In her first column, Felicity gives tips on taking those first steps:
“My mother and brother are keen golfers so you would think I found it easy to get into the sport. The opposite is true. When I finally decided I wanted to play in my late twenties, I drove around for an hour before I could bring myself to step into my local golf club. I would have welcomed a bit of handholding from fellow female players to give me the confidence to take that first step.
I’ve just recently held four ladies’ taster session at North Foreland Golf Club in Broadstairs, Kent, and the comments from the participants had a familiar ring – many admitted they had always wanted to try golf but didn’t have anyone to go with them.
Evidence shows we are more group-oriented in our activities than men, which is why holding group sessions or taster days works to encourage ladies to take up golf. As well as a hand to hold, choosing the right golf club is key to keeping us interested in the game. Seek out golf clubs that offer beginner and group sessions, academy packages (so you can have lessons and play) putting and chipping greens, and a choice of being able to play 9 holes as well as 18.
Once you have done some research, give your club of choice a call to find out what they offer female beginners, such as ladies taster days and group sessions. Some of the more enlightened clubs operate a buddy system in which female members mentor new golfers.
Making sure I made the right golf club choice, and one that fitted into my lifestyle, has been the reason why I continue to enjoy playing even after 15 years.
There is no denying that golf is still a male dominated sport, but some of the more progressive golf clubs now have up to 30% female membership. I believe there is a responsibility on all of us who enjoy the game to pass that pleasure on and encourage more women into the sport.
So, the next time your friend, girlfriend, wife, partner or female neighbour sees you hauling your golf clubs into the car boot, and says “I’ve always fancied trying that” why not invite them along.”
Read the article in County Zone's web magazine (July 2015).
*Next month, Felicity gives her tips on how golf clubs can attract the female sex.