Putting & prosecco part II BEECH PARK GOLF CLUB

Beech Park Golf Club, began their Get into Golf programme with a "Putting and Prosecco" evening which was a huge success with 50 women signing up to the eight week programme back in April 2018. We spoke to the Get into Golf co-ordinator Tricia Nolan to see how the programme has progressed since then and what their plans are for the coming years..

How many ladies have you signed up for membership from you 2018 programme?

We have had 35 out of the 50 women who signed up to our 8 week programme sign up to our stage 2 membership, which is a 15 month membership for those that participated in the programme, which is 1/3 of the overall membership and runs from October 18 - December 2019. Most of these new members are playing golf regularly.

How did these members integrate into the club?

We set up a WhatsApp group for the Get into Golf ladies. The group allows the ladies to arrange games amongst themselves or if they just want to go for a few holes in the evening. We ran a ‘Play in Pink’ day last year and invited all new members along. For the social golf we gave all new lady members a handicap of 36 for the year so that they could take part.

Most of the ladies have since gotten their handicaps and are competing and playing regularly, some have even got cut already which is great to see. A lot have come away on club trips and this is a great way for all lady members to meet and socialise and also have fun outside the club environment.

Did you see continued engagement through the Winter?

During the Winter months we had a set time every Sunday afternoon that was available to the ladies. This ensured that there was always a place for them to play and they could enter the 9-hole competition if they wished. We also ran scrambles to get the ladies to try out something different and sociable aswel.

Some ladies simply said they weren’t going to play until it got a bit warmer, but we ran a rules evening aswel for all members which was a nice way for everyone to meet up whether they had been playing over the Winter or not. We made sure to invite and encourage the new lady members to our Captains drive in aswel as this is the main event to kick start the season.

Did you run a Ladies Get into Golf Programme this year?

Yes, we ran another programme this year. We went for the same structure as last year, having a putting and prosecco introductory day where ladies could then sign up for an 8-week programme.

How was the programme advertised?

We did all the advertising internally again this year. From the success of our programme last year more locals were keen to give golf a try and our members and some of the women who did last years programme recommended it to their friends aswel. From this we were able to get another 42 ladies signed up to our 8-week programme this year which is amazing for the club.

Who is the programme aimed towards?

Our programme is aimed at women who are completely new to golf or who are looking to return after 5 years. A lot of ladies have had to put their golf to the side because of family commitments so by having this programme allows them to integrate back into the club along with the structure of lessons and playing on course.

What activities were covered in the programme?

The PGA professional Zak, helped guide the participants through the basics of putting, chipping and long shots throughout the four weeks of coaching. The lessons were all very engaging and the ladies had a positive experience.

For the other 4 weeks of the programme we had volunteers bring the ladies out onto the course to play in a scramble This format is a great way for them to practice all aspects of the game in a fun and sociable environment.

The final week of the programme we sent the ladies out of the course themselves. We found this worked well as it gave the ladies more confidence that they could do it on their own.

Are you running any activities for your 2018 group of ladies?

We are looking at maybe having the pro do a couple of Sunday afternoons to do some chipping and putting with the ladies to bring the group together and enhance and refresh their learning.

Did you find it difficult to recruit/ maintain volunteers?

No. We set up a committee of 5 ladies who are the main leads in looking after and running the programme. The committee is made up of our lady captain and vice lady captain this year, another lady member, and also a member of last year’s Get into Golf programme and myself. Amongst the group we were able to set up an online system where the volunteers could register what days they were available to help out and we could create a timetable from this.

What was the most successful part of the programme?

All aspects were different and had their own levels of success. A lot of ladies really enjoyed going out on the course and could see the benefits of the lessons on the practice ground transferring their skills onto the course. The lessons with the pro were popular aswel and we were able to get a second pro in to help with the sessions and give more 1:1 time to the ladies.

Is there anything you would do differently?

Going forward we have agreed it would be better to run the programme every second year. With the large number or ladies that we have in the groups it has been hard to manage. We feel it would be better to help ensure the ladies from the programme are settled into the club over 2 years before bringing in another large group of ladies. So, we have decided to do that for this year’s group and not run the programme again until 2021.

What advice would you give to other clubs?

''Communicate with your own members as to what you are doing. Be clear of the different programmes/ events that are going on and engage them as much as you can, so they know what is going on. Running a Get into Golf programme is something that your clubs need to be committed to and getting the new members into the club is the first step but you need to be invested into maintain them and keeping them involved in the club over the years after the programme''.

Would you recommend the programme to others?

Definitely. The programme allowed us to gain new members and bring new life and energy into the club.

Want to get involved?

If your club would like support in running a Get into Golf Programme, please email your details to info@cgigolf.org

If you would like to take up the game, check our website to find a Get into Golf Programme near you.

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