The R&A has unveiled a new Women in Golf Charter as part of the organisation’s drive to increase the number of women and girls participating in golf and to encourage more opportunities for women to work within the golf industry.
The Women in Golf Charter aims to inspire an industry-wide commitment to developing a more inclusive culture within golf around the world and to enable more women and girls to flourish and maximise their potential at all levels of the sport.
Adoption of the Charter will also require national federations and other golf bodies to build on current initiatives and develop new projects that will focus on encouraging more women and girls to play golf and stay within the sport as members of clubs, while also empowering women to enjoy successful careers working within the golf industry.
The Women in Golf Charter specifically aims to:
- Strengthen the focus on gender balance and provide a united position for the golf industry
- Commit national federations and organisations to support measures targeted at increasing participation of women, girls and families in golf
- Call on signatories to take positive action to support the recruitment, retention and progression of women working at all levels of the sport
- Set individual targets for national federations for participation and membership and annual reporting of progress
- Develop an inclusive environment for women and girls within golf
Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, outlined its plans to work in collaboration with its affiliated organisations, partners and the wider golf industry to achieve these goals at a launch event at The View from The Shard, one of London’s most iconic venues.
Hosted by renowned sports broadcaster Hazel Irvine, the event also featured presentations and panel discussions with guest speakers including Nick Pink, Chief Executive of England Golf, Sky Sports’ Golf Presenter Sarah Stirk, Chyloe Kurdas, National Female Participation Manager at Golf Australia, and Liz Dimmock, Founder of Moving Ahead.
The event was attended by representatives of golf organisations worldwide who have pledged their support as signatories of the Charter, including the European Tour, the Ladies’ European Tour, the European Golf Association, the Professional Golfers’ Association, the European Disability Golf Association, Golf Australia, Golf Canada, the Golfing Union of Ireland, England Golf, the Irish Ladies Golf Union and Scottish Golf.
Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said, “We are asking the golf industry to recognise the real importance of increasing the number of women and girls playing golf and empowering more women to enjoy successful careers at all levels of the sport.
“The Charter is a strong statement of intent from the golf industry that it has to change and a commitment on behalf of all of us to take measures designed to achieve positive change for women, girls and families. This is crucial to growing participation in the sport in the years ahead.
“We ask our affiliates and partners around the world to pledge their support and commitment to achieving this vision and to help us ensure that we have a thriving sport in 50 years’ time that our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren can enjoy.
“The R&A plans to increase our overall investment in women’s, girls’ and mixed golf to £80 million over the next ten years, a clear indication of our determination to develop the game in this area.”
Tracey Crouch MP, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, said, “We are committed to creating an environment where women and girls can succeed at every level of sport.
“Interest in women’s sports is at an all-time high, with increased global interest and record attendances. I welcome The R&A’s strong commitment to encourage more women into golf and nurture future generations of talent.”
Liz Dimmock, Founder of Moving Ahead, said, “The case for a more balanced and inclusive culture for golf is clear and a real cultural shift is required within the sport to create a more equitable participation base that reflects the demands of current and future generations.
“Women are also under-represented at every level of the governance and business of the sport and this needs to be proactively addressed. The Women in Golf Charter is a signal to the industry that change is required, which can be achieved with a strong, positive vision for golf.”
The Women in Golf Charter is another positive development for the sport following The R&A’s successful merger with the Ladies’ Golf Union last year. In 2018, the organisation also launched the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship which was staged at Sentosa, Singapore in February while the new Girls Under 16 Open Championship was played at Fulford, York last month.
The R&A also provided an initial three-year funding package of £375,000 to its affiliates in Australia, England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales to support the appointment of new development managers to work on increasing participation by women and girls.