A false urban legend has endured for years claiming the word GOLF is derived from the acronym “Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden”. Not only is it untrue it is it is a far cry from a new commitment to a more inclusive culture within golf. Hawkstone Park Golf Club has become the first golf establishment in Shropshire to achieve the women in golf charter to increase the number of women and girls playing and working in golf.

The charter was brought in by the prestigious R&A Golf Club and is supported by England Golf and many other organisations from across the industry. The aim is to ignite a culture shift to change how the sport is viewed.

England Golf said, “We want to recruit, retain and support women and girls across all levels of the game and are committed to increasing the proportion of females playing golf in England from 17% to 20% by 2021.” England Golf have committed to a range of campaigns which includes running innovative recruitment campaigns such as Get into Golf and Girls Golf Rocks.

Hawkstone Park, who has adopted the charter, is home to three golf courses surrounded Grade I listed landscape and the famous 18th Century Follies Park.

Lewis Baker, Director of Golf Hawkstone Park, said, “It is fantastic that we have been the first golf establishment to achieve the golf charter. We are committed to putting this pledge in to action. We want to ensure we have at least 30% female representation on the Board of Directors and we will have a designated mentor within the club to support new female members.

“We will aim to deliver at least two initiatives each year which target women or girls, aligned with key England Golf campaigns. We will also promote membership pathways that encourage women and girls to progress within the club.

“Progress in making golf a more inclusive sport has been too slow. The Women in Golf charter is fundamental to accelerating change in the industry. We will do all we can to support the charter and hope to see more inclusivity at clubs across the UK.”

Hawkstone Park Golf Club is currently in its centenary year. A new clubhouse opened earlier this year located near to the 18th hole, named Lyle’s Bar after twice major winner Sandy Lyle who spent his formative years at Hawkstone Park. The club is also home to European Tour Player and local, Ashley Chesters.

Book a tee time at www.hawkstone.co.uk/golf.