Get into golf in Banbridge

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NEW Lady Captain Denise Nelson will continue to drive Banbridge Golf Club’s ‘Get into Golf’ scheme during her year in office to boost the ladies section.

In her incoming speech, she identified the scheme as one of her objectives, saying she wants to build on the success of last year.

She also aims to get more girls into the juvenile section, and described the juveniles as “the little acorns who will build the future of Banbridge Golf Club”.

Part of the national campaign to encourage ladies to take up golf, the Get into Golf initiative was offered by Banbridge Golf Club last spring to give females a taste of the game.

The eight-week programme comprised a mixture of group lessons with PGA Professional, Jason Greenaway and practice opportunities on the course at Banbridge. It also entailed the option to join the club at a reduced cost as novice members.

Seventeen women participated in the programme, coming from a wide variety of age groups and backgrounds.

Novice golfer Dianne Gallagher said: “Thanks to the warm welcome from the existing members, we have all integrated well into the ladies section of the club, making new friends and having fun along the way.

“We would highly recommend this programme to any women out there considering taking up golf - even for just the social side. You will be welcomed and encouraged and will make lots of new friends.”

Instrumental in promoting the scheme was immediate past Lady Captain Valerie Malcolmson. A similar scheme was rolled out in 2016 under the captaincy of Ann Magennis which also swelled membership.

Get into Golf was first piloted by the Irish Ladies Golf Union in 2013 to help increase female participation through a structured coaching and buddying system. It has since developed into a programme that recruits men, women, boys and girls.

It is designed to not only to support golf clubs in recruiting new members and in turn increase their membership figures and revenue, but also to make golf more accessible to the wider audience.

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