To celebrate Women’s Golf Day on Tuesday 5 June, the LET and LET Access Series players have been telling us why they love golf and how they are inspiring others to explore their own potential and learn the skills that last a lifetime.
Women all around the world have been experiencing a fun-filled day of activity which will no doubt have them hooked for life!
In the UK, Golf At Goodwood hosted a free event to cater for all levels of female golfer, as well as supporting Breast Cancer Awareness.
The club has one of the biggest female representations in the UK and is renowned for being very relaxed and breaking down some of the stereotypes which were associated with golf in the past.
Golf At Goodwood, which earlier this year was announced as England’s Most Welcoming Club, opened its Academy and Park course for Women’s Golf Day, offering complimentary coaching sessions, two fantastic competitions and afternoon tea.
For those who had never played before, Academy Manager and PGA Professional Chris McDonnell hosted Get Into Golf sessions on the day, teaching the basics of swing technique and showcasing this brilliant and sociable pathway into the game. Double Olympic Gold medal-winning sailor Sarah Ayton OBE, a graduate of the Get Into Golf program and a personal trainer, was on hand to help the women warm-up.
Ayton said: “I’ve played some golf and I’m not that great at the sport, but I love it. The ladies are out playing a round and like most sports, you can’t expect to rock up and put in a great performance without warming up, so my job now as a personal trainer, is to take the ladies through some warm-up exercises and get them moving well and get the body activated and muscles ready to go out and to deliver some good swings.
“I started playing golf after I retired from sailing and I came to the Academy and took a swing and had some video analysis. I felt like I was in the Olympics again! I got hooked in learning something technical and breaking it down into different movements.
“I’ve got a long way to go in golf, but I do it for pleasure and the kids and I play together. It’s something you can do as a family; I love the fresh air and you get a few steps in, so it keeps you nice and mobile and you make great friends. I’m just enjoying the game, enjoying Goodwood and being with some like-minded people.”
The other attendees who had been progressing through the Get Into Golf programme. or with a little more experience, took part in an 11-hole ‘Texas Scramble’ competition, while experienced golfers with a handicap could play18 holes on the Park course in a 4-Ball Better-Ball competition, followed by complimentary Prosecco and afternoon tea for all participants, as well as fantastic prizes for the winners of each competition.
Joy Dayborn, who had been a keen horse rider before an injury forced her to give up horses, has discovered a new passion in golf and said: “I love it. I love being outside, having been outside all my life. I play tennis and golf and I’m loving it, meeting new friends and trying to find a new adrenaline buzz after jumping on horses. I’d love to play more golf because it’s brilliant.”
Dr Patricia Milligan, who had dabbled in golf for many years during her career as a GP, said; “It’s the most extraordinarily frustrating game but you play the best when you’re the most relaxed and the harder you try and hit it the worse it is, but it’s fun getting out and meeting people and a lovely atmosphere here. This is a great way to meet new people and introduce oneself into the community, which is valuable.”
Georgia Hall, professional Tour player and Golf At Goodwood ambassador, said: “The women’s professional game is certainly growing and gaining more recognition, so it is hugely important that this is supported at a grassroots level. International Women’s Golf Day is a terrific way of generating awareness of the sport and it is wonderful that Golf At Goodwood is supporting this initiative.”