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Conwy’s world first boosts women and girls golf

THE first golf club in the world to sign up to the R&A Women in Golf Charter continues to make a big impact on equality of golf in Wales.
Curtis Cup host venue Conwy Golf Club in North Wales felt signing up would bring focus to efforts already in place, becoming the first club in Wales to have been awarded the Charter and – as it turned out – the first in the world.
There are now 43 clubs in Wales which have either been awarded the Charter or are working towards it, part of worldwide progress on equality and diversity led by the R&A.
The commitment has seen ever-improving equality at the club with a growing junior girls section, strong New2Golf section which is mainly women, increased equality in the clubhouse and female club presidents every other year.
“It was a big statement to become the first in the world to sign up,” said Conwy general manager Matt Parsley. “We felt signing up to the Charter was the right thing to do and something we wanted to do.
“Because we are hosting the Curtis Cup, which was initially due to be last year, our mindset was on women’s golf anyway. It is also a huge privilege to be involved in anything to do with the R&A.
“We wanted more ways of trying to lead women and junior girls into golf through the Curtis Cup, so the Charter seemed a fantastic fit with the direction of our strategy.
“We thought it would work hand in glove with what we were doing. Even though we were already doing a lot of work with women and girls, it did focus our minds more.”
There have been increased numbers of women on the club committees, building on the work of a strong ladies section of more than 100 members and a club policy which already saw the role of president alternating between men and women each year.
The club has female youth members for the first time, with former members rejoining, while the junior section has increased the representation of girls four-fold.
There is a successful New2Golf scheme which is almost entirely female, part of a Wales Golf programme which looks to teach people the skills to play golf with the view to going on to become full club members.
The club are still due to host the Curtis Cup – the top ladies amateur golf competition between the United States up against Great Britain and Ireland in a Ryder Cup-style format.
It is now due to be played at the end of August, while the club are also set to host the European Ladies Team Championships in 2022.
“When I came to Conwy it was already a progressive club,” said Parsley. “It made us commit more to that process through every part of the club.
“It was helpful to have put our targets down in writing through the Charter, that can range from the focus of the golf pros to putting baby changing facilities into the clubhouse.
“We don’t see any barriers for ladies, trying to make our club fully inclusive and family orientated.
“We are also fortunate to have Ladies European Tour winner Amy Boulden as a member of the club, it is great to have someone so high profile promoting the Curtis Cup and women’s golf.”
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