A unique and innovative project to attract more girls into golf has been successful in attracting a maximum lottery Awards for All grant of £5,000 to West Lothian in Scotland.
Concerned by the lack of girls playing golf in their area, Mhairi McCall and Ruth Robertson contacted the Golf Foundation for help. With the support of the Golf Foundation and the local Head Teacher, Mrs Alison McAllan, they ran Tri-Golf courses at Springfield Primary School and for their efforts were awarded the Golf Foundation Award for Best Organisers in the British Isles.
The success of the Tri-Golf led to the formation of a committee of volunteers to oversee a district-wide girls’ junior golf club identified as the Linlithgow District Girls’ Golf Society.
The members of the club, 36 in number at present, will be introduced to golf through the Golf Foundation’s Tri-Golf Initiative leading eventually it is hoped to competitions at local courses. The girls will progress through the Golf Foundation’s Merit Award Scheme (a structured learning programme) with coaching being given by a number of PGA professionals at a variety of local golf facilities. Ultimately, it is hoped that the club will boost the number of girls joining local clubs but most of all provide a fun, friendly and supportive introduction to golf.
Chairperson of the group, Mrs Ruth Robertson said, “We are delighted to have received the grant and it will be of enormous benefit to the Society. The girls are thoroughly enjoying golf and we are already impressed with their enthusiasm and aptitude for the game. We are indebted to so many people who have helped us establish the group, in particular I would mention the Golf Foundation for both their financial and advisory support, the local PGA professionals Ian Taylor (west Lothian) and Steven Rosie and Greg McSporran (Linlithgow) who have coached the girls, staff at local schools, local councillors and West Lothian Council for their support. The great thing about the Society is that it is not based at one particular venue and as such has received some form of practical support from many of the golf facilities in the district.”
Commenting on behalf of the Golf Foundation, Scottish development officer, Brendon Pyle added, “The Linlithgow Girls Golf Society is a model way of tackling an important issue facing golf through the British Isles of not enough girls taking up the sport. Not only is the Society actively encouraging new girls into golf and empowering parents to help with the training but it has demonstrated how schools, clubs, parents and governing bodies can work together to attract lottery funding. This award is only the tenth made to a golfing organisation in Scotland since the Awards for All scheme began five years ago but the process of applying is fairly straight forward so more golf projects should apply”.