Women in Golf Charter Champions are helping to drive change across the world and make golf more female friendly. We hear from our anonymous Charter Champion about her year in the role
The R&A Women in Golf Charter is being adopted by golf clubs and organisations across the world.
By signing this pledge, venues are committing to doing all they can to encourage more women and girls to take up golf, and make the game more inclusive to all.
But who makes sure these clubs actually follow through on what they're promising to do? Well in some cases, a Charter Champion is appointed to make sure their club really is making steps to become more female-friendly.
Earlier this year, we heard about the experience of one anonymous Charter Champion. She is now back to give us an update and reflect on her year in the role as she gets ready to handover to someone else at the golf club.
My time as a Charter Champion
As the end of the golfing season fast approaches and we enter the time of mists and mellow fruitfulness I thought it would be wise to reflect on progress at our club towards this year's goals with the Women in Golf Charter.
To be honest I am a bit disappointed at the lack of progress: there’s no doubt that the Covid restrictions had an impact. The club calendar became very crowded and there was little opportunity to plan extra events. But we did manage to get a woman onto the membership committee and start a beginners group with the local retirement community - with a session specifically for women.
I am pleased to say that the plans for gender-neutral tees are well advanced and our new catering team are all female and very assertive!
More importantly, thanks to publicity about the Charter, there seems to be a growing awareness amongst members and staff of the need to focus on women as valued members of the club - now and in the future.
There's still a resistance to change
There is still a hardcore of more conservative women who resist any change, but their influence is slowly diminishing- although their attitudes still frustrate and annoy!
I think more forward-thinking women feel emboldened by the Charter to voice their opinions and push for better inclusivity generally - it was interesting to hear many voice anger at the lack of disabled access for a recent visitor.
However, there is no doubt that power to achieve real progress lies with the club manager and club Pros. Whatever ideas we come up with will only bear fruit with their full commitment and help to drive things forward - we hope for more of this next year.
Big changes to come in 2022
I will soon be handing the Charter Champion reins to a fairly new member who had filled the role at a previous club. She is full of good ideas and has the character and experience to drive forward our plans more vigorously next year.
I was pleased we managed to take some small steps this year but I expect to see big strides in 2022.