John Cheetham, PGA pro from 3 Hammers golf complex, on the success of his initiative to drive women into golf.
What have you done to attract women golfers?
The 3 Hammers Golf Complex has always had a successful ladies coaching morning where we consistently saw 10-16 ladies attending each week. The complex itself boasts superb facilities including a 22 bay driving range and a 18 hole par 3 course. The dress code is relaxed and the staff create a welcoming environment for all golfers.
Growing ladies golf has always been a passion of mine so I created an initiative which, in effect, would be a complete community for ladies golf. The result was ‘Ladies Love Golf’ (LLG.) This is a brand which provides ladies of all standards the opportunity to enjoy their golf and improve. There are three weekly coaching sessions with both morning and evening classes. We also run away days where our PGA Professionals accompany the ladies to local golf courses. In my experience the gap from beginner lessons/coaching programmes to then joining a course or even just playing 18 hole is a big one.
The unique approach taken by LLG helps to fill this gap and encourages the ladies to play more golf. On our most recent away day at The Astbury we managed to attract Sarah Stirk from Sky Sports who spent the day with the LLG members. Sarah hosted a Q & A and spent time with the ladies on the course. Sarah was very complimentary of the initiative and how successful it has been. LLG also provides social events, discount on individual tuition, free monthly PGA tips, trips abroad and a free LLG polo shirt for each lady who signs up. LLG is very social and it provides a great opportunity for ladies of all standards to improve and play.
How has LLG done?
It has been hugely successful! We had our launch evening early this year in February where we showcased LLG for the first time. We had a fantastic response and signed up over 30 ladies in the first evening. We now have over 80 members and regularly have over 40 ladies attending weekly group coaching sessions. We have been to Portugal this year on a coaching break and have enjoyed five fabulous away days at local golf courses. We are now preparing for our end of year gala dinner to celebrate the success of year one and reveal our plans for 2016.
The improvements we see in the ladies is also hugely rewarding for myself and the coaching team at the 3 Hammers Golf Complex. From winning competitions, to achieving and lowering handicaps, to setting out on the golf course for the first time. We see improvements every day and more ladies simply playing golf, which is what it is all about.
What advice would you give to golf pros in terms of attracting women clients?
Well the timing couldn’t better especially with England Golf and other national campaigns focusing on increasing female participation in sport. Obviously each venue is different, but I think keep any barriers down, be consistent in what is offered and provide a social environment where ladies can improve and play to simply enjoy their golf.
To find out more visit www.ladieslovegolf.com