The Get into golf drive is proving to be a towering success at one Lancashire club.
Staining Lodge Golf Club – which can be found at Dover Lodge Farm, Staining, near Blackpool – has been delighted with the response to the national campaign to encourage more people into the sport. So much so, that they have produced a special video to celebrate.
The Get into golf sessions have been delivered by PGA professional Tony Johnstone, who worked hard to promote the offering across the Blackpool area.
And his efforts paid off, with more than 55 people taking part in the taster sessions, with the majority going on to take the five-week beginner/improver course for just £25.
Some of the group are now looking forward to taking up golf club membership.
To mark the success of the Get into golf programme, Tony and Lancashire Golf Development Group county officer Adam McAlister created a short video to give an inside view of the sessions and to hear from those taking part.
One of those taking part in the Get into golf programme is Iris Whalley, from Poulton.
She decided to give golf a go in order to meet new people, socialise and exercise in the outdoors comfortably.
She tells those watching the video: “I was worried about starting out. I thought I would walk in and everyone else would know what they are doing and I wouldn’t, and that it would feel a bit odd.
“But everyone has to start somewhere and if you don’t give it a try you are never going to know how you are going to get on.
“It is a sport that you can play to your own level for life. It’s great exercise and I love being out in the fresh air.
“Tony, our teacher, has been lovely – he is so encouraging in what we are trying to do and he doesn’t miss a trick!”
PGA professional Tony Johnstone believes the Get into golf programme means everyone is a winner.
“Those looking for a new hobby, some exercise or to expand their social life can benefit from taking up golf,” he says. “The taster sessions and follow on coaching have been fantastic for those taking part, whether they are newcomers or people returning to the sport.
“It has been great to see them coming back and progressing on into club membership. Some of them have been bringing along a friend, too, but they have all quickly made new friends on the courses.
“As a professional it is bringing new people in for lessons while the club benefits with potential members and the clubhouse being used, too.”
Adam McAlister, county officer for the Lancashire Golf Development Group, says: “The Get into golf programme is an ideal way for anyone to give the sport a go – and as Iris rightly points out in the video there is no need to be worried about not knowing as much about the sport as others.
“Everyone has to start somewhere – and these group sessions are an ideal and cost effective way to learn the basic skills of the sport in a fun and friendly atmosphere with people who are in the same position as you.”
Get into golf is a national campaign to inspire adults to take up the game and is run by the England Golf Partnership through its network of County Golf Development Groups, supported by Sport England and National Lottery funding.
Get into golf opportunities include FREE taster sessions and low-cost beginner courses with PGA professionals. They are a fun and sociable way to start golf – and a great way to make new friends.
England Golf www.englandgolf.org