Women and girls get chance to 'come and try' golf at Reay
Get the Courier and Groat sent to your inbox every week and swipe through an exact replica of the day's newspaper
Women and girls are being given an opportunity to have a go at golf by attending “come and try” sessions at Reay from early April.
The ladies' section at the club is going from strength to strength and the series of hour-long sessions will give newcomers a fun introduction to the game.
Carol Paterson, from the ladies' management group at Reay, said members were thankful that they were able to play golf last summer as it was one of the few activities they could take part in during lockdown.
“We offered the members a chance to join the regular slot on Thursday evenings when the ladies play together,” she explained. “We were delighted that there was a great spike in interest – the best turnout being 20 players – especially from those that were beginners and were looking to grow their confidence and gain a handicap.”
A year on, four of those players now have a handicap and are playing most weeks and weekends, even through the winter months.
“From the start of April we will be hosting opportunities for ladies to 'come and try' golf every Wednesday, starting from April 7, at no cost," Carol said. "No matter if you are a member or new to Reay Golf Club, you are welcome.
“We also have a junior section for those that are younger who might be interested in taking part.”
Pam Bain, also from the ladies' management group, said: “The sessions will start at 6.30pm and will last an hour. We will run this for four to six weeks and equipment will be available to use for those that don’t have their own.”
Carol added: “Golf is a great sport. It gets you out in the fresh air and gives you the opportunity to meet so many other people.
“It’s wonderful that everyone wants to see improvements in their game but, after the year we’ve all just experienced, it’s important that we bring lots of fun to the course.
“We’re looking forward to plenty of social interaction, when restrictions allow, and an opportunity for us all to get inside the clubhouse together, have a cuppa and a good old natter.”
It has given me a new hobby, new friends and new opportunities.
Lora Jane Kelly is one of the Reay Golf Club beginners who took up golf over lockdown. She has been reflecting on what the past year has been like.
“If you told me this time last year I would be playing golf regularly, I would never have believed you," Lora Jane said. "It has been one of the positives that have come out of the pandemic.
"It has given me a new hobby, new friends and new opportunities.
"My adventure into golf started last May but it feels like I have been playing – or trying to play – for much longer. I decided to give golf a try after finding out about the ladies' section while my daughter was attending junior coaching.
"I was a bit nervous and unsure at first, having never really played golf before. The nerves vanished as soon as I turned up at the first session as I met a really friendly bunch who were so eager to welcome me.
"To begin with my main goal was just to hit the ball but gradually, as the hits became more frequent, I started to set new goals for myself. It’s a competitive sport but at the early stages the competition is with yourself – always trying to beat your best score. When I have a bad round, instead of giving up, it just makes me want to get out and prove that I can do better!
“I attended Thursday night ladies' sessions throughout the summer last year. There were a few beginners and sometimes we went out together and other times we went out with the more seasoned players who were – and still are – fantastic role models.
“This was a great opportunity to get some one-to-one support and learn from their experience. We also had some group coaching sessions at the practice ground for the brief period when Covid restrictions allowed.
“As well as our weekly sessions, we were offered the opportunity to take part in the competitions that the ladies had scheduled at the weekends against the other beginners.
“From the very beginning, I felt part of the golf family. I’m sure I have made some lasting friendships. We have continued through the winter at the weekends when the weather allowed and are all really looking forward to the start of the season soon.”
Anyone interested in going along, or wishing to find out more, should email the club at email@example.com or make contact via its social media pages.