In honour of International Women's Day, businesswoman Sara Wilson is calling on the world of golf to be more inclusive.
Wilson is a coach and a member of the PGA of Canada. She runs a program called Metro Ladies Golf in Halifax, which she started in order to get more women into the sport.
Five helpful tips
The return of warmer weather has many thinking about outdoor activities.
If you are a woman thinking about giving golf a try this year, here are five tips to help you get into the sport.
1. Sign up for golf clinics or private lessons
Our friends and partners mean well when they offer advice, but they are often not trained coaches. Beginner clinics with women of similar skill are a great place to start.
These clinics are often spread over four to five weeks and offer a great introduction to the game and your swing.
If you would prefer to learn alone, you may want to inquire about private lessons. Seek out trained PGA golf professionals at your local golf course or driving range. They'll be happy to answer any of the questions you have about the game. Also, ask for a plan from your instructor that will keep your practice sessions on track.
2. Find a friend who wants to learn with you
Having a partner to go to the driving range with or head out to the course will make the experience much more enjoyable.
If you don't know anyone, then try to be open to creating new friendships with the ladies at your golf clinics. Many ladies who learn together become lifelong golfing partners.
3. Set reasonable goals
In the first year you may only take a few lessons, plan to play your first nine holes, watch golf on Sunday afternoons, or book a girls's weekend golf getaway.
Whatever your goal is for year one, make sure they are realistic. Understand that acquiring a new skill is possible over time, but we need to allow our bodies to adjust and dedicate some time to practice in the first year.
Taking it slowly will leave you less frustrated.
4. Find equipment
You may wish to borrow a friend's set of clubs until you are ready to invest in your first set.
Many times, you only need a few clubs to get started. Be aware that club length, weight and technical design may inhibit your game's improvement and add to your frustration and inability to see results.
Also, grips wear down over time and will need replacing. Visit your local golf store to chat about new equipment, club fitting or to assess your existing set. While there, you can stock up on golf balls, tees, and of course clothing!
5. Have fun!
Being social, getting exercise and spending time with friends outside — this is the best part of the game.
Most people find the game challenging and this can become the primary motivator to improve. There is lots to learn from swing basics, to rules and course etiquette. You don't even have to keep score!
Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions. It has been my experience that people love to talk about golf.
Enjoy learning to golf this season!