A group of Muslim women have had their first taste of golf as part of a groundbreaking new coaching programme launched by the Muslim Golf Association and love.golf.
The introductory experience at Stonebridge Golf Club near Coventry – specially designed with Muslim women in mind – sold out within 12 hours, attracting 25 women and a waiting list of more than 40.
Participants were invited to wear traditional clothing and took to the golf course for their very first taste of the game led by PGA professional Hannah Crump, who hosted a fun-filled 90-minute love.golf experience.
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Fahra Bhatti, one of the participants, said: “Today was phenomenal. It totally exceeded expectations and everyone is absolutely buzzing from the session. If you’d told me a year ago I would be playing golf, I wouldn’t have believed you, but here I am. I absolutely loved it and the atmosphere was so fun, encouraging and supportive.
“I have always thought of golf as a sport for white, middle-class men, but today has shown me that it’s not and anyone can enjoy it.”
love.golf is an empowering group coaching experience for women which takes place on the golf course, in a rewarding environment that gives them the freedom to explore a new skill, discover their potential and bond with a supportive group of like-minded women.
Amir Malik, CEO of the Muslim Golf Association, described the day as “history being made.”
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“I’ve been inundated with messages from the women who took part,” said Malik. “They thoroughly enjoyed their experience and are eager to continue.
“The level of take-up for the day was unprecedented. It’s triggered enquiries from all corners of the UK and now we want to take the experience to as many Muslim women as possible.”
Globally, women make up just 24% of golfers. But market research indicates there is strong interest in golf, with nearly a third (29%) of non-golfing women saying they are interested in taking up the sport, attracted by the opportunity to be outdoors, relax and spend time with family friends.
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Alastair Spink, the founder of love.golf, added: “The day has demonstrated the power of making people feel welcome in an environment they would not typically expect to be.
“We’re all incredibly buoyed by the success of the day and excited about the potential to bring this experience to many more Muslim women.”
Following the success of the event at Stonebridge Golf Club, plans are currently being put in place for more taster days in select UK cities.