On the day that one of Scotland’s most revered golf clubs denied women the right to become members of The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, it might seem odd to post about a celebration of women’s golf.
However, in spite of today’s vote result, Golf Like A Girl believes there is plenty to celebrate about women’s engagement in golf. Firstly, there has been some meaningful outrage and backlash to Muirfield’s decision. As a result of being stuck in something of a time warp, Muirfield has been denied its spot on the list of Open Championship hosts by the R&A. It is evident from today’s reaction that golf, not to mention society at large, has moved on from this kind of ‘outlier’. Furthermore, there is simply too much positive activity in women’s golf, presently, to worry about one or two clubs’ old fashioned standpoints.
The anachronistic case that was made by the ‘no’ voters at Muirfield helps concentrate our minds about what we’re trying to achieve at Golf Like A Girl. We’re not trying to break down doors to clubs who are protective of an exclusive membership. Golf has suffered a reduction in participation precisely because of several historic barriers: chauvinism; elitism; expensive membership; slow play. It is evident that where these barriers still exist, there will be a gradual ‘extinction’ of the clubs that do not evolve. Society is moving on – demonstrating a more enlightened, inclusive outlook and a lifestyle lived at a faster pace. As a recent Syngenta report demonstrated, participation in golf today requires the breakdown of these financial, elitist and slow-play barriers. Key to this, is the encouragement of female participation.
At Golf Like A Girl we get women involved in golf because, at 95% of golf clubs, golf is celebrated as a social game for all. As an outdoor past-time in often breath-taking natural environment, it’s a compelling, wonderful shared experience with friends and family. Women come to Golf Like A Girl precisely because golf can be an intimidating sport to take up. Golf clubs can be intimidating places to visit. Golf rules can appear impenetrable. We celebrate women’s want to socialise and enjoy each other. Golf helps to help bring our women together.
At heart, Golf Like A Girl works because we have a laugh at our events. Golf Pros, club staff, Golf Like A Girl participants come together to find out how inclusive the game can be. How refreshing it can be to take up a new activity and share it with friends. Far from worrying about clubhead speeds or the appropriate jacket to wear for lunch, Golf Like A Girl will forever work to inspire women simply to *enjoy* themselves and enjoy golf. We encourage and love the stories of our women participants playing with families, female and male friends alike. There are thousands of venues around the UK and throughout the world where women can enjoy golf. No need to worry about the keeping the company of one so-called ‘honourable’ membership.