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Increase in female participation in golf

New data has revealed that more females are becoming involved in golf thanks to a series of campaigns aimed at attracting them to the game.

With only approximately 14 per cent of golf club members in the UK being female – way behind most of continental Europe – this is a clear opportunity for golf clubs to increase their membership.

England Golf initiatives in 2015 attracted over 1,200 women to coaching and over 360 became club members. Five counties reported an increase in women’s membership, and 15 counties saw an increase in girls’ memberships. In Wales, over half the participants in their ‘New2Golf’ beginner schemes are female (54 per cent), with over 50 per cent converting to club trial membership.

As well as the continued work of the golfing bodies, national campaigns such as the #ThisGirlGolfs video and positive support from high-profile figures and avid golfers are helping to change perceptions of the game once dominated by men.

Lauren Spray, England Golf Women and Girls’ Participation Manager, said: “These results show that the momentum is definitely building in the campaign to get more women and girls playing golf.  “It’s reflected by projects such as Girls Golf Rocks, which we run jointly with the Golf Foundation and has been hugely successful, encouraging over 500 girls to try golf in just nine counties.”

Norfolk’s Nicky Greenacre (pictured) took up the game almost four years ago when she joined a Get into golf course at Bawburgh Golf Club, just outside Norwich. At the end of her course she took more lessons and then had a three-month trial membership before joining the club, getting a handicap and throwing herself into the sport. She loves the game so much she encourages friends and family to Get into golf.

“I love being outside and I like all the walking,” said Nicky. “I think my shape is changing, I’ve just turned 52 and I feel I’ve got my waist back with all the walking and swinging!”