An experienced golfer herself, Terry Whiteman now mentors new players at Garon Park Golf Complex.
She attends Get into golf sessions, takes new golfers out on the course for the first time and helps people team up with others who might want a game. She also builds new players’ confidence and keeps their motivation high.
“I help women take little steps says Terry, all the way from beginner to golfer – and it works really well.
We have lots and lots of new women players joining and my role is to help them progress through from learning the basics on the driving range to become a player and member of Garon Park.
It’s little steps all the way and it’s working. It has made me realise that golf really is for everybody who comes along wanting to play. We have everybody - including young teachers, busy mums, working women and retired women.
I go along to all the Get into golf beginner’ lessons and introduce myself, chat and just help make the participants feel comfortable. We find it helps them carry on playing if they know a familiar face from the women’s section of the club.
I am always blown away by how much the new golfers enjoy the courses and how they progress - they’ve come on phenomenally. We have a driving range so many learn through the winter there and then progress out on to our nine-hole course when the weather improves.
I just go along to the Get into golf courses and chat, hit a few balls myself and then maybe join them for coffee in the clubhouse.
It means that they feel comfortable moving to the next stage of being a golfer. I also take small groups out to play our nine-hole course on another day from their beginner lessons. We are often joined by players from the women’s section so it’s all nicely integrated and newcomers soon get to know a few people. It also helps them form small playing groups with other, which again helps them on their journey from beginner to golfer.
We have such a good system at Garon Park and there are lots of small steps you can take to gradually progress as a golfer. They often move on to playing fun, then more competitive, nine-hole games. This gets them out of the driving range and on to the course and introduces them to the women’s section and more serious competitions, if they want.
The numbers of women taking part in the Get into golf course is high – we have close to 20 women in the current courses. If just a few of these join our women’s section and carry on golfing, this is great news.”
Terry has been playing golf herself for more than seven years. She started playing after giving up work so that she could play with her husband and two sons. She now plays at least three times a week.