Ladies Golf and Tee takes off
DEANE Golf Club member Privita Parma (pictured) is delighted with the upward direction her Facebook Group’ Ladies Golf and Tee’ has proved to be a big hit following her vision of linking like-minded ladies together in golf in the past year.
Privita said: " My idea started as a result of a decline in the number of Ladies playing Golf and a lack of New Lady Golfers.
"I have been at Deane for over 10 years and membership has gone down naturally due to an ageing ladies section and a lack of new lady Golfers. I enjoy playing in the club competitions but also love the opportunity to play in an open and experience different courses within our region.
"So one Sunday I was looking at ways of how to bring like minded ladies together so we could get play together.
"We are very privileged in Bolton as we have a number of golf courses on the doorstep.
"My vision was if we all linked together we could make up teams and be able to play in opens, form new friendships and most importantly of ALL provide support for each other's Club Opens, so they didn't get cancelled due to a lack of entrants.
"Initially it was set up to incorporate just all of the local golf clubs together In a forum for ladies to discuss golf topics, rules, ideas and have a central portal to promote their charity evenings, coffee mornings and golf opens.
"To help it develop I contacted all the clubs in Bolton, found out their Lady Captain's and sent them an email, inviting them to join the Facebook Group Ladies Golf and Tee ‘ that I had created to bring us all together.
"I told my Golf friends about it and asked them if they would join too -some people didn't join but some did. I then had to make sure that I retained the ones that had joined, otherwise, people would just drop off.
"So I rummaged through some Golf Magazines, and as we were still in the winter season I started posting Golf Rules, giving them a scenario, with options A, B, C, which they to answer.
"Then the next day, I would reveal the answer. I was doing this every day, to keep the ladies who had shown an interest.
"As the Season started, I then researched information about who the Lady Captain was for each club and announced the new Lady Captain's and my work had been worth it, because ladies began to spread the word.
"I started receiving phone calls and text messages from Ladies saying their friends wanted to join, but they are not from Bolton.
"Ladies playing in Shield Matches mentioning my group and then ladies from further afield were requesting to join.
The group was going from strength to strength, and I had about 50 members. "When the Opens Started, every time I went to a different course, I would mention Ladies Golf and Tee to other Ladies in the club house and ask them to join. I would tell them how great it would be to have them on board and the benefits of being in the Group, to promote Ladies Golf and to ensure that the Ladies Sections continue to thrive and succeed. I would encourage them and say that we should all support each other's club opens and network together as a whole.
"Within a few months, I had 100 ladies in the Group and about 35 different Golf Clubs. To date I have 410 ladies and approximately 80 Golf Clubs being represented in the Group including the Lady Captain from Silver Lakes Golf Club in South Africa, a lady from Pennsylvania and one from Faraja.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my journey so far, I have loved achieving what I have. It’s been so brilliant to see ladies who may not have met, nor probably ever play together.
"But now if ladies want to play in an open, they just post a message in the Group and will ask for 1, 2 or 3 players required to play on such a date at such a club.
"There have been a number of teams made up by people who have never before played golf together, and they have met because Ladies Golf and Tee has provided that forum for them..
"It's also been brilliant because opens which may have had to be cancelled due to lack of entrants have been supported by members of Ladies Golf and Tee allowing the open to go ahead.
"Going forward....Blackburn and Wilpshire Golf Clubs have approached me and asked if I could/would run an Open in 2019 in conjunction with Ladies Golf and Tee and promote it.
"We have already got the dates sorted and advertised them on the site. I said I would provide a trophy and the ladies will be able to play for it.
"The Trophy will be a Ladies Golf and Tee Trophy and will be presented to the winning team. I have been looking with a friend designing an image which will be exclusive to Ladies Golf and Tee and I am looking at having some banners and novelty items with Ladies Golf and Tee.
"I also have another group because we had a lot of men wanting to join ladies Golf and Tee -I asked the ladies and they didn't want the men on. So I set up another Group and this is called Mixed Golf and Tee -Men and women on this site and brilliant for when you want a partner for a mixed open.
"Going forward I will be looking for sponsorship for trophies and prizes for 2019. At the moment I am providing these myself but if any local businesses reading this are interested in sponsoring or donating then I would love to hear from them via email email@example.com.
"I also have a number of totally ‘New to Golf’ ladies on the site-and it's brilliant to have been able to create a group like this for them to be in where they can learn and develop a knowledge about the game, the rules etc in a non intimidating way.
"I am also in the middle of getting a Ladies Golf and Tee Open, just 9 holes for all the New to Golf ladies from handicap 36 - 54 only they will be allowed to play in this which will mean that they will all be at the same level, make new friends, and have a hopefully fantastic experience...without it being daunting to play 18 holes."