Paisley PGA Professional Claire-Marie Macaulay is giving local girls’ golf a boost by organising free of charge coaching sessions for youngsters keen to try the sport.
Macaulay, the wife of former European Tour golfer Callum, has
established a ten-week programme for school-age girls, taking place
at her home club.
Her goal is to give the youngsters, aging from 6-17, the skills
to be able to further an interest in golf, ultimately in the hope
that they will become members of a golf club in the future.
Social media advertising, as well as notifying members at
Paisley Golf Club, has been a valuable tool in allowing Macaulay to
organise two Saturday morning coaching sessions, while funding was
provided by ClubGolf Regional Manager for the West, Craig
This, Macaulay explained, has helped to give a valuable first
experience of golf to more girls than would have otherwise been
"When I was younger, I had the opportunity to be coached, so I
want to extend the same opportunity to these girls," said
"The best way I thought to do that was offer free coaching. Now
we have two classes: the first is a primary school one and the
second is for girls from high school.
"A free taster has allowed us to get more girls giving golf a go
and it is always much easier to get girls interested when they are
in a bigger group."
Six sessions have now taken place at Paisley and, following the
festive break, four additional weeks have been scheduled for the
It is hoped that timing the end of coaching to coincide with the
traditional beginning of the golf season will encourage the kids to
take out their first ever golf club membership, whether that is as
a member of Paisley or elsewhere.
This will also coincide with ClubGolf's £20 Junior Membership
Offer, which could help to reduce the cost of ClubGolfers' first
foray into a golf club by a considerable sum.
Encouraged by the progress already being made by her 20-strong
group, Macaulay stressed the importance of offering an 'only girls
allowed' introduction to golf.
"Some of the girls had never hit a golf ball before and some
were genuinely shocked after the first week that they were able to
"The wee ones go straight in and don't care what they look like,
but the older ones are a little more apprehensive.
"I think, being a female coach, they can relate to me a little
better. I try to make it relaxed and fun, and it's good to see them
joking around. I've been there and they feel like they don't need
to hit it as well whereas, with a guy, they may be thinking they
don't want to make a fool of themselves."
So far, Macaulay's coaching has focussed around the basic
principles of putting, chipping, iron play and driving, with a view
to having each girl playing at least one hole on the golf course by
the end of the ten-week block.
Many have already surpassed the personal goal they set
themselves at the outset and this, along with the support received
from the club, gives Macaulay encouragement that it could see a
boost in the number of female juniors visiting the club on a
"The club thinks it's brilliant because the ladies section
numbers have gone down and everyone wants to see more girls at the
"A few girls have already said they are going to join and, if
they do, they will be joining as a group so they have people to
play with, which is great.
"I'm hoping to do something similar again next year as many of
the members are seeing the girls and thinking I might get my
daughter or niece into that, so hopefully the word is spreading and
it's something we find some success with."
ClubGolf Regional Manager for the West, Chalmers, is delighted
the work Macaulay is doing has attracted great interest from girls
in the local area and could help Paisley boost its young female
He hopes that the successful work being done at Paisley makes
people aware of the need to create a social nature to coaching for
"It's great to see the girls-only coaching sessions taking place
at Paisley and Claire-Marie deserves a lot of credit for all of the
hard work she has put in to make her idea a reality.
"In the vast majority of golf clubs across Scotland boys tend to
outnumber girls by some way so we have to make sure we do as much
as we can to make joining a golf club an inviting proposition for
"Establishing girls-only coaching in order for them to build up
a group of friends prior to joining the club, and giving them the
skills they need to enjoy their golf if they do become members,
seems like a great solution to this issue."
The aim of ClubGolf is to create a development pathway from entry level through to the highest levels of achievement, enabling increased access to golf, higher participation levels, improved standards of performance, and sustained growth in the future.