Higgs powers women’s golf in Walsall

Higgs powers women’s golf in Walsall


PGA Professional Daniel Higgs has helped to create a surge in female members at Walsall Golf Club.

Higgs, who has worked at the club since 2011, decided to put on a love.golf taster session for women looking to take up the game earlier this year and has seen instant results.

It all started four years ago when Higgs' then boss, Head Professional Richard Lambert, wanted to encourage more women to take up golf and increase the female membership at Walsall.

They started working with love.golf and put on a programme to invite women to come to the club and have a taster session.

Higgs commented: “At the start we had a big group come and try it out at the club, naturally you’ll get a drop off in terms of numbers as there will be those that take it more seriously than others but as a result of the programme, we have had 12 women members coming through over the last four years which is encouraging but we don’t want to stop there.”

Fast forward to April this year and Higgs decided to organise a taster session for women looking to get into golf and it was a great success with around 30 coming along on the day.

Higgs continued: “Out of the 30 that came along, 20 then decided to sign up to a 6-week love.golf coaching course which was really pleasing to see.”

“We went back to basics and emailed the club’s existing database. The majority of our members are men and they relayed details of the emails to their wives and partners, as well as this it was also a case of using the oldest but most effective method of marketing - word of mouth. Once a few women had signed up, they started telling their friends and they told their friends and so on.”

Since the event in April, 20 of the original 30 women have taken up a love.golf membership and coaching programme.

Backed by ground-breaking research, love.golf is a proven approach to women’s coaching, delivered by a community of coaches who engage, inspire and progress women in the sport.

Higgs has also been creative in how he is encouraging existing members to mix with the beginners. In July he decided to put on a nine-hole Texas Scramble for all of the love.golf members.

So how has this influx of women members impacted the golf club? Higgs explains: “It’s really important to us to build a women’s membership here at Walsall. Being totally honest, you could see some of the male members - whose wives were taking up the game - were a little unsure to begin with but now they realise it means they get to spend more time here too.

"As a result of more women joining the club, that has had a direct impact on more juniors coming along to try out. This in turn is creating a real family feel to the club and is mirroring how clubs operate on the continent where they really embrace a culture of family at their courses.”

Higgs is now seeing an uptake in both junior coaching and from the male members too, who have witnessed the coaching sessions the women have been having and have wanted to continue to develop their own game as a result. 

Higgs added: “I have found coaching women a lot easier, as is the case with beginners the lessons are a lot more basic and it’s made me realise that sometimes less is more and you don’t need to bombard your student with too much information all at once. It really is a case of keeping things simple.

“For me, we need to be giving everyone an opportunity to play golf. It’s all about letting people have a go at something and seeing if they like it.

"It is quite interesting because in the past when I have approached women to try golf out, they’re adamant it’s not a game for them but as soon as they have a go, they soon get into it and enjoy it. Hopefully, other clubs can see what we have done here and replicate it as everyone should have an opportunity to play the game.”

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