Banishing the myths of golf


“At the time of writing this column, I have just returned from an England Golf conference about how to grow the game of golf for women and girls. England Golf carried out research that showed women have five perceptions – or I should say misconceptions  - about the game of golf.

Firstly, women think the game takes all day to play. Actually, it can take as little or as long as you like. Clubs offering weekly roll up sessions and facilities such as a driving range, and short 9-hole and 18-hole courses are perfect for time-pressed women. A short 9-hole course can take just an hour to play – no more than the average Zumba class – and there’s nothing stopping ladies popping into the driving range for a half hour session to hit a bucket of balls.

The second misconception is golf clubs can be “stuffy”. Yes, some are, but organisations like FORE! WOMEN actively encourage clubs to relax their rules, such as dress codes, in order to make themselves more appealing to the fairer sex. And ladies, there is a lot you can learn from a golf club’s website. If there are no pictures of women playing golf (but lots of the male club captain) and the rules seem overly strict, then it might not be for you.

The third myth is that it is a game for men. In reality, it is women who are growing the game of golf. Of the enquiries to the `Get into Golf’ website, half are from women. And the more progressive clubs have around 30% female membership.

Golf won’t keep you fit is the fourth myth. My friends, once you begin playing a round of golf you will burn up to 900 calories each time and make a huge contribution to the NHS 10,000 steps per day challenge. Exercise and golf is a conversation for a future Ladies Zone column, but I discovered at the conference that England Golf is encouraging golf clubs to give out pedometers to prove the point.

And finally, the fifth perception is golf is expensive. I encourage golf clubs to offer competitive packages to attract new members and the more progressive ones offer free ladies-only taster sessions. But if you want to try golf for the first time with a group of friends, then use your powers of persuasion. Forward-thinking club managers and golf coaches will realise today’s free trial could lead to tomorrow’s new members.

And yes, you can go crazy buying top brand equipment, but I have long since relied on the power of social media to ask if anyone has unused golf clubs in their garage they don’t want. A quick look at eBay just now spotted a set of ladies’ golf clubs going for a starting price of £20.

So, now I’ve dispelled the myths, let’s get on and play.”

Felicity Dunderdale