The South Lakeland Golf Club offers courses aimed at getting girls excited about the sport

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Ellie Broome, PGA Trainee Professional at Kirkby Lonsdale Golf Club

Ellie Broome, PGA Trainee Professional at Kirkby Lonsdale Golf Club

A golf club in South Lakeland was selected to offer specialized courses aimed at getting more girls to play golf.

Kirkby Lonsdale Golf Club has successfully applied to England Golf to run its Girls Golf Rocks courses.

Girls Golf Rocks encourages beginners ages five to 18 to learn and play golf in a fun and friendly way.

Nine girls – including one only six years old – have just started the first six-week course in the club and more are registered for a second course from September.

PGA trainee Ellie Broome, who leads the courses, said the selection was great news for the club as it has raised its profile nationally.

“It’s also great for girls because it shows them that there are other girls who want to play golf and that the sport isn’t just for boys,” said Ellie.

Kirkby Lonsdale is one of only two clubs in South Cumbria that offer Girls Golf Rocks courses.

In six one-hour sessions spread over six weeks, the girls learn all aspects of golf, including putting, chipping and full swing with irons and drivers. For the last week they have been going on the club’s six-hole academy course, with holes all under 100 yards.

The course costs only £ 35 and participating girls receive a Girls Golf Rocks goody bag with a polo shirt and a water bottle. The association receives a payment for each participating girl.

In order to get approval to run the courses, Ellie had to fill out an extensive application form looking for evidence of what the club was doing for its juniors and how the club wanted to integrate participants into the club after the course ended.

Academy set up for young people

Ellie was able to show in June 2020 how she set up a junior academy for under 18s in Kirkby Lonsdale. She runs several weekly sessions for young people of different ages and abilities and also organizes junior coaching camps during the school holidays.

Before these courses there were only a few junior members in the club, but now there are more than 80 juniors from South Lakeland, North Lancashire and North Yorkshire playing golf at Kirkby Lonsdale.

Ellie, 22, who lives in Kirkby Lonsdale, started golfing at the age of six after watching her father and grandfather play. She joined the club at the age of 11 and received her first handicap two years later. “I played and practiced and in a couple of years I was down,” said Ellie.

“I just love the idea of ​​always trying to get better.”

At 16, Ellie was both the club’s first female junior captain and the youngest ever winner of the Ladies Club Championship. She currently holds the club’s women’s course record with a round of 67 – six under par – and has broken the record four times in a single month.

Ellie Broome, PGA Trainee Professional at Kirkby Lonsdale Golf Club

Golf at an international level

After playing junior golf internationally and representing Cumbria with honors at both junior and senior levels and captaining the Cumbria Junior Team in 2016, she turned pro in 2018.

“I turned pro when I was 19, also because I could start my PGA training,” said Ellie. She has just completed her third year of training, which includes everything from coaching, business, custom fitting, club repairs to sports science, giving students the opportunity to choose which aspect of the golf industry attracts them most.

For Ellie this is coaching. “I love the idea of ​​coaching,” she says. “I love being able to help someone do something they struggled with, so I have even more fun with the game.”

Ellie held ‘Get into Golf’ sessions for women in May and these attracted 32 new women to play in Kirkby Lonsdale. “Their ages range from mid-20s to retired ladies,” said Ellie. “Many of them were drawn to the fact that the courses are run by a female professional.”

The interest in golf is increasing

There is increasing interest in golf locally and nationally, said Vice Captain Graham Bywater.

More than 100 new members have joined the club since the beginning of the year, and membership is now around 400, including an active and growing group of women. There is also a growing number of visitors.

“The quality of the course is one of the big factors in attracting people,” he said. “The 18-hole course measures 6,594 yards and is laid out in more than 160 hectares of spectacular scenery. It offers high quality greens that are supplied by a dedicated team of greenkeepers.

“The course is also a haven for wildlife, including deer, rabbits, hares, ermines and weasels. On the lake there is a heron and swans, ducks and geese nest. “

The club is certainly a special place for Ellie Broome. “For me, it’s about coming full circle. I grew up here and it’s really nice to train here. It’s such a family-friendly club that welcomes people of all abilities. “

To register for Girls Golf Rocks courses at Kirkby Lonsdale Golf Club, go to https://www.englandgolf.org/girls-golf-rocks/

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