Wales Golf has hailed the success of women’s New2Golf schemes as a crucial part in seeing female membership of golf clubs in Wales rising.
In Women and Girls Week for Wales Golf, the scheme which takes beginners and lapsed golfers in groups which can be female only has proved successful at taking participants through to becoming golf club members.
Including women only groups for the coaching sessions, which lead onto time on the golf course and attractive membership offers, has proved an important element.
North Wales Golf Club assistant pro Robin Hughes runs schemes at his home club and across five clubs in North Wales through his SWISH golf and fitness programme.
“Across SWISH we have eight groups a week, averaging 10-30 people at every one,” he said. “We will have three coaches at the sessions so there is plenty of variety with putting, irons and driving.
“We have three groups at North Wales with around 50 people – already this year we have had 40 new people joining New2Golf.
“We try and take away as many as possible of the barriers to golf to make it easy for women to come, whether that is equipment, confidence or making sure we socialise afterwards with a soft drink or a prosecco.
“The dress code is relaxed coming to coaching and ladies do feel they can ask the pros anything. We have fun sessions and we will go out on the course, provide plenty of variety, and the feedback is very positive.”
The New2Golf schemes run all around Wales, with South Pembrokeshire another club reporting successes.
“We were keen to try New2Golf as part of the club strategy to attract new members and that is when we started working with Wales Golf,” said Donna Grimwood, chair of marketing at South Pembs Golf Club and Wales Golf Volunteer of the Year. “We were looking at ways of moving the club forward and that is what started the ball rolling.
“It is aimed at men as well, but last year there were more ladies. There were more than 20 ladies, some the wives of members, some looking to play more in retirement and some who work together, who decided to give golf a go.
“It has been a great success and something we are looking to grow as much as we can and possibly start another group.”
For more information about New2Golf please see https://www.walesgolf.org/join-new2golf/