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Karen wood | A golf Poem

Golf is like poetry it should flow

A gentle walk but not to slow

 

For women or girls there is no barrier

Use a trolly, be a bag carrier.

 

You can strut down the fairway like a chicken that clucks

Playing for pride medals or cups.

 

Start of with bogey, finish with par,

Did you see my last drive how far o how far.

 

Are you playing here next week, the cries all the same,

For we always turn up for the love of the game.

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Joyce Dodd | Time off from being mum

I enjoy playing all sports but hadn't got round to taking up golf. So for my 40th I did a skydive and got 6 golf lessons!

That was in May and in September my youngest went to nursery school. 2 and a 1/2 hours free 3 mornings per week. That was it I was hooked! Joined local club for the winter and a few ladies were very patient with me. Started playing competitions in the following year and haven't looked back since. Golf is a great for of exercise,  social and its as competitive as you want it to be.

3 years later I play when I can andI now play off handicap 19. And I LOVE IT!!

#CompletelyAddicted

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Laura Bryant | Practice practice practice

This sporty girl and busy mum,

plays golf to have some extra fun.

Using my driver, iron, putter or wedge

(in my opinion) us ladies will always have the edge.

I’d be off my trolley to play anything else…  I am a golfing fanatic that is simply ecstatic, and on the golf course, nobody will have a better round, as even after a poor round of golf - this lady is always up to par! 

So my message to other girls and women, is never say never, and don’t compare yourself to the men who are playing as ‘ anyone' can play - it’s exciting and enjoyable and the big goal is for you to feel comfortable and excited about playing. Practice, practice, practice - laugh - have fun! 

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Abi Chadwick | Aged 11 | Golfing with dad

I recently met Abi when I was visiting the American Golf Academy at High Legh Park GC and was really pleased to see her dad sat watching on from the side lines and offering her support. I am a firm believer that one of the quickest ways in which we can raise female participation in the sport is for dads to start taking their daughters to the course or range with them. There are some very worrying stats about the number of dads who take their sons to play golf verses the number dads who take their daughters and it seems completely ridiculous to me.

As youths girls and boys are at their most equal in terms of physicality. In fact throughout the race to grow up girls are often the taller more agile ones, so put a golf club in their hands and there is no reason why they wouldn't hit it as well as a boy. 

Throughout puberty the dad/daughter dynamic can be a difficult one to manage so being able to bond over a common activity and goal is an opportunity that should be cherished. 

Well done Abi's dad and well done Abi for not only hitting the ball spectacularly but for also donning the most exceptionally cool pair of leggings I have ever seen whilst doing so.

Eve  (Lady Golfer - Lifestyle Editor) 

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Faye Delahay | Why Golf is no longer a man's game

A lot of people think golf it’s a man’s game ....hmm no chance. Me and my friends love going to different golfing venues over the Midlands it’s fun, great exercise and can be as competitive as you like. 

I have been playing since I was knee high and I love that all courses are unique.  So don’t just watch the British Women’s Open come out and experience the great outdoors the passion and the skill that makes Golf one of the most interesting and individual sports of the world

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Michelle Johnson | Age 35 | Golf and Business

Golf is my time away from being a Mother and a Wife and focussing on a sport that I love. It helps me to relax.

I feel golf can be an amazing networking sport and more women should consider this when thinking about which sport to take up. Golf has been deemed the sport of business. Few, if any, activities can duplicate the power of golf to boost one's career regardless of gender. The game provides unmatchable networking time with clients, prospects and colleagues, including coveted access to senior management. Also, if few women employees are playing golf, then their companies likely are missing out on key business opportunities.

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Becca Pitt | Golf Is...

Golf is how I mentally and physical challenge myself. Where I continue to learn new skills and demand more from myself. Where mental strength is as important as power and technique. Where you learn to live in and enjoy the present because getting ahead of yourself can be your undoing. It’s a social event where I get to catch up with friends in an environment full of mutual support. Where we applaud each miracle shot and commiserate the howlers. Where the laughter means that even during a round where you end up soaked through and need to use your retriever to get your balls out of the hole rather than a water hazard (see photos!) you still say you’ve had a great time and arrange to do it again the following week. It’s a sport for all ages that facilitates all abilities and one my friends and I will be able to enjoy for the rest of our lives, hopefully encouraging more friends to join us on the way.    

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Mia Bailey | Aged 5 | Her first lesson

On a recent photoshoot at American Golf at High Legh Park, I was lucky enough to meet Mia Bailey and her big brother Charlie. Mia had just finished her very first lesson and couldn't stop chattering about what a brilliant time she had had. Proud big brother Charlie (aged 8) stood by eager to show his little sister how to hold the club.

