A drive to encourage hundreds of women and girls to take up golf in Worcestershire and Herefordshire will get underway next week.
The first in a series of initiatives is a girls’ taster event next Tuesday morning, February 12, at Wharton Park Golf Club near Kidderminster. Already, more than 30 girls are planning to attend and give golf a go. On April 9 the same club will host an all-day event for women.
Both tasters are supported by the Worcestershire and Herefordshire County Golf Partnership and they reflect the aims of the English Women’s Golf Association to drive forward women’s golf.
Over the next 12 months the county partnership will be investing £30,000 in recruiting new golfers. Half the money has come from the Clydesdale Bank and half from the government-funded Sportsmatch scheme, which supports community sport by matching sponsorship.
Altogether, £15,000 will go towards attracting more women and girls into golf while the rest will be spent on initiatives for young men and minority groups.
Warwick Holland, the partnership’s development officer, said: “Over the next three years we want to attract 2000 new golfers into clubs and 5000 people into the game. We want around 40 per cent of those to be women and girls.”
Plans include supplying half-sets of free loan clubs to women and girls who want to start playing and intend joining a club within Worcestershire or Herefordshire. Free taster sessions will be organised to introduce new people to the game and provide the opportunity to meet other players. Any woman or girl who joins a club in the county, and is not a member of an existing club, will be offered a free individual lesson.
The project will also try to develop new entry schemes into golf clubs, such as nine-hole memberships, special times of play, trial memberships and open days.
The Worcestershire and Herefordshire County Golf Partnership is an alliance of men’s, women’s and professionals’ organisations. County partnerships are developing throughout England to support and expand golf by drawing on the combined resources of the English Women’s Golf Association, the English Golf Union and the Professional Golfers’ Association. Partnerships have been introduced through England Golf’s ‘Whole Sport Plan’ which aims to make England the world’s leading golf nation by 2020.
For further details on Wharton Park Golf Club’s taster events contact the professional’s shop on 01299 405163. For more information on the Worcestershire and Herefordshire Golf Partnership visit www.worcestershireamateurgolf.co.uk
photos Janos Schmidt