16 Apr 2024 | Women and girls | Clubs and Facilities |

Woodend Golf Club a winner for women and girls

by Andrew Young

Woodend GC

A shift in attitude, improvements to the course and facilities, as well as a generous grant from the local community bank, have all helped to foster unprecedented growth in the number of women playing golf at Woodend Golf Club.  

The club, nestled in the heart of the Macedon Ranges about forty minutes north-west of Melbourne, has seen its female membership more than double since November last year. 

“With improvements to our course and a renovated clubhouse after COVID, we have a wonderful asset,” explains secretary, James O’Brien. “We took a view that this was the time to focus on growing our female participation.” 

A view aided by the support of Community Bank Trentham and Districts; they offered Woodend a grant of $2,000 which was put towards making golf more affordable for women in the region.  

“We knew that if we could provide some financial support, we could make it easier for women to play golf,” O’Brien says.  

“With the support of our local Bendigo Bank, we got $2,000 and put together an offering for discounted membership to new women members.  

We were able to reduce it to $125 for 12 months and this also included access to some lessons.” 

An offer picked up in earnest, Woodend went from about twenty female members to over fifty within just three months, something that makes O’Brien very proud. 

“The demand is certainly there; it has been very successful.” 

To that end, O’Brien is quick to commend the work of the Board, specifically Jade Nolan and Veronica Sullivan who have been integral to the process. 

“Together, they have really driven the initiative and must be commended on helping to make it such a success.” 

Keen to continue their strong momentum, Woodend is looking to ensure there a raft of opportunities available for women and girls at the club. 

From structured 9-hole events on Sundays and Tuesday evenings in summers for new golfers, to mixed competitions, Woodend is dedicated to making golf more accessible than ever before. 

“These entry-level formats are a wonderful way for our new members to feel comfortable playing golf,” says O’Brien. 

“The Club also developed a peer network for new women golfers to learn the game and feel comfortable on the course. It is a really strong and supportive group and a great way to get into the game.” 

More broadly, the club is committed to introducing gender-neutral tees, something O’Brien believes is another important step in the right direction. 

“We will need to do some re-rating of the course and that sort of thing, but we are totally committed to getting it done in the next couple of months.  

Keen to continue to build their female membership, O’Brien is confident they are on the right path.  

“It’s all about coming up with an offering that responds to people’s preferences for golf – people are busy, and we need to respond to that. 

“For us, that means continuing what we are doing and getting more women playing more golf at Woodend.” 

For more information on Woodend Golf Club, visit their website HERE 

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