The story got even better when I met Mia's mum and Grandmother (both golfers), who had come along to show their support. It was so fantastic to see golf being handed down through generations of female golfers each encouraging the next to give it a go.

This is exactly what the game needs and I hope that in 10 years time we see Mia emerging as the next Charlie Hull.


Eve Burton (Lifestyle Editor at Lady Golfer magazine)

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Sue Hunton | Breaking my 18 Hole Duck

#Golf is - remember back in the day the Love Is strip? Well for me #Golf is ... Love, Love is ... Golf.  Strength, stamina, suppleness and skill, fitness, freedom, friends and fun what more could a girl want? This girl golfs and if I can, any girl can.  Challenge your skill and senses you won't regret it, I didn't.

I must also tell you about the first time out with my husband, "breaking my 18 hole duck" he called it, picture this; the over confidence of a newly taught player, lake ahead, of course I can drive over it, be cautious says husband, not me, beautiful high driver and plop right into the lake on top of a duck, duck quacks, does duck dive and re emerges splulttering with a sore head, husband in fits of laughter, I never did live it down!

 

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Sophie Haslehurst | Taking control on the course

I first got into golf as a teenager. I am by no means a great golfer, but I do enjoy it. As a woman, I am often outnumbered on the driving range or the course as most of the users tend to be men. I do not let this bother me, most of the time I can hit my drive further than them anyhow.

However, I would and do encourage many women to try to make the time to play golf. It gives you a sense of freedom and enjoyment. The way you get away from it all being on the golf course is second to none. You feel in control and when you hit a good shot and that sense of achievement we often struggle to achieve from other activities. It is a great form of exercise, not too strenuous and a wonderful way to enjoy time outside. The social side is also a huge benefit as you tend to chat when you are together for a couple of hours!

I also feel that the sense of sportsmanship is unrivalled. People cheer for you when you play well and help you when you are not.

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Amelia Lewis | A Decade in golf

#thisgirlgolfs because it's a sport that continues to bring me closer to more people than any other sport or activity has done in the past. 

Starting out with a second hand 7-iron in some beginner group lessons, a decade later and I've played regularly with friends, family and colleagues. Mostly social, but always secretly competitive. It brings all generations together, and on a level playing field. And, no matter how much or little time you have, there's always an opportunity to practice or play. With so many wonderful local public courses and driving ranges to choose from, I've managed to play as much as I have wanted. 

I play golf because, despite the frustrations of knowing I should be better by now, there's always that one sweetly struck shot each round that keeps you coming back again. 

Play for fun, friends or thrills, it's a sport for all seasons, walks of life and ages. Until you give golf a go girls, you'll never know satisfaction quite seeing that fluky 10ft putt sink.

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Yasmine Woolley | Golfing with her step dad

I was introduced to golf at the age of 5, when my Mum met my Stepdad, Ken. He used to take me to the driving range initially and it was a good way for us to bond. After a couple of years he took me onto the local golf course and I really enjoyed being out in the open and also seeing the improvements in my game. Whenever a tournament was on I'd be glued to the television, and at 11 years old Ken took me to The Belfry for the first time which was fantastic!

Golf is an enjoyable sport that anyone can get involved with no matter what age and fitness they are. It's a great way to get some fresh air and socialise with friends. Now I'm old enough I can also make the most of the 19th hole too! 

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Fiona King | Golfing for Relaxation

I love golf because it is competitive and fun at a sociably relaxing pace.  The scenery at golf courses tends to be stunning too and the experience is a bonding one.  Plus you are never too young or old to play.

Women & girls should get into the game to help them network, socialise,  gain skills, fresh air and a break from technology and gadgets.

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Ashleigh Wood | Aged 23 | Calling All Girls

I started playing golf at 7 which seemed the right thing to do as my family all played.  I attended junior nights at my club every Monday evening and there were plenty of juniors there, boy and girls.  When I turned 9 I realised I was the only young girl playing at the club so golf took a backseat for a few years as I felt I was missing out on seeing my friends.  I started playing golf again when I was 12, me and my brother went on holiday with my grandparents to Kipford and my granddad took us golfing every day and it was from then on I got ‘the bug’ again!  I’m so glad I returned to golf as it’s not just a hobby it’s a huge part of my life now. 

We’ve recently moved house and moved to a bigger club but I still seem to be the only young girl and I really want to encourage younger girls to start this fun and addictive sport.  Around 1 in 5 golfers are women which is a bit disappointing and I want to try and raise awareness of why golf is such an excellent sport.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved playing with the lads and my game improved massively as I found myself desperate to beat them to gain respect and confidence.  When I was 10 I did struggle with some equality barriers as I was told I wasn’t allowed to play in the junior matches at my club anymore because girls were associated to Lancashire and the boys were associated to Cumbria.  All I wanted to do was play for my club and for the boys to accept me into their team but I wasn’t allowed. 

