Conwy golf club has become the first in the UK to sign up to The R&A’s Women and Girl’s Charter.
The host venue for the 2020 Curtis Cup, the top transatlantic competition for lady amateurs, is an appropriate club to lead the way for the campaign led by golf’s governing body.
The move has been welcomed by The R&A in St Andrew’s, with Conwy becoming the first club to sing up to the commitment to establish an inclusive culture across the club for members guests and staff.
Conwy aim to use the 2020 Curtis Cup as a catalyst for growing the sport for the next generation of women and girls golfers, working alongside Wales Golf to ensure the sport is open for everyone.
Jackie Davidson, Assistant Director – Golf Development at The R&A, said, “We are delighted to have Conwy’s support as the first golf club to sign-up to the Women in Golf Charter.
“It is so important for the Charter to break through at club level, as we aim to increase the number of women and girls participating in golf and to encourage more opportunities for women to work and volunteer within the sport overall.
“Conwy’s commitment to a range of initiatives is a great example to other clubs.”
Conwy general manager Matt Parsley explained signing up to the Women and Girls Charter was a way of building and expanding on the good work already being done at the club.
“We have a large ladies section 100 strong and felt we were strong at club level, what we want to develop is the entry level and we believe in what the R&A are trying to achieve and wanted to be part of it,” he said.
“We wanted to make a change in the strategy and vision of the club, we understand women and girls are not coming into the game as much as should be the case.
“Our club professional is very active and we have a joint club management committee, we were quite a long way down the line on that, but we could probably try harder in terms of the decision-making in the club.
“We can also do more in terms of the recruitment of women and girls, putting more things in place to make that easier in terms of taster sessions and beginner courses.
“We are looking at it from the point of view of our New2Golf, the junior section for girls and bringing new people into the game.
“We want to use the Curtis Cup to create a legacy, it is the biggest amateur ladies golf match, and it has also been confirmed we will host the Ladies European Team Championships in 2022 so we see ourselves as a host venue for ladies golf.
“If that is the case then we want to have the internal structure right at all levels. Historically golf is seen as male orientated so we need to show ladies golf can be for them.
“It is great we have come out and pledged ourselves to this charter, we believe this backing for women is good for the industry.”
The move was also welcomed by Wales Golf. “We are pleased to have a Welsh golf club leading the way on this,” said Wales Golf women and girls co-ordinator Simon Lu.
“Equality is at the heart of Wales Golf. We were the first of the home unions to merge the governance of the male and female games, it was a commitment made at the start of the century as part of bringing the Ryder Cup to Wales.
“We will continue to work closely with Conwy to help them meet the commitments they have made to The R&A and we look forward to seeing other clubs in Wales joining them in making this Pledge.”