Statistics show that across the UK golf club membership numbers are down and the number of females playing the game is especially low, but in the far North East corner of Scotland something different is happening, something very special indeed….
On Saturday 22nd September, the seventh ladies love.golf Scramble took place at the beautiful Inverallochy Golf Club just outside Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire.
The Scrambles are now famous amongst the women of North East Scotland as the community of female golfers has grown to such an extent (217 women to date have started love.golf so far!) that it’s said to be easier to get an Ed Sheeran concert ticket than get in to a love.golf scramble!
All the women who played have started golf within the last two years as part of the love.golf coaching programme run by PGA Professional, Peter Myers, at Dunes Golf Centre.
What makes the events so special?
The idea of the Scrambles is to get the women out playing in
a friendly competition but the way the day is structured means there is a big
emphasis on the social side of the game.
This sums it from in an email from love.golfer, Ashley Ritchie….
“Another great day!
“I remember the feeling when I signed up for my first scramble. I was anxious and nervous. I even wished for torrential rain so it would be called off!
“As soon I as played my first hole, I realised that it wasn’t about perfection it was about a group of girls looking for a good, fun day out.
“Now it’s the opposite, I
pray for no rain although that doesn’t always work 😂
Yesterday, I played horrendous. Did it matter? No nae really, the only person disappointed was me.
“I love the format of a scramble, it gets people out playing when they didn’t think they could. I find it very little pressure, just enough for you to want to do well.
“The second part of the day;
with the meal, quiz, bingo or whatever is just as important for me.
I love meeting & chatting with new people, as well as catching up with friends.
“Thank you to Peter, Emma and everyone behind the scenes who make these days possible.
“Looking forward to the Christmas Scramble already!”
You’re a golfer as soon as you start love.golf
The opening statement in the first love.golf class goes something like this….
“Congratulations you are now a golfer and my job as a coach is to help you discover your way of playing the game and for you to have the most fun whilst doing it.”
A chance meeting in Tesco the evening before gave one woman the opportunity to play even though she only came to her first love.golf lesson just 8 days earlier.
A late drop out due to illness meant it looked like one team would be a player short but Peter happened to bump in to new golfer – Jacqui Kelly whilst picking up some shopping and she was brave enough to say yes she’d play…
“I just wanted to thank everyone for making me feel so welcome as a late stand in yesterday. Special thanks to my team for putting up with me and to Peter for giving me the chance to play my first scramble.
“The whole day was so well organised. Playing on such a great course has really inspired me (the weather didn’t even bother me, four seasons in one day!) The meal and evening entertainment were also faultless. Thank you!” Jacqui Kelly
The ladies teed off in a shotgun format, starting at 3pm and then it was in to the clubhouse for a meal, drinks and presentation of prizes.
“I am delighted to see so many women out enjoying playing the game” states PGA Pro, Peter Myers,
“I very much believe the long-term health of our game is to get more women playing and ultimately more families. I also think most golf clubs still need to do way more to be welcoming to women and families… though that said, Inverallochy and our other local courses are doing a great job right now.”
After the golf the ladies drew a raffle with prizes they had each donated and this raised an incredible sum of £268 which was chosen to go to ‘2 The Nations charity’ which is helping Sefton Children’s Home in the Philippines.
The evening was finished off with music, drinks and the first ever game of love.bingo which provided much entertainment!
Watch a short video of the day by clicking the video play button below…
love.golf has been specially developed for women, with a unique approach focused on coaching while playing the game as a group, rather than simply hitting balls on a practice range.
It is helping to transform the game’s outdated image and welcome a new generation of female golfers who may not have considered trying golf before.
The great thing about love.golf is that it provides an environment for women to discover, learn and improve skills. Participants frequently say they are surprised at their achievements and the sense of self-confidence and empowerment that comes with this.
All the equipment is provided so it’s ideal for new golfers, you can wear jeans and trainers and you don’t have to be a club member, or even have played before. It’s relaxed, welcoming and probably not at all what you think golf is like.
love.golf was launched in 2015 on the back of an academic study at the University of Birmingham looking at how golf is taught to women. It also follows a nationwide survey that found more than 640,000 women said they would be ‘very interested’ in taking up golf.
If you or a woman you know are interested in taking up the game then go to www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/lovegolf or call 01346 510693 to learn more.