Issued 22nd February, 2016Girls’ golf is about to get rocking in Hampshire with the launch of a campaign to inspire new players.
Girls Golf Rocks is all about attracting beginners to have fun, learn a new sport, get active and play alongside friends – with no pressure. Girl golfers from county squads will act as ambassadors, sharing their enjoyment and inspiring other girls, aged five to 18.
The campaign tees off with free taster sessions, supported by the county girls, at the five clubs taking part: Tournerbury Golf Centre and Blackmoor Golf Club on Saturday 5 March; and Blacknest Golf Club, Bramshaw Golf Club and Winchester Golf Academy on Sunday 6 March. Visit www.getintogolf.org for more information and to book.
Following the tasters with PGA professionals, the five clubs will each offer four-week structured coaching programmes, with the county girl players mentoring the newcomers. All the girls who complete the coaching programme will be fitted with a free seven iron to help them continue to play.
The finale will be a fun par three competition at Alresford Golf Club in April when new young players can enjoy playing holes with their mentors.
Laura Jane Barrow of Brokenhurst Manor Golf Club is one of the ambassadors. The 21-year-old said: “I’ve been playing golf since I was 11 and I love it! It’s a great way to meet new people and create lifelong friendships.
“It is so much fun and I cannot wait to share my previous experiences with the girls involved in the initiative. We have a great group of ambassadors ready to inspire the next generation of girl golfers.”
Hampshire junior organiser Elke Jackson remarked: “We are delighted to be part of the campaign to introduce girls to the sport and we can’t wait to let everyone know that girls’ golf really does rock!” She added that Hampshire already runs a vibrant girls’ academy and those taking part in Girls Golf Rocks will be offered the opportunity to join and take an additional six coaching sessions.
Currently, national figures show that only 1% of golf club members are girls, with an average of just two per club. When Girls Golf Rocks was successfully trialled in Essex last year 90 girls tried the game, 40 went on to take a four-week coaching course; 30 played in the par three competition and six became golf club members.
It’s running again in Essex this year and in eight other counties, including Hampshire, where there are about 90 girls playing golf.
Girls Golf Rocks is led by England Golf and supported by the Golf Foundation, county associations and sports partnerships.
Lauren Spray, the England Golf Women & Girls’ Participation Manager, said: “Girls Golf Rocks sets out to focus on the fun, social and friendship aspects of golf rather than just the playing and coaching side and we’ve had brilliant success.
“The ambassadors have been fantastic – they all love golf and they’re sharing their enthusiasm with our new players. They’ve also given us lots of feedback and really helped us give us a presence on Twitter @GirlsGolfRocks1 and Facebook.”
Girls Golf Rocks has coincided with a growing focus on the women and girls’ game and the launch of the video campaign #ThisGirlGolfs which aims to challenge perceptions and inspire participation. The video features women and girls from all over the country and from different walks of life and backgrounds who are enjoying golf for many reasons and fitting it into their everyday lives.
Caption: Some of the Hampshire Ambassadors for Girls Golf Rocks (© Leaderboard Photography)
England Golf is the governing body for amateur golf in England. It is one of the country’s largest sports governing bodies and looks after the interests of more than 1,900 golf clubs and 675,000 men, women, boy and girl club members.
England Golf is at the heart of grassroots golf, inspiring people to have a lifelong involvement in the game. Our development initiative ‘Get into golf’ introduces new golfers, juniors and adults, to start playing the game as well as increasing the interest and participation in golf. Working with our partners we offer business support to clubs to encourage more golfers to enjoy the benefits of club membership and to help promote the game as being accessible, fun and family friendly.
For competitive golfers, England Golf provides championships for all ages and abilities, both in individual and team events, hosted at some of the most prestigious courses across the country, some with qualifying events at any club.
England Golf identifies and develops the country’s most talented golfers through their amateur careers, many of whom go on to become the world’s leading professional golfers, such as Justin Rose, Lee Westwood, Charley Hull and Melissa Reid.