Alongside my busy golf schedule I’m a professional singer and trying to make a career out of it so my life truly consists of golf and singing.  I work weekends so I’m very lucky at the age of 23 to be able to play golf during the week.  I’ve just released my own version of Morecambe and Wise’s hit Bring Me Sunshine and I’ve decided I want to give something back to the sport and give some of the proceedings to help fund girls golf.  Although I thoroughly enjoy playing golf with older ladies at my new club it would be great to play with some young girls my age who share the same interests.  Girls and boys my age are the future of golf clubs and we need to encourage them as much as possible.  Many women seem to start golf later on in life but why not start earlier?  I’m so thankful that my parents encouraged me to start at 7 with my older brother as we can now enjoy family days out playing in team opens and next year we’re planning our first golf holiday abroad together and this will be something very precious to us.  

As a singer I also perform in many golf clubs which is a big advantage for me over other singers as I can connect with the audiences and enjoy golf banter.  It’s great being able to mix business with pleasure and making new friends along the way for example Worlsey Golf Club invited me to play in their Lady Captains Day competition and then I performed for the golfers in the evening.  All in all golf has opened many doors for me and I have met some remarkable and talented people along the way that I’ll stay friends with for a long time...just wish there were more girls my own age! 

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Sheena Varsani | Age 30 | How Golf Transformed Her Life

From down-in-the-dumps to feeling confident and positive – amputee Sheena Varsani explains how golf has transformed her life…

Golf-crazy Sheena Varsani, 30, an above-the-knee amputee, was hooked on the sport from the moment she picked up a golf club. Just six weeks on from her first lesson with professional coach Chris Whitelegg, at the Shire London Golf Club, she already credits the game with helping change her life for the better.

“Nine years ago I lost my left leg above the knee as a result of blood poisoning. I learned to walk again but it took a lot of physical and mental energy. I would constantly fret about what I might face the next day, thinking over every possible step in case I was confronted with new terrain I couldn’t cope with. I lived in fear of falling down and would go to sleep worrying. I was often down in the dumps in the evening as life seemed stressful and I was fearful of moving out of my comfort zone.

I had been sporty before I lost my leg, enjoying football and tennis. I wanted to stay fit and active and had been looking for a new sport. I had met an amputee who played golf years back and it had long been on my mind to give it a go.

I booked in for a half-hour lesson with Chris Whitelegg to give golf a go and see if it would fit the bill. I fell in love with golf from the minute I tried it. I had a video analysis lesson at the driving range with Chris, who was inspirational. He showed me the basics of a golf swing and talked about the body mechanics of learning to play.

Something about the game really chimed with me and by the end of the session I was hitting the ball cleanly. Chris was patient and encouraging and talked about what I could do rather than what I couldn’t. It was all so positive and I left on such a high that I wanted to keep playing. I loved it so much my husband took me to the nearby Top Golf driving range at Watford immediately after my lesson where I hit another 40 balls!

I booked 10 more lessons with Chris and also went on my own to the driving range as many times as I could the following week. I’ve been regularly since and now own my own clubs.

I’ve fallen in love with golf because it has changed my life for the better. Golf is like a washing machine for the mind – clearing away worries and making fresh room for a calmer mindset. Chris’s focus on what I can do in golf has made me think more positively in other areas of life. Instead of worrying about what might happen, or about falling down, I think “yes, I can do that” if I’m asked to go somewhere or do something. Before, I often turned down invitations because I was worried what might happen.

I am already a member of two driving ranges and my next move will be to try a nine-hole course and of course to keep improving my golf swing with help from Chris.

I love everything about the sport and can’t recommend it enough. It’s a great way of keeping physically active but it also does wonders for helping create a positive, can-do state of mind. It is so absorbing that it just takes away your worries. Now my focus is all about what I can achieve rather than what I can’t do. I no longer limit myself and I can’t believe how much it has helped improve my state of mind. Taking up golf was the best thing I ever did.

If you are inspired by this story and would like to take up golf then visit getintogolf.org to get started or call 0800 118 2766 for more information.

Get into golf is the national campaign to inspire adults to take up golf, run by England Golf and supported by Sport England National Lottery funding.

 

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Maia | Age 8 | Why I like golf

Hi I’m Maia and I am 8 years old. I love to play golf, it so much fun. I play golf with my Daddy and Danny my golf teacher. I play golf at West Essex Golf Club and also at Hainault driving range. I have my own set of golf clubs and golf shoes. My favourite bit about golf is putting and my best bit about golf is hitting full swings. My ambition is to be as good at golf as Charley Hull.  I like golf so much because I am very good at it.  I like learning about hitting the golf ball and if I practise I get better.  I like walking on the golf course because I can see lots of nature and animals.  My favourite hole is the 15th at West Essex because I have had a birdie on it. 

