Alastair Spink, Founder and Head Coach of women’s coaching initiative love.golf, has announced that he will be expanding his research and aiming to break new ground in global female golf participation with a PhD study at the University of Birmingham.
The research will follow hundreds of women across the UK, Australia and Canada from their first expression of interest in the game through to participation or drop out, over a period of at least two years, with the aim of telling women’s stories through their own eyes and learning from their experiences.
Alastair says: “The simple goal through all of my work is to give women more opportunities to get into golf. I hope the findings will illustrate the value of empirical study and its role in shaping the industry’s response to participation challenges. Ultimately, golf needs evidence-based solutions which introduce and retain more women in the game.”
Alastair’s previous research at the University of Birmingham, for which he was awarded an MSc with Distinction, helped to form the unique philosophy behind love.golf – a ground-breaking approach to female coaching that focuses on learning through experience on the course with a group of peers, rather than technical lessons on the driving range.
After seeing high retention rates across the UK, the programme has begun to demonstrate the universality of its approach with success in Spain, as well as an upcoming pilot scheduled in Canada.
Alastair continued: “While this new study is not about love.golf, the programme will certainly learn from the new findings, as I hope the whole industry will, and use them to refine our approach as we go out and actually try to inspire more women to get into the game.”
Alastair’s study continues to be supported by Syngenta, a leading supplier of innovative turfcare solutions to the golf industry, whose ground-breaking global research into female participation was a significant contributor to the love.golf approach.
Simon Elsworth, Head of Professional Solutions EAME at Syngenta, says: “Alastair’s work so far has been so innovative and exciting to support. As an investor and stakeholder in the global game, we can’t wait to see how his new project will contribute to our broader mission of growing golf for everyone.”
Syngenta currently supports the golf industry and the R&A Women in Golf Charter through its Growing Golf campaign. For more information visit: www.growinggolf.com
For more information on love.golf visit: www.love.golf
Pictured top: Alastair Spink (left), pictured with Dr Martin Toms, Senior Sport Lecturer at the University of Birmingham who will be supervising Spink’s PhD research