Local girls’ golf in and around the Paisley area has been given a massive boost after Paisley PGA Professional Claire-Marie Macaulay began organising free of charge coaching sessions for youngsters keen to try the sport.
Macaulay, who is the wife of former European Tour pro Callum and works at Paisley Golf Club, created a ten-week programme that gives girls, aged from six to 17, the chance to learn the basics of golf, in the hope that it will help establish a further interest in the game.
"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 hit it,” - Claire Marie Macaulay, Paisley PGA Professional
The Paisley pro was able to organise the coaching sessions after ClubGolf regional manager for the West, Craig Chalmers, provided funding. To date, six sessions have taken place at Paisley, with four additional sessions scheduled for early Spring.
“When I was younger, I had the opportunity to be coached, so I want to extend the same opportunity to these girls,” said Macaulay. “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.”
Paisley sessions already showing signs of success
Macaulay has been encouraged by the progress being made by her group, which is already 20-strong, and she highlighted the importance of offering sessions for girls only.
“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 hit it,” she added. “The wee one 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.”
So far the coaching at Paisley has focused around getting the youngsters to understand the basics of putting, chipping, iron play and driving. Macaulay to hoping to have each girl play at least one hole on the golf course by the end of the programme.
It is also hoped that the timing of the coaching, to finish at the traditional start of the golfing season, will encourage the youngsters taking part to continue to play the game in the future.