In the UK there is a massive problem of getting women into golf and I have decided to voluntarily do something about it!

I am not a pro or a scratch player but I have been playing golf on and off for 30 years, let me tell you about what I am actively doing for my love of ladies golf.

Ladies Taster Golf Session - womens golf newsletterAfter recently relocating to a new area in the UK I was very keen to play immediately and decide which golf club I would join, but there was one common theme, a serious lack of lady golfers who I would be able to play with, being in my 40’s this is still considered quite a young age to play golf and with working full time Monday to Friday the only days the (retired) ladies at the clubs meet up would be a rigid morning slot where they would simply ‘play for fun’ then have a spot of lunch, all very nice however, ideally my time to play is a Saturday or Sunday but this is not what ladies do in the UK, this is when men play or there are competitions so any newbie like me joining would result in playing alone or just get perplexed with the current trend and fade away from playing.

I decided to not fade away but take action! I want to play golf with ladies who think as I do, professional women in there 20’s/30’s/40’s/50’s who are competitive and have no problem with teeing off in front of groups of men at weekends, so I approached my the Oundle Golf Club, and met the Chairperson, Veronica Lyons, she sat and explained the woeful journey she has had trying to change mindsets and get more ladies golfing! I left the meeting feeling even more determined! They only had 20 regular playing members in the whole club!!!!! Change was needed and fast.

I put myself under huge pressure and boasted I would host a ladies taster session within the month on a Sunday afternoon and speak with the committee members and the golf pro, I created a whirlwind of conversations and started robustly networking with my business contacts to ‘make some noise’ about the taster session, I had zero budget for the marketing, I designed the poster on my laptop and sent it out on my own social media on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, I went on a local Business radio show and handed out posters to shops/hotels/notice boards and even spoke to my customers about it, I lived and breathed this campaign.

Kerry Cooper womens golf magazine get more women into golf

I roped in my teenage son, Antony, to help on the day and a friend to give me some moral support, the Golf Pro, Richard Keys agreed to do a training slot on putting and how to swing a club, and 2 volunteers from the club offered to help out.

I emailed constantly reminding everyone of the session, used social media to the max and the day before I had 20 ladies saying they would come, but heavy rain was forecast and the Club wanted it to be canceled saying I needed to postpone it!! I couldn’t believe they wanted it canceled !! The disappointment I felt was overwhelming and I decided to go ahead with it, my volunteers supported me and I stood firm on my mission. I had come this far there was no way I was giving up.

Sunday morning arrived and it rained all morning, and with a sick feeling in my stomach I arrived at the Club at midday, the taster session was to start at 1 pm, and on the stroke of the hour, cars started to pull into the car park!! I was overjoyed that anyone had turned up, and then more cars arrived, and more!!! In the end, 18 ladies arrived, the rain became a slight drizzle and the afternoon commenced, the talent was actually staggering, several took to it like ducks to water!! We had a putting competition and there was a playoff with identical twin ladies! Can you imagine the fun and laughter over this!!

The Poster Promoting the Ladies Golf Taster Session
The Poster Promoting the Ladies Golf Taster Session

Ages ranged from 17 years to mid 50’s.

We walked a few holes of the course and went into the clubhouse for a yummy calorie bomb cupcake and coffee, and feedback on the afternoon.

The feedback was amazing and 11 of the ladies signed up for lessons!! I almost burst into tears as I couldn’t believe the afternoon had generated such amazing enthusiasm for ladies golf, I can honestly say this was one of the happiest afternoons of my life and my only agenda was to get more ladies into golf, which I succeeded in doing.

I have since joined a new golf club and am going to have another taster session in the Summer, there’s nothing better in life than making a difference and against all odds.


Kerry Cooper How to get more women playing golfKerry Cooper lives in Oundle, a market town in Northamptonshire, England, She has been playing and loving golf for 30 years. Kerry is a member of the Elton Furze Golf Club.

If you would like to contact Kerry about her Ladies Taster Sessions initiative, or just to say hello, leave a message below or email info@womensgolf.com

 

1 COMMENT

  1. Congratulations, Kerry! You did everything right from gaining support from the golf club, engaging women in the process and what I call “over-communicating”. — all good! There are a few challenges ahead in your new club. I be writing about my adivce to women golfers on this site on how to lead change and promote women’s golf — it’s not always easy!

Please leave your comments or questions about this article here