Junior golf numbers at one Nottinghamshire club, are rocking – thanks to a national drive to encourage more girls into the sport.
Norwood Park Golf Centre – which can be found in Kirklington Road, Southwell – is backing the Girls Golf Rocks campaign.
Launched earlier this year, in a joint programme delivered by England Golf and the Golf Foundation, and supported by the county associations and sports partnerships, the aim is to attract more beginners to have fun, learn a new sport, get active and play alongside friends – with no pressure.
Girl golfers from county squads act as ambassadors, sharing their enjoyment and encouraging other girls, aged five to 18.
At Norwood Park more than 200 youngsters have taken part in the scheme – with many going on to take up membership of the club.
PGA senior coach Richard Strange has led the initiative at Norwood Park, offering coaching and competitions as well as working with local schools – resulting in more girls playing and joining.
Richard Strange said:
“We are so very proud of all our girls here at Norwood, with more than 200 taking part this year. Many have now moved into full membership, obtaining their first official handicaps and playing competitions.
“We hope to continue to grow, so if you are interested in our Monday Nights Girls Golf Rocks roll-up sessions from 5pm-6pm then we always welcome new girls, so feel free to just turn up.”
Lauren Spray, the England Golf Women & Girls’ Participation Manager, said:
“Girls Golf Rocks sets out to focus on the fun, social and friendship aspects of golf rather than just the playing and coaching side and we’ve seen some brilliant success stories.”
A number of girls at the club have enjoyed success on a personal level, too.
Lucy Holbrough won the Bronze Division Scratch salver at the Nottinghamshire County Ladies Golf Association’s County and Intermediate Championships and has been selected to join the county squad, while Heather McCrorie won the 9-hole Championship Cup.
Charlotte Maiden finished seventh in the 5-8 category at the Adidas Wee Wonders British Final at St Andrews, where she shot the lowest score as a seven years-old and qualified for the 2017 World Championships at Pinehurst in the USA.
Junior member Elizabeth Wilson was presented with a new set of PING Clubs as part of the ‘Bag for Birdies’ scheme run by PING and UPS, supported by the Golf Foundation.
Richard Strange explained:
"She was nominated for her commitment and enthusiasm and we are delighted one of our juniors benefited from this national initiative which mean that for every birdie Lee Westwood and Louis Oosthuizen made in the four Majors, UPS donated a set of PING Golf clubs to a development project.”
Norwood Park Golf Centre was awarded GolfMark (High achievers) by England Golf in 2010, highlighting a strong commitment to junior golf development and adult beginners. They have formed school links with local councils, and host numerous community golf projects, including focusing on both juniors and adult programmes for those with special needs.
They were named Club of the Year in 2015 by Sport Nottinghamshire while Richard Strange won the Golf Foundation’s National Presidents Award in 2014.
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