WIDNES Golf Club’s drive to bring more women into the sport is proving a big hit.

The club launched its own ladies academy, which includes a special passport scheme for newcomers to chart their progress as well as providing a pathway into membership.

Programmes can last up to five years following a free taster session, with the ultimate aim of recruiting more women as full-time members.

“Ladies are not only learning how to play golf but have made new friends and are having fun,” ladies liaison officer Anne Myatt said.

“We have held six-hole competitions with our existing ladies to ensure the new players feel integrated into the ladies section.

“These comps have proved to be very successful and great fun and the ladies have asked if we can organise these more regularly!

“We picked a five-year programme to ensure we provide a clear pathway and structure for the ladies.

“Our ultimate goal is for them to join as full members, but this approach enables them to learn in a comfortable environment and if progressing well move up to the next stage sooner.”

The club are now hosting a family open day on Sunday, May 5, aimed at all generations.

Adam McAlister, club support officer for the Lancashire Golf Development Group, has hailed the impact the academy has had.

“The Academy at Widnes provides a clear pathway into the sport and on into club membership and is a fun, friendly introduction to the sport,” he said.

"Expert coaching and the welcoming support of club members means this is an ideal way to give golf a go.

 "The five-year programme offers an innovative and flexible approach to those who may not feel they have the skills to play in competitions or the time to get out on the course as much as they want to adapt to life as a club golfer.

 "This kind of initiative is typical of many clubs in Lancashire and is making a big difference to introducing new players to the sport and securing the long-term future of our clubs."