A TEAM of Inverclyde golfers are leading a drive to encourage more women and girls to take up the sport.

Gourock Golf Club’s free Women Into Golf programme will run weekly from April 18 until the end of May.

The sessions, held on Thursday evenings, are open to women and girls who have never tried golf before – as well as those looking to get back into the sport.

Participants will have the chance to learn how to hit the ball in the club’s studio, before getting out on the various parts of the course.

Ladies captain Liz Rankin hopes the programme will provide a ‘welcoming’ atmosphere for those keen to learn more about the sport.

Greenock Telegraph: Gourock Golf ClubGourock Golf Club (Image: Newsquest)

She told the Tele: “It’s very much a male dominated sport, but I think if we have groups like this throughout the country, women will start to feel more confident about it and come up to give it a try.

“I think we’ve proven that there is a successful formula. It’s about making people feel comfortable.

“Golf perhaps isn’t one of the things that girls in school think about getting into either, but you don’t know what skills you have until you try something.”

Women Into Golf convenor Morag Cowe added: “I think it’s also very useful, especially for youngsters, to learn a wee bit of discipline.

“You’ve got to be disciplined on the golf course and you’ve got to keep to the rules.

"That’s something we spend a lot of time on – the rules and the etiquette.

OTHER NEWS: Inverclyde band Bride to play at Cleats in Gourock this week

“The programme is good for participants because they’re able to meet people who are at the same stage as them.

“That helps, because if you come along and you don’t know anyone - it can be very difficult to become integrated in golf.”

Gourock Golf Club’s ladies’ section was recognised at last year’s ICON Awards, run by Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce.

The group took home the award for business growth after seeing a surge in its ladies’ membership in recent years.

The club currently has around 90 women signed up – with around a third having come through the Women Into Golf programme since its launch in 2018.

Liz said: “Not all the ladies we’ve coached have joined this club.

“Some have gone on to other clubs depending on where they stay.

“We’re encouraging people to take up the sport.

“If our club gains from it, that’s great. But the objective is really to get people to come out and enjoy what we enjoy.”

The programme is open to those aged ten and over. Anyone interested in taking part is asked to contact secretary@gourockgolfclub.com.