A group of Muslim women sampled golf for the first time as part of a pioneering new training program launched by the Islamic Golf Association and love.golf.
The introductory experience at Stonebridge Golf Club near Coventry – designed especially for Muslim women – sold out within 12 hours, and attracted 25 women and a waiting list of more than 40.
Participants were invited to wear traditional attire and came to the golf course for their first taste of the game led by PGA professional Hannah Crump, who hosted a fun-filled 90-minute love.golf experience.
One participant, Fahra Bhatti, said, “Today was exceptional. I totally exceeded expectations and everyone was absolutely raucous from the session. Had you told me a year ago I was going to play golf, I wouldn’t believe you, but I’m here. I absolutely loved it and the atmosphere was so fun, encouraging and supportive.”
“I always thought of golf as a sport for white, middle-class men, but today you showed me that it is not a sport and anyone can enjoy it.”
love.golf is an empowering group training experience for women that takes place on the golf course, in a rewarding environment that gives them the freedom to explore a new skill, discover their potential and connect with a supportive group of like-minded women.
Amir Malik, chief executive of the Islamic Golf Federation, described the day as “history being made”.
“I was overwhelmed with messages from the participating women,” Malik said. They thoroughly enjoyed their experience and are eager to continue.
“The level of uptake for today was unprecedented. It has sparked inquiries from across the UK and now we want to pass the experience on to as many Muslim women as possible.”
Globally, women make up only 24% of golfers. But market research indicates a strong interest in golf, with nearly a third (29%) of women who do not golf saying they are interested in playing sports, attracted by the opportunity to be outdoors, relax and spend time with family friends.
Alistair Spink, founder of love.golf added: “This day demonstrated the power of making people feel welcome in an environment they would not normally expect.
“We are all incredibly supported by the success of today and excited that we can offer this experience to so many Muslim women.”
Following the success of the event at Stonebridge Golf Club, plans are currently being made for more tasting days in select UK cities.