Golf is still all too often considered a sport for the older generation, but as England Golf Young Ambassador of the Year, Emma Anderson, demonstrates, there needn’t be any barriers stopping girls from getting into golf.
You’ll be hard pressed to find anyone as enthusiastic about encouraging girls golf as the Nottinghamshire student, who, despite being just twenty, has already played an active role in boosting the numbers of girls taking up the sport in the county.
Emma’s enthusiasm was demonstrated earlier this month at the Golf Foundation Awards, when the youngster spoke passionately in front of a 200-strong crowd about the importance of harnessing the next generation of female golfers.
We caught up with the Sherwood Forest Golf Club member to hear about the great work she’s been doing.
Tell us about being awarded the England Golf Young Ambassador of the Year award, and the work that you’ve been recognised for.
Yes, it was a surprise and a real honour. I decided to take a gap year after my A-Levels and became involved in the county’s junior committee. From there I played a prominent role in the Girls Golf Rocks Scheme, which is all about introducing girls to the sport in a relaxed and fun environment. I’ve also been involved in the England Golf Panel, which looks at ways to grow the game, as well as several other golf events and schemes within the community.
What motivates you to get involved?
I’ve played the game since I was young, and there’s been a lot of people who helped me as a junior. It’s nice to give something back. I also just enjoy seeing the pleasure that the girls get from picking up a club.
Tell Us About The Girls Golf Rocks scheme.
The programme offers free taster sessions for beginners to try out the sport, before then taking the girls out onto the golf course. The great thing about it is that current county players act as ambassadors, which shows to the girls how accessible and friendly the sport can be.
What do you think golf needs to do to attract younger players?
I think that the main issue is the game’s image. Many of my non-golfing friends believe that the sport remains stuffy and old-fashioned, even though in most cases this is no longer true. If people saw the reality of what golf was about, and how much fun it can be, I’m sure that many more youngsters would be keen to take up the sport.
Do you have much time for golf now you’ve started university?
I’m studying a football and business degree at UCFB. It’s a new university so there isn’t a golf team yet but I’m hoping that there will be by next year. I still get to play at least once a week, and have got lots of golf planned over the summer.
You're studying a football degree. Are you still considering a career in golf?
Yes, I'd be keen to forge a career in the golf industry after graduation. Although my degree is football focused, it aims to give an insight into the workings of all sports.
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