Warley Park captain is on a ‘one woman’ crusade to grow the game
ESSEX golfer Jan Tallentire is running a one-woman drive to get new players into the game - and in the space of just six weeks she persuaded 80 ladies to have a go.
Jan is ladies’ captain at Warley Park Golf Club, near Brentwood, and she’s run four Get into golf days for women to give them a taste of the game and share her enthusiasm for the sport.
“She has done a fantastic job,” said Craig Harman, a PGA coach at Warley Park, who has helped teach the women the basics of the game. “It’s a massive achievement,” commented Helen Tarttelin of the Essex Golf Partnership.
“We are sure that lots of women would love the chance to play golf, and Jan has proved it.”
Jan laid on a great experience. The visitors were greeted with coffee and a goodie bag from the club, containing balls, tees and a ball maker. Next was two hours of coaching with PGA professionals, followed by lunch. Then it was out on the course for a five-hole group competition, encouraged by club members, before time to relax over tea and cakes.
Her players were of all ages and from all backgrounds and already one has joined the club, about half have gone on to take a further taster and about 20 have signed up for Get into golf lessons at the club with Craig, with five group sessions costing just £25.
Get into golf is a national campaign to inspire adults to take up golf by offering great-value coaching with PGA professionals. It’s run through the national network of County Golf Partnerships, which work to grow the game. Warley Park is one of 15 Get into golf centres in Essex.
Jan took up golf eight years ago when she retired at the age of 62. She’s played sport all her life - mainly netball and tennis – and is also a keen walker.
“I wanted to do something active,” she said. “I’ve spent a lot of my life in an office so I love spending time outside in beautiful surroundings. Also, I’ve made so many more friends through golf and my husband and I have a very good social life from it.
“This is a game that anyone can play and go on playing. We have ladies in their 80s who are still playing.”
She started at a play and pay course, moving to Warley Park five years ago, enjoying its 27 holes and good practice facilities. When she became ladies’ captain she needed to fundraise and came up with the idea of the ladies’ Get into golf days for just £26 per person.
She advertised them with posters at the local pub, village hall, libraries and gyms, through word of mouth and through her circle of walking friends. The days quickly filled up and raised £800 for the ladies’ section of the club.
“We found that one of the biggest barriers was a lack of confidence, that people didn’t want to walk into the golf club on their own.
“But I got to know these ladies by emailing them beforehand and when they arrived I was there, with other club members, to greet them and introduce them to each other. Soon, some of them were planning to meet up and return,” said Jan.
“One lady said to me ‘I have enjoyed the day so much I don’t want it to end.’ It’s been good all round!”