For a golf club that is so steeped in tradition, you might be surprised to learn that there is somewhat more to the historic golf club of Woking than first meets the eye.
Celebrating 125 years this year, Woking Golf Club was the first of Surrey's famous 3 W’s - Woking, West Hill and Worplesdon - and was started by Barristers and people associated with the legal profession. The course is home to several longstanding traditional school and amateur competitions and is also home to the Seniors Golfers’ Society.
However, as well as maintaining its strong and traditional roots, the contrast with all this jacket and tie history is actually an increasingly modern and buzzing club where the ladies section is strong, healthy and ever more influential.
The club even has a history of independent, strong women amongst its membership: Dame Ethel Smyth, a notable suffragette, was a long-standing member of Woking Golf Club. 100 years after the suffragette movement, you can still imagine her holding court all those years ago, demanding to be heard in such a male environment. Maybe that background is important because the ladies' section today is very much an inclusive part of the club.
From one leading lady to another, Felicity Christine, Senior British Open winner and Senior England Ladies Amateur team player, is a member at the top-100 ranked golf club. Jill Douglas, Ladies’ Captain said, "Felicity is an inspiration to us all to play better golf. She is one of some 60 lady members, and it is encouraging for us all to see how good you have to be to be the very best."
The opportunities for women at Woking Golf Club don't just end with the legacy of its members though. The ladies' section is thriving and there are more and more initiatives to encourage women to join the club. There are busy competition and social schedules, regular away-day excursions (like the one recently to Goodwood), and, since earlier this year, a new Academy which is giving both beginners and experienced women golfers a chance to get into the swing of the game.
In a bid to attract even more lady members, Woking Golf Club also offers discounted fees for women under 40.
With plenty of new fixtures each season, more mixed matches and more social events in the pipeline, it's easy to see that there's an esprit de corps that keeps this busy group a central hub within the club.
To find out more about Woking Golf Club, please visit www.wokinggolfclub.co.uk