Date: October 17, 2018
Author: Golf Australia

Women flock to progressive Patterson River

Patterson River Golf Club is more than playing its role in helping Golf Australia's #Vision2025 become a reality.

The club recently took its first key step in a journey to support promotion of golf as a highly engaging, accessible and fully inclusive sport for women and girls.

"Bring a friend day" was the brainchild of head professional Alan Patterson to encourage the club’s female members to invite a female friend who had rarely or never played golf before and get them involved at the club, both on and off the course.

Among the guests at the 60-strong lunch in Melbourne's south-east were Victorian MLA for Carrum Sonya Kilkenny and Golf Australia's national female participation manager Chyloe Kurdas.

Kurdas was excited to see the tangible adoption of the Vision 2025 concept just months after its inception.

"I was honoured to be asked to speak, but more so that a club such as Patterson River grasps how fundamentally important this movement is to the future of the sport, at both club level and nationally," Kurdas said.

"We hope that as momentum builds around Vision 2025 that more and more clubs create new and innovative ways  to make the sport and community around it way more accessible to women and girls of all ages."

Patterson said the plan was to generate "a creative introduction for female non-golfers to allow them to have an experience at a golf club in a fun, sociable and unintimidating environment".

"The event included playing a full nine holes with modified ambrose scoring and larger-than-normal holes," he  said.

"Many of the friends invited by members were playing a full nine holes of golf for the very first time and everyone had a fantastic day."

The Vision 2025 strategy aims to promote female participation in golf to help turn around the stats released earlier this year that women comprise less that 20 per cent of golf club membership in Australia and only five per cent of teaching professionals Australia-wide.

Kilkenny’s message was that women should "get into golf" because it was a "a fantastic way to spend some really quality time with some great women".

Kurdas told the women that Vision 2025 was "more of a movement than a marketing strategy".

"Golf clubs need to break down the current `barriers' for females to be more welcoming, inclusive and accessible for women and girls so that female participation in the game can grow," Kurdas said.

Patterson River will continue to actively support the Vision 2025 strategy and plans to host more women’s and girls' events soon.

The club already conducts women’s beginner clinics and other activities for potential new players.