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Retention Pilot results

At the start of the project, there were 97 girls at each of the clubs with an average of 19 girls per club. There were an average of 8 full girl members and 15 girls in coaching per club.

Following the pilot, there was a 37% increase in the number of girls with over 70% increase in the number of girl members. Not only have the clubs managed to retain their current girl golfers but they have also been able to recruit additional girls. There was also a 73% increase in the number of girls in coaching, including a significant increase in the number of girls attending 1-2-1 lessons. This may have led to an improvement in ability level, for example The Gog Magog Golf Club evidenced an average improvement in girls handicap by 6 shots. Across the clubs, there was an increase in 23% of girls obtaining handicaps, demonstrating how more girls were playing on the course and moving through the player pathway

The girls reported a greater level of acceptance at the club, particularly among the women’s section. This was a key factor we set out to improve over the pilot. Individual club examples include Radcliffe Golf Club who saw an average improvement from 7/10 to 8/10 and The Gog Magog again seeing the greatest improvement from 6/10 to 9/10. Both clubs recruited a Girls Lead Officer from within the women’s section with The Gog Magog Golf Club recruited additional volunteers from within the section to support the pilot. This has likely led to this improved perception among the girls.

At the most successful pilot club, The Gog Magog Golf Club, the girls reported an improvement in the offer by 38% over the pilot duration. The greatest improvement was reported in the social opportunities which scored an average rating of 3.1/10 at the start of the pilot however following the project, this improved to an average rating of 7.9/10. Interestingly we found within the less successful pilot clubs, there was a common theme reported by the girls that the social opportunities needed to be increased to improve their experience.


Giving the girls’ a voice and a choice was a key aspect within the pilot – this was an overall highlight within the workshops delivered; enabling girls’ to feedback and input into the future offer at the club.  Gathering surveys and insights from the girls to help inform and shape the offer for clubs. It really helped to open the eyes to some clubs around what girls really feel, think, want and need. This led to the Golf Foundation creating the Girls Leadership Programme with 40 girls graduating from the programme and in turn, creating the Girls Leadership Panel. This has provided an opportunity for girls both within the pilot clubs and externally.


Reported areas of improvements from the girls across the pilot included:

  • Communication
  • Workforce
  • Social opportunities
  • Women’s section engagement
  • Increase in on course activities and fun events
  • Greater consultation and feedback
  • Increase in coaching activities

Common values among what the girls like within the club, in addition to the above included:

  • The golf course
  • Location
  • Practice facilities
  • The Golf Coach and coaching offer

The girls reported they would like to see more of the following:

  • Social opportunities and a social space in the clubhouse
  • On Course opportunities
  • Organised fun events e.g. “Junior Day”
  • Junior meet ups
  • More intersection opportunities
  • Further developments in the coaching such as coaching specifically for older age girls
  • Shorter course
  • More girls and girls of a similar age engaging in the opportunities

Key Findings from the Golf Clubs

The clubs were asked what has been delivered and newly implemented since the start of the pilot. These have been shared below, a common theme evidenced around getting girls on the course and providing playing opportunities:

  • Junior Rolls ups
  • Tee times specifically for the juniors
  • Girls only lessons and coaching
  • Fundraising activities for the Golf Foundation
  • A Drive in for the Junior Girls’ Captain
  • Girls specific recruitment within the local schools and community
  • Girls going on the course with the women’s section members
  • More regular on course sessions and opportunities for girls to play on the course
  • Increase in girls only activities and girls playing with other girls
  • Women’s section engagement and integrating the girls into the club
  • Varied competition format – not just 18 holes, implemented 7-9 holes, varied formats (e.g. Florida Scramble, Xmas event, Matchplay), shorter tees/holes
  • Utilise club news to promote girls activity and successes
  • Improve communications to parents/guardians and girls and rewording to target the specific audience e.g. “Hi Girls….”
  • Increased opportunities for the girls to learn other elements of golf such as rules, etiquette, varied formats
  • Refreshments after play to incorporate social opportunities
  • Seasonal and themed events
  • Girls Lead Officer now sits on the Club Committee and represents the juniors
  • Girls GolfSixes Teams in GolfSixes Leagues
  • Improvement in club culture and acceptance around the club – enthusiasm and buzz at the club around juniors’ and girls’ golf
  • Encouragement of juniors to enter events both within and external to the club
  • Greater awareness at the club around the importance of girls’ golf
  • Increased number of volunteers and improvement in the structure of our workforce around girls’ golf
  • Positive learning and development environment

Successes evidence by the clubs since the start of the pilot:

  • Improvement in ability level and competition/match results
  • Increase in girls’ participation in events and activities
  • Formation of a girls scholarship programme
  • Increase in the number of girls obtaining handicaps
  • Growth in the number of girls at the club
  • Overall improvement in retention of girls at the club
  • Improvement in the behavioural and emotional cues witnessed including girls laughing, chatting, engaging, team bonding and sense of enjoyment, alongside a growth in confidence


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