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Emma Harman | Growing up with golf

I started playing Golf when I was 5. My dad bought me a set of golf clubs, took me to the driving range, and told me to "Hit the ball" and no other technical information.

Well, I thought ‘This is fun, even though the ball isn't going very far!’

After my first go, my Granddad then started to take me to the Golf Range at least once a week, where I used to watch nearly every shot fly left or right.

At the age of 8 I started coaching sessions with a Golf Pro, this is where it started getting technical and my love for the game really grew…Maybe because the ball was going straight?! 

Since these sessions and understanding the game. Living next to a Golf Club, It became part of my routine to play on the course every week with my Dad, Grandad or Brother.

Throughout the years, Golf has enabled me too meet lots of people and play in different competitions.

I have been fortunate enough to play on many different courses around the world, and I can honestly say that every game has been different! Having played golf for over 10 years, I've realised that the harder you practice, the luckier you get!

Golf is a great hobby, whether its being played at a Golf Course, Range or Top-Golf. I love playing socially and competitively. 

I am currently studying Occupational Therapy degree where I aim to incorporate Golf into therapy in years to come! 

I am currently a member at West Essex Golf Club where I aim to focus on my short game, lower my handicap and take part in more competitions.

From the age of 5 through to 22, it is only in the last few years, I have noticed golf becoming a more popular sport, with more girls getting involved, which is great! I remember being a member of different local Golf Clubs when I was young and being the only girl on the course! 

So, to any girls out there thinking about taking up golf, WE NEED YOU!

Pick up a club, get to the driving range, you won't know what it's like until you try it!

To any new Golfers who have just taken up the sport, GO FOR IT!!!!

Don't Give up....

Keep your head down and don't look up!'

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Rob Hattrel | A thank you

Dear This Girl Golfs Team,

We met at West Essex Golf Club when you filmed my daughter Maia for the ThisGirlGolfs campaign. 

 I wanted to drop you a note to say congratulations on your work.  It seems to have got real pick up in mainstream broadcast and social media.  All of that has been rightly complementary about the tone of the messaging and the way you have nicely challenged some norms of thinking to make the game more accessible to girls of all ages.

 I also wanted to say thank you for looking after Maia on the day and for putting her in the campaign.  She is thrilled to be in the same piece of film as Charley Hull and since its release has applied herself even harder to her game.  She has been inspired by your work.  We are all very proud of her as a family.  As a father of 4 girls I’m always looking to show my daughters reasons to believe they can achieve whatever they want to if they apply themselves.  Whether Maia makes it as golfer is down to so many things … whether she does or does not is probably not that important … what is important is that she feels inspired in her life to achieve what she wants, confident in herself to do that and equipped with the life skills to make is happen.  Your work has had a big impact in helping that for which I’m very grateful

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Ali Minto | Raising her game

In my eyes, golf has always been a game played by the men in my life. My dad, my uncles, my grandfather and my male friends have always enjoyed sunny Sunday morning’s hitting a golf ball around a course. The women in my family, although equally as sporty as the men, have always chosen netball, tennis, hockey, swimming, and horse riding as their sport of choice. Golf has never seemed to be something that has crossed their minds. As a result of never been introduced to the game at a young age (either through school or going to my local range with dad) I have never had a real interest in playing or watching golf. 

However, after working with England Golf and helping to launch their ‘Raising Our Game Strategy’ and #ThisGirlGolfs I have naturally become closer to the sport. It has been interesting to investigate (with my PR hat on!) the difference between the men and women’s game in terms of sponsorship deals and media coverage. I was amazed to find out that there was only one national reporter at the Ricoh British Women’s Open compared to the masses at the men’s Scottish Open. Somehow it didn’t seem quite fair.

 Attending the Women and Girls' Conference at Frilford Heath Golf Club with my colleagues Lucy and Anna from Generate Sponsorship has really opened my eyes into what the sport has to offer and how female friendly it is.  After a quick lesson from England Golf’s Championship Director James Crampton, who very kindly and showed us the basics of the game, I was totally hooked. It was so satisfying to swing the ball and see it fly for, what seemed like miles, towards the green.

I enjoyed my first golfing experience so much so that this weekend, I headed back home and completed my first 9 hole round with my dad. Although my swing definitely needs some practice, I managed to get round the course with only loosing 2 balls! I have booked myself onto a course of lessons and am determined to get better – my goal is to complete an 18 hole course by the end of the year.

 The game really is great! You can spend a couple of hours in the fresh air, switching off from the stresses of your daily life and its really quite satisfying whacking a ball around a course – especially when it goes a long way and you manage to get it in!

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