very supportive. It is renowned as being one of the friendliest clubs in the area.
Your star pupil … not necessarily your best player?
Two years ago at my club I held a ‘bring a non-golfing friend along’ session for the lady members. This was aimed at inviting a friend along to walk the back seven holes with the golfing member and to do the putting. The idea was to give them a taster for the game, taking in the stunning views from our course and to sample the warm welcome within the clubhouse afterwards.
From this initiative I got a few ladies to make up a beginners group. One lady in particular stood out. She is now a full playing member of the ladies’ section, representing them in matches and is now playing off a handicap of 24. Not bad in under two years!
What’s your advice for women and girls interested in getting started?
Don’t be scared! Have a go! Golf is a game for life. So many new friendships are made and it can take you to courses all over the world.
Why do you want to work at the RicohWBO?
It’s a great opportunity to meet people and give them a few hints and tips to help grow their enjoyment of the game. They are there to watch the best players in the world and to be inspired.
I haven’t been involved in the Ricoh WBO before but I was involved in providing tuition at the ISPS Handa Classic at The Buckinghamshire a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, hence my application to get involved in the biggest event in the calendar!
Personal golfing goals?
As a player? I still feel that I am able to be competitive and like to think I can give the ‘younger ones’ a run for their money! Deep down inside I know there’s another WPGA Club Pro’s title in me and, as long as my body lets me, I will keep trying!
As a coach? To continue to help golfers reach their personal goals and to introduce as many people as possible to our wonderful game.
Inspired by Tracey to Get into Golf? Visit www.getintogolf.org to find free or low cost beginner activities across the country