The Golf Foundation has thanked the Ladies European Tour for staging a unique event in which 90 girls were given a taste of the professional game during the week of the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters at Buckinghamshire Golf Club.
The girls, aged 11-15, were invited from six schools in the area by the County Sport Partnership and welcomed to Buckinghamshire Golf Club by Golf Foundation and England Golf staff and representatives from the Ladies European Tour on the tournament’s first practice day.
The event teed-off in the Colne Valley Country Park, just outside the Buckinghamshire Golf Club gates, before the girls met professional golfers Ellie Givens, Melissa Eaton, Vikki Laing and Cathryn Bristow in the tournament’s tented village.
The festival was organised to support the Golf Foundation’s national drive to encourage more girls into sport through its HSBC Golf Roots programme.
The girls took part in ‘StreetGolf’ chipping and putting competitions and were encouraged to take selfies and pictures of each other to share with their friends and remember their visit. They all received a ‘goodie-bag’ from organisers including a free adult ticket for the tournament (under 16s were admitted free of charge) so the girls could return with a family member to watch the action involving their favourite players.
Mike Round, Director of Development and Membership Ladies European Tour, said: “Our strategy is to use the events on our schedule to promote and support the development of golf for women and girls. This festival was a great way to start the week of the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters and we hope many of the girls will have been inspired to continue in the sport.”
Jason Sorrell, Regional Development Officer for the Golf Foundation, said: “We would like to thank the Ladies European Tour for an inspirational day. The Golf Foundation will now keep working with County Sport Partnership Officer Mark Stokes to offer the girls further playing options, including coaching from a PGA Professional and taster sessions at a local golf club.
“All of our HSBC Golf Roots activity is designed to create a pathway to club golf, encouraging young people to start, learn and stay in the game. A key part of this day was to listen to the girls as they are new to golf. For example, the social side of the group activity was very popular with the girls, a theme we are developing in a number of new girls’ projects in golf clubs up and down the country.”
Ladies European Tour www.ladieseuropeantour.com
Golf Foundation www.golf-foundation.org