The English Women’s Golf Association (EWGA) Women & Girls Grant was made available to all 32 County Golf Partnerships (CGPs) and also to the ladies’ county associations which are not involved in a partnership.
Their activities, designed to encourage new golfers to start and stay in the game, attracted an average of 102 women and girls in each county. Of these, 59 per cent were girls and 41 per cent women.
The scheme, which is continuing in 2011, targets a priority group in golf and addresses a trend in declining club membership among women and girls. The 2010 Golf Club Membership Questionnaire showed that clubs reported a 30 per cent reduction in girls’ membership and a 46 per cent reduction for ladies over a two-year period between 2008-2010.
The EWGA funding means the CGPs can be more confident and imaginative in their local golf provision, supported by EWGA/English Golf Union development officers, PGA professional coaches and the Golf Foundation in reaching the wider community and schools to find new players.
Commenting on the success of the 2010 scheme, Simon Wood, County Development Officer for Cornwall CGP, said: “The Women & Girls Grant has been very beneficial in getting more women and girls into golf. Our coaching was very successful with 151 women and girls taking part – and over half were interested in follow up sessions.”
Sean Hammill, County Development Officer for Staffordshire CGP, said he was encouraged by the number of girls they recruited. He said: “We were able to recruit 91 girls who took part in a programme of eight lessons with PGA professional coaches and 50 per cent are continuing with coaching. Coaches are continuing to recruit more girls now on the back of this programme, so real momentum has been created which needs to be sustained in 2011.”
For the 2011 scheme, all 32 CGPs expected to offer programmes to recruit and retain more women and girls as part of the England Golf Partnership’s focus on increasing adult participation.
The EWGA Women & Girls Grant is an initiative jointly provided by the EWGA and EGU in support of the EWGA’s strategy to ‘Drive Women’s Golf’, and forms part of the England Golf Partnership’s ‘Whole Sport Plan’ for golf and vision to ‘Grow the Game’.
English Women’s Golf Association www.englishwomensgolf.org