Alice Davis, PGA Advanced Professional at Parkstone Golf Club tells Women & Golf about her journey through golf, her love of coaching and her passion for growing women's golf participation

Having recently started our new instruction series with PGA Advanced Professional Alice Davis, we thought it would be a great opportunity for us to get to know her better. After filming we caught up with the teaching professional who has a thriving Pink Ladies Golf Academy at Parkstone Golf Club and is also a TaylorMade Women's Advisory Board member.

How did your journey into golf begin?

My parents wanted my brother to try another sport. I was involved in tennis, swimming, drama, and dancing, but I wanted to try golf as well. So, at six years old, I started playing, thinking I wouldn't stick with it. Twenty-two years later, I'm still passionate about the game.

Where did you start playing golf?

I began at Canford Magna, a fantastic facility that closed a few years ago. It had everything from a driving range to several courses, making it perfect for kids and beginners. They ran extensive junior classes on weekends, and notable players like Georgia Hall also came through there.

When did golf become more than just another activity for you?

My parents encouraged a variety of activities, so I continued with everything through primary school. Around age 11 or 12, I realised I wanted to focus on golf. I found myself thinking about being on the golf course during other activities, like drama rehearsals. By age 12, golf became my sole focus.

What level of competition did you reach in your early years?

I played for the county ladies and competed in regional and national championships. Though I didn't qualify highly in national events, I was a strong county player with a low enough handicap to compete at higher levels.

How did you get started on the PGA Professional route?

My journey began with my GCSE PE course, where I was allowed to coach as part of my assessment. I started helping juniors at Parkstone when I was 15, which sparked my interest in teaching. I continued working with children and eventually set up the Girls Academy, with the old head pro, during my A-levels. By the time I started my PGA, I took over the academy.

Was pursuing a career with the PGA always in your plans?

Yes, I was fortunate to be around passionate golf coaches from an early age, which influenced my career path. I never seriously considered going down the playing route, mainly because I had a realistic view of my abilities compared to top players like Georgia Hall. Teaching always seemed like a better fit for me.

Can you tell us about your work developing the women's section at Parkstone and the Pink Golf Ladies Academy?

The club noticed a significant demographic gap among its members and approached me to expand the academy. I started with a free taster session and prosecco, attracting 26 ladies. This led to regular classes, and by the October, I added another class due to demand. Since 2018, the academy has helped several ladies reach the required handicap to join Parkstone. The Pink Ladies Golf Academy provides a pathway for learning golf and getting a handicap, which has been vital for the longevity of the club.

How do you attract businesswomen to your classes?

I limit my classes to 10 participants, and they are always full. Many women in my classes are still working, whether they have flexible hours or work Monday to Friday. One of my students took up golf to participate in work-related events. She’s making great progress and even signed up for a networking event at The Grove, showing how golf can open professional opportunities.

How did you get involved with the TaylorMade Women's Advisory Board?

TaylorMade approached their area sales reps to find suitable candidates. TaylorMade reps, Will Fox and Ryan Alexander, put me forward due to my work with the Pink Ladies Golf Academy. It was a surprise when I got the call, but it turned out to be a fantastic opportunity. I've contributed to product development and marketing strategies, focusing on making golf more inclusive for women.

What changes have you seen at TaylorMade since joining the Women's Advisory Board?

When we first started, we highlighted the lack of women in their marketing and product focus. Now, you see more female ambassadors like Nelly Korda and Charley Hull in their promotions. We've worked on the Kalea product line, influencing its design and technology. It's rewarding to see the tangible results of our input.

What are your future ambitions for women's golf at club level?

I aim to bring more new women into the game, ensuring the sport's longevity. It's crucial to integrate golf into women's lives during their working years, not just in retirement. Women playing golf with their kids and balancing it with work will be a significant cultural shift. Personally, I'm involved in various projects, including the TaylorMade board and the upcoming merger of the Dorset County golf unions, which will bring new challenges and opportunities.

Do you see women's golf continuing to grow at Parkstone?

Absolutely. Developing women's golf is crucial for the sport's future. By making golf accessible and enjoyable for women at all stages of life, we ensure its growth and longevity. It's about creating a welcoming environment and providing pathways for women to progress in the sport, both socially and competitively.

Watch the latest episode in the 'Up And Down Series' here and to find out more about Alice Davis and Parkstone Golf Club please visit her website here.