English Golf Courses

Wycombe Heights paves way for women golfers

Wycombe Heights Golf Centre is showing other clubs how it’s done

New group sessions have attracted more than 30 women to its academy

Wycombe Heights Golf Centre is showing other clubs how it’s done by leading the way in providing opportunities for women to participate more in the sport.

With The R&A being fiercely proactive in its attempts to get more women and girls to take up the game with the launch of the Women in Golf Charter, the initiative at Wycombe Heights – up and running before the R&A announcement – has already encouraged 30-40 women to get along to its special academy sessions.

Although the newbies begin learning on the short course at the centre to help master their initial skills and build up confidence, many have now progressed onto the full 18-hole course.

Assistant head professional Kiel Saggers is leading the sessions and he’s been delighted with how successful they’ve been so far.

“I really enjoy teaching beginners the game and this group of ladies is fantastic. They’re really enjoying the social benefits and regularly stay after the sessions to socialise with members and enjoy BBQs on the decking.”

The club has been more progressive than many other clubs by offering ladies a special, introductory membership package to encourage them to return and, by all accounts, participants have enjoyed the experience.

One of the ladies said: “It’s very relaxed, which is great for me as a beginner because I can go at my own pace and not feel embarrassed.

“Everyone is really friendly and it’s lovely going for a coffee afterwards. Kiel is a great instructor who manages to remember who’s learned what, so he can guide us individually on how to improve.”

At a time when golf clubs and governing bodies have been scrutinised for not encouraging more women and girls to take up the game, Wycombe Heights’ general manager Sarah Blunden, right, is hopeful that this initiative can continue to go from strength to strength.

“We pride ourselves on providing a fun, friendly and relaxed environment for members and visitors alike,” she said. “Kiel has done a fantastic job and it’s great to see so many ladies keen to give golf a try.

“There’s a real camaraderie in the group and I hope to see many of them get a handicap and become active members.”

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