Berkhamsted Golf Club in Hertfordshire has made a series of clear commitments towards women’s golf as it becomes the latest signatory of the R&A’s Women In Golf Charter.
Highlights include the creation of a new national tournament aimed at elite junior girl golfers, and a concerted effort to attract more female golfers from the 35-54 age group.
Earlier this year, the club committed to making its long-standing Berkhamsted Trophy a mixed-gender event, ending a 60-year male-only tradition and breaking new ground for elite amateur golf worldwide.
“The Charter signature process inspired plenty of debate within the club, and we are wasting no time in getting started,” said club manager Howard Craft. “We already had good women’s golf initiatives running here, but you can always do more. These new measures will ensure that an increasing number of female golfers will be playing here over the next few years.”
Berkhamsted is also introducing a new series of gender-neutral club competitions, as well as boosting its Ladies Golf Academy and Junior Golf Scholarship programmes, and ensuring that a female voice is always heard in the way it the club is governed.
Ben Hunter, Berkhamsted’s 25 year-old Assistant Club Manager, has taken on an additional new role as the club’s ‘Charter Champion’ to make sure that progress is being made. He said: “All of our commitments have clear targets and dates attached, and they will all create positive vibes here at the club. It’s going to be exciting to see what effect each one of them has.”
Jackie Davidson, Assistant Director – Golf Development at The R&A, said: “Berkhamsted has demonstrated its commitment to pursuing greater diversity and inclusion in golf by signing up to the Women in Golf Charter. We are grateful for their support in embracing the need to encourage more women and girls into golf so they can enjoy the many benefits that playing the sport can bring.”
Lauren Spray, Women and Girls Manager at England Golf said: “Berkhamsted Golf club has really embraced all aspects of The R&A Women in Golf charter. It has created a clear pathway for women who are new to the game to progress to becoming lifelong golfers”.
The club worked closely with England Golf’s Partnership Manager, Matt Draper, as it worked through the Charter signature process. “Each time Berkhamsted achieves a target it will have a positive effect, and I’m excited to see what these will be” he said. “The club is creating more opportunities for women to learn, play and volunteer, and I believe Berkhamsted will inspire other golf clubs across the country to challenge themselves in similar ways.”