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Golf pro Tom Muchmore’s ladies’ academy at Ashford GC giving women the chance to learn and play the game on their own terms

A ladies’ academy at Ashford Golf Club are ready to welcome the next intake in September - and there’s still time to join.

Golf professional Tom Muchmore is teaching beginners from his set-up at Ashford - having moved his operation from Kingsnorth Golf Club a year ago - and has been delighted with the results.

Ladies hone their skills at PGA professional Tom Muchmore’s Ashford GC academy
Ladies hone their skills at PGA professional Tom Muchmore’s Ashford GC academy

His aim is to remove barriers stopping women from taking up golf, making it easy for them to get involved and, just as importantly, to stay involved. His first cohort are ready to leave after learning the game under his guidance and newcomers are set to start.

Muchmore said: “We started a push on ladies’ golf in the early part of this year. I think since the pandemic there has been a huge growth in participation numbers for ladies’ golf and I was just trying to find a way to harness that.

“It's really easy from a man’s perspective to get into golf because you buy a set of clubs and there’s a club of 600 members, there’s 550 men so you can get yourself in quite easily, but for the ladies it’s a little bit harder, because less of them already knows someone that plays.

“Sometimes there isn’t that link. My idea was to create some classes that get people together and go through the same kind of pathway at the same stages. We built it from there, really.”

The original programme started in January with a group of up to 25 ladies who had never played before.

Muchmore said: “We’re trying to find a way to take someone that had never played the game before into being a member of a golf club.

“Normally what we find with coaching, especially one-to-one coaching, is it’s easy to get someone going in terms of playing but if they haven’t got somebody to play with, they can drop out.

“The group stuff allows them to create that bond and friendship and instead of finishing the lessons and then just leaving there’s a way of actually getting out there.”

There’s an academy membership at the club, with participants having their own tees to play off, on what is a challenging course. The club have helped the members with equipment and paying towards lessons, too.

Muchmore said: “We’ve got a large proportion of those in the academy that are actually moving into club membership, so they’ve gone from never picking up a club to now joining a golf club.

“It’s hard to take someone from never playing into a golf club within seven or eight months and that’s the goal.

“I’ve now got a new intake as of September, of completely new starters. We’re starting all over again ready to push people through the programme.”

Anyone interested in joining can still get involved with the new intake and Muchmore is offering a free trial session.

“I offer anybody one free trial session, so no obligation. There’s no costs, all the equipment is provided, you can turn up and have a go and if it’s for you then great, if not we move on, that's fine.”

Classes run on Saturday mornings at Ashford Golf Club. You can email Muchmore at tommuchmore@live.com

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