Girls’ golf is about to get rocking in Dorset 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 four clubs taking part: Broadstone Golf Club on Saturday 26 March; PlayGolf Bournemouth and Two Riversmeet Golf Club on Sunday 27 March; and Sturminster Marshall Golf Club on Friday 1 April. Visit www.getintogolf.org/dorset for more information and to book.
Following the tasters with PGA professionals, the four 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 Sturminster Marshall in May when new young players can enjoy playing holes with their mentors.
Kay Everett, the Dorset county junior organiser, said: “I’ve only just taken over as CJO and I was thrilled when the girls responded en-masse to take part and support the project as Ambassadors. Their enthusiasm for the game and all it entails knows no bounds and I hope it will encourage new girls into the sport.”
Megan Thompson of Ferndown Golf Club is the Dorset girls’ captain. The 16-year-old explains why she enjoys golf: “I’ve been playing golf since I was 10 and I love it. I’ve made great friends who I regularly keep in touch with, we have such a good laugh and we all get on so well!
“When you hit a good shoot or hole a long putt you feel so good, and it makes you believe in yourself even more.”
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 Dorset, where about 80 girls are involved in 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.