We speak to SheCanGolf volunteer Julie, whose passion for the game has created an inclusive and supportive community for females in golf.

It’s Women & Girls Golf Week! And today is all about volunteers: The people who selflessly give their time to empower and inspire more women and girls to get into golf.

Volunteers are the true driving force behind the game. The unsung heroes who don’t just positively impact one person’s life but entire communities.

And in the realm of empowering women in sports and breaking down gender barriers, one name shines brightly: Julie Craggs. With an unwavering commitment to championing gender equality in the world of golf, Julie has emerged as a passionate and dedicated volunteer for SheCanGolf, an organisation that aims to inspire and support women's participation and advancement in the game.

Julie's journey with SheCanGolf began as a testament to her deep-rooted belief in the transformative power of sports, especially in fostering personal growth, confidence, and inclusivity. And her involvement as a volunteer reflects her strong advocacy for creating a more diverse and welcoming environment within the traditionally male-dominated sport.

Here’s Julie’s story …

Can you share your journey as a volunteer and how you first got involved in encouraging girls to take up golf?

Since getting into golf myself over 20 years ago now and loving everything golf can offer me, I’ve always encouraged friends and family to give golf a try so they too can have the opportunity to learn and get to love the game as much as I do!

I really believe that golf is a game for everyone, and I’m genuinely passionate about getting more people into the sport.

As a volunteer, what initiatives or programmes have you been a part of that specifically focus on empowering and inspiring young girls to get into golf?

I’ve volunteered for the SheCanGolf programme at Oakmere now for about five years. The programme aims to increase the participation of girls, women and families, with a vision for inclusive golf to become the norm around the world.  

Initially, the aim back in 2017 was to get a group of new players together and give them the chance to give golf a try. The idea was that they could learn at their own pace until they were at a level where they felt comfortable getting out on the course, then we’d open up options for them to join the lovely women members at Oakmere.  

This obviously takes time. To start with, women would say that they were too busy, they couldn’t afford the time or golf was too expensive. Or it just wasn’t for them!

And, sadly, the general feeling was that it was never going to happen anyway so why even try? Well, that was exactly why. Otherwise, every year we’d see no real positive change, and golf would continue to not be seen as an exciting or attractive sport for women and girls.

Encouragingly though, Oakmere’s SheCanGolf group has been growing ever since the first taster session in April 2017. Many of the women still love playing golf and are getting hooked!

SheCanGolf offers flexible coaching times with an overall aim of meeting the needs of today’s busy lifestyles. It offers a fresh approach to getting into golf where women can learn to play in a fun and friendly group, getting to lessons and social events whenever they can. These women have shown a commitment to want to learn the game and are very keen to want to improve by enjoying practice either socially or competitively at weekends and on flexible work/business weekdays or in the evenings – which is the perfect ending to a busy day!   

In a traditionally male-dominated sport like golf, how do you create an inclusive and supportive environment for girls who are interested in learning the game?

We’re very fortunate that the members at Oakmere are all very open, friendly and supportive, and that goes such a long way in making girls feel comfortable when they first get into the game.

We have a golf buddy system on the course and flexible membership options, and a full diary of SheCanGolf events so there’s plenty for everyone to get involved in too. Creating a balance between golf, social and wider experiences of the game has been crucial to getting and keeping girls in the sport.

And, of course, communication has always been key.

What motivates you to volunteer in golf?

The age range of women wanting to give golf a try or get back into the game is around 

20 – 50+ years. That shows there are women out there who would get involved if given the right opportunity to play – and that’s why I volunteer.

Giving people an opportunity to enjoy a game I love so much and raising awareness of inclusive golf has always been my passion. I just want everyone to realise the benefits of golf and that what it offers is so much more than just a game! 

Find out more about SheCanGolf

Thinking about getting into golf? Here's everything you need to know to get started!