Women are taking up golf in their droves according to the latest research conducted by the PGA as part of BAE Systems National Golf Week held earlier this year.This move by the ladies marks an increasing trend in what has previously been a totally male dominated game during the last century.
Research results have now revealed that 40% of callers to the “Golf-line” were women and girls – which represents a massive shift from the 20% to 80% ratio between female and male callers just two years ago.
More youngsters are also taking to the fairways than ever before, proving that this year’s campaign for ‘Learner Drivers’ really moved into top gear around the UK.
The drive for newcomers and particularly teenagers to think about starting the game took off in the fast lane with more than 60% of callers to the hotline being under the age of 18 years. Feedback from participating professionals around the UK has also confirmed that this year’s National Golf Week attracted the highest level of youngsters and women in the history of the event.
In the region of 20,000 lessons were given throughout the UK during the week which has given the future of the game a much welcomed boost, and reinforces the PGA’s continued efforts to develop the grassroots of the game with the introduction of new players.
Special thanks are particularly due to Colin Montgomerie, who for the second successive year gave up his precious time to promote the game to newcomers of all ages, both before and during the launch of the campaign.
This included Monty giving a golf lesson in the Dome to NMEC boss PY Gerbeau and 5 year old Arron Rai, golf’s new “wonder kid” from the West Midlands, who is being tipped as the next Tiger Woods. Young Arron, who stands just 4ft high in his spikes alongside the mighty Monty, has already started to re-write the record books by scoring his first hole-in-one earlier this year and winning his first junior tournament at the age of four years old – beating off rivals aged 14 years!
Monty was also joined at the Dome by a team of six PGA professionals who gave free golf lessons to visiting beginners and newcomers during the campaign.
This was the first time that golf was exhibited at the Dome and provided visitors with a new learning experience and the chance to have a go under the watchful eye of PGA professionals. The PGA’s Game Improvement Centre proved to be a resounding success as every appointment each day for the six bays, as well as the golf simulator, was filled shortly after the gates opened.
“The opportunity to launch the event at the Dome with the help of Monty proved to be a major coup,” said Sandy Jones, Chief Executive of The Professional Golfers’ Association. “This enabled us to put the game in front of the minds of thousands of non-golfers. Our focus towards ‘learner drivers’ this year has also helped to encourage more youngsters to consider taking up the game. Golf will continue to attract many generations and each and everyone is equally important. However it is the grassroots of the game which is at last gaining recognition at even the most prestigious of clubs. It’s not hard to see why with an average private club membership age across the country of 55 years.”