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Bid to get more women into golf

Home Nations unveil coordinated drive to boost participation rates amongst ladies and girls

A nationwide drive is underway to get more women and girls playing golf in Great Britain and Ireland.

Launched to coincide with the 2015 Solheim Cup - won in Germany by the USA - golf’s governing bodies in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, announced a joint commitment to increase participation.

The four countries together had just over 171,000 female golf club members last year, compared to 952,000 men. But evidence from England Golf’s ‘Get into golf’ campaign shows significant interest from women who want to play the game.

The joined-up approach will see each country take a lead in one aspect of growing the game and they will all share ideas and good practice.

England will focus on marketing; Ireland will look at participation programmes; Scotland will consider governance and equality; and Wales will explore shorter, fun formats and competitive opportunities.

The combined efforts of the Home Unions will build on the success of the #ThisGirlGolfs video campaign. Funded in part by
Scottish Golf, it challenges the perception that golf is an exclusive, expensive game for men. Instead it shows women and girls from all backgrounds, fitting golf into their everyday lives and enjoying the game.

Eleanor Cannon, the chair of Scottish Golf, said: “Our message is simple. Clubs need to segment their customers by their consumer preferences and not by their gender. Our model constitution shows clubs how this can be achieved so that committees consider the needs of all customers.

“Golf is a unique family sport that can be played by and with all generations. Women are at the heart of family life and therefore are key to a healthy golfing membership. We are encouraged by the way in which clubs are embracing this message and this can be seen from the very positive trends in women’s and girl’s membership in Scotland.”

Sinead Heraty, the chief executive of the Irish Ladies’ Golf Union, added: “There is no doubt that the profile of women’s sports has improved significantly in recent years and that is creating an opportunity for golf to attract women and girls to the sport.

“In addition the image of golf is changing to reflect a modern society and the golf organisations are embracing this change.  There is a great appetite for women and girls to take up golf as a sport for life and by the national organisations working together we will meet the demand that is clearly visible.”  

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