30 Sep 2020 | Clubs & Facilities |

Female members surge at Peninsula Kingswood

by Mark Hayes

Women enjoy the off-course camaraderie in the Peninsula Kingswood clubhouse.
Women enjoy the off-course camaraderie in the Peninsula Kingswood clubhouse.

The progressive Peninsula Kingswood Country Golf Club is kicking goals in its bid to attract new female members.

The club, at the south of Melbourne’s Sandbelt, is reaping the benefits of a “hands-on” approach to introducing new women and girls to the club.

So successful has the campaign been that 28 women have applied for membership having originally been attracted to participate in a six-week program last summer.

PKCGC board member Stella Cugley said the club was delighted to have the new members aboard.

“Most clubs are aware of how important it is to attract new women and girls, so we’re so excited to have so many start their journey with us together,” Cugley said.

“It started with a six-week program of clinics that we offered on Tuesday and Sunday for beginner women, but we wanted to do something different.

“We knew how important it was to allow all the women to participate in golf and develop a love of the game at their own pace.

“But we also wanted them to experience not only those clinics, but other aspects of club life around Peninsula Kingswood.

“So during the clinics, members of the women’s committee would welcome the women to the session and extend invitations to enjoy coffee and a chat after their lesson.

“This allowed the participants in the clinic to become familiar with the club and meet other female golfers.”

The club next offered an “introductory women’s membership” for four months which included up to three clinics weekly, one of which was held at weekends.

The category gave these members full access to all aspects of the club including gym, pool and restaurant.

“Those who were not beginner golfers had access to playing nine holes of golf after 2pm on several days of the week and we soon had 50 women take this up, mostly through word of mouth,” Cugley said.

“A most important aspect of what we’ve done was the introduction of a mentorship program.

“Existing members offered to mentor participants within the program. They kept in constant contact with their mentees; played nine holes regularly with those capable and introduced them to rules and etiquette along the way.

“Friendships were developed over morning coffees and this resulted in the introductory members feeling a real connection to the club.

“Beginner golfers progressed to achieving their GA handicaps and much of that was because of the commitment of their mentors.

“We’ve obviously had our program disrupted by Covid-19 and its impacts, but with regular communications from the club, these women have always kept connected.”

Cugley said the club’s board was delighted with the numbers the program had generated as it seeks to address the imbalance in female membership so prevalent in clubs around Australia.

Peninsula Kingswood was one of the first clubs to participate in Golf Australia’s “Even Par” program to generate gender equality at golf clubs, part of the Vision 2025 strategy.

The club is using next phase in its Even Par plans, continuing its “100 women in 100 weeks” campaign with a 50 per cent joining fee discount as a lure.

It has also offered a further 20 per cent discount for direct family members to join.

“We know that women are more likely to be and stay involved if their families can be part of the fun, too,” Cugley said.

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