A golf ‘tour’ launched to encourage new women players in Dorset has proved so successful that it’s being expanded to include mixed events to attract men to join in the fun!

The ladies’ tour was started at the beginning of the year by Dee Wood, the County Development Officer for the Dorset Golf Partnership. She wanted to encourage women novices who had taken low-cost group lessons, sponsored by the Partnership as part of the nationwide campaign to inspire people to Get into golf.

Since then, almost 100 women have taken part in the regular nine-hole events on par-three and academy courses across the county. Over 30 have already joined Dorset golf clubs, at least half a dozen have got their first handicaps – and three have had holes-in-one!

Now, it’s the turn of the men. Dee is organising additional mixed events to involve male beginners, with the first one taking place over 18 holes at Ferndown Forest Golf Club on November 30th.

“I’m getting lots of feedback from the ladies who took beginner lessons with their husbands or partners, saying that the men haven’t had the benefit of the tour. So I’m organising some mixed events to appeal to men who haven’t played before or who haven’t played for a while. I hope it will be as successful as the ladies’ tour!”

The tour proved to be a natural step forward from the Get into golf lessons and it introduced the newcomers to each other, to members of clubs across the county and to Dorset’s courses.

“It’s been a good experience,” said Caroline Watts who, together with her sister-in-law, has just joined Canford Magna Golf Club to have more opportunity to play and practice. It’s a great day out and we meet lots of people - I’ve been surprised by how sociable golf is.”

There’s been another bonus from the tour. Dee charges each player £10 per event, with half going to the club and half to support junior golf in the county.

For more information about the Dorset tour, or to book on the first mixed event, contact Dee Wood on [email protected]

Or for more information about the Dorset Golf Partnership, which works to grow the game, visit www.dorsetgolfpartnership.org.uk