The R&A Women in Golf Charter

A commitment to a more inclusive culture within golf

We, Great Torrington Golf Club, call on everyone involved in golf to play their part in developing a culture that values women’s involvement in every aspect of the sport, from participating to pursuing a career.

Our aim is to increase the number of women and girls playing and working in golf.

  • To achieve this goal and to enable women to flourish throughout golf, we recognise the need for a fundamental shift in culture. There is a clear ethical need for change and the potential economic benefits of growing the sport through more women and girls playing are substantial.
  • The R&A commits to playing a leading role in this process and to working with affiliates, partners and the wider golf industry towards achieving this goal.
  • In signing this Charter, we Great Torrington GC commit to making tangible efforts to develop a welcoming and inspiring environment for women. We will do more to attract women into golf, to remain, and to have rewarding careers.


The Charter:

  • Is a statement of intent from the golf industry and Great Torrington GC, to unite and to focus gender balance at all levels
  • Commits us all to supporting measures to increase the number of women, girls and families playing golf
  • Calls for positive action to encourage women to pursue careers in all areas of the sport
  • Recognises the need for change that creates an inclusive environment within golf and our golf club


Signatories commit to activate this Charter by:

  • Developing and implementing an internal strategy for enhancing gender balance at every level
  • Establishing senior management responsibility and accountability for gender balance and inclusion, which is discussed and reviewed at committee/board level with Great Torrington GC
  • Strongly advocating more women and girls playing and working in golf.
  • Working with key stakeholders to develop and embed a more inclusive culture.
  • Promoting the Charter and our goal of encouraging more women and girls to play golf and work in golf.


How we at Great Torrington GC Plan to achieve this

  1. To achieving and maintain 30% female representation on our Board of Directors by actively promoting these positions linked to appropriate role descriptors that are not gender specific
  2. Deliver 3 initiatives each year targeting women and girls
  3. Formally promote inclusion to the wider community via the club website, social media accounts and local community groups
  4. Promote a membership pathway, for women/girls and families to progress within the club
  5. To become a SafeGolf accredited club and ensure policies and procedures remain up to date
  6. Have designated Champions/Mentors within the club who can assist and support new participants and members
  7. Appoint a designated Charter Champion within the club who can assist with the promotion and reporting of the charter


Signed on Behalf of Great Torrington GC:


Club Manager/Secretary: Tony Gooch                                                        Signed:  Tony Gooch

Date: 1st February 2021


Charter Champion: Jackie Saunders                                                            Signed: Jackie Saunders

Date:   1st February 2021

These objectives will be embedded into the club business plan and reviewed on an annual basis, to ensure that this inclusive commitment remains robust.




Current Situation

How this will be achieved



To achieve and maintain 30% female representation on our Board of Directors by actively promoting these positions linked to appropriate role descriptors that are not gender specific


·         Currently there are 2 women board members out of a total of 7 (29%).

·         A sub-committee comprising 5 people, 4 of whom are women, have specific responsibility for increasing women membership numbers.

·         We will continue to encourage women to become board members when a vacant position arises

·         As our Girls and Women into Golf strategy develops, we would expect women to feel more involved with the club and feel in a stronger position to become board members.

·         We are ensuring that women on the board have specific leadership tasks – for example become Deputy Welfare Officer including a responsibility to act as women’s liaison for SafeGolf.

·         One women board member is also Charter Champion

·         Review status prior to each AGM

·         We will continue to encourage women to come forward as board members.

·         The WiG subcommittee (4 women and 1 man), will regularly review progress and plan future actions.

·         As the percentage of female club members increases as a result of the WiG project the aim will be to encourage their involvement in club management.


Deliver at least 3 initiatives each year targeting women and girls and families

In line with our women and girls strategy this year we have offered the following:

·         3 Taster days for women and girls (with families),

·         Free coaching

·         Follow up social events – a ‘Wine and 9’ social evening was held.

·         Reduced membership costs to our academy

·         Purchased golf equipment for female players.

·         The Lady Captain has organised mentoring support for new female members.

·         We will continue our programme of these initiatives during 2021, and through subsequent years. Activities planned for 2021 include Taster days; ‘fun’ 3 to 9 hole competitions and summer evening and weekend events.

·         Specific encouragement of girls through links with local schools and on-going liaison with our existing Junior Section.

·         Agreement has been reached with the pro at RND who is providing coaching and will be involved in our promotional events.

·         Build on previous community engagement initiatives e.g. a new female member joined as a result of joint work with Torridge District Council in a project to encourage increased activity.

·         The Ladies Captain has agreed to be the ‘Charter Champion’ and has organised mentoring support for new female members.

·         Continue and maintain our SafeGolf accreditation.

·         Research and implement appropriate England Golf promotions for Women and Girls.

·         To date (January 2021) two women’s taster/coaching sessions and one girls specific session have taken place. Further activity has been postponed due to Covid-19 but these and the remaining programme will continue again as soon as possible.

·         So far six new women members have joined the club. This brings the total to 43

·         Our target is for 20% of the membership to comprise women and girls within the next two years.

·         The WiG sub-committee will continue to meet (once Covid allows) to promote and monitor our project.


Formally promote inclusion to the wider community via the club website, social media accounts and local community groups


·         Inclusion is currently promoted through present members and contacts with schools, and through the Junior section.  In 2020, all existing members were encouraged to bring a female friends and family to a Taster event.

·         Members are kept up to date with the WiG project as part of regular Newsletters sent to all members from the Club Chairman and General Manager – e.g. the most recent newsletter (January 2021) mentioned the refurbishment of the female toilets in the latest Lockdown.

·         Board meeting minutes are available to all existing members.


Future promotion will include;

·         Advertising in local news media

·         Advertising through gyms, medical centres and women’s organisations such as the WI.

·         Promotion for girls will continue through contacts with local schools.

·         Personal contacts of current members

·         Community groups who regularly use the bar and restaurant facilities (Local History, Rotary) will be encouraged to take part in WiG events.

·         We will distribute a targeted questionnaire in the local area to understand how women and girls perceive golf and golf clubs, and what would encourage them to participate.

·         An overhaul of our website is planned for this year to improve accessibility and information sharing. 

·         We are a small friendly club with staff and members well known in the local community. Our General Manager is happy to meet potential new members and show them round in person.

·         Progress is reviewed at each Board meeting as well as through the WiG subcommittee.

·         Feedback from questionnaires will be reviewed and implemented where possible.

·         There is a ‘menu’ of methods for feedback which members regularly use including word of mouth; email; website; AGM.

·         Increased use and upgrading IT is part of the Club’s 5-year strategic plan.


Promote a membership pathway, for women/girls and families to progress within the club



·         2 Year Academy Pathway offered with a reduced fee for each year and inclusion of flexible coaching sessions. In 2020 5 new female members joined Year 1 Academy and all 5 have re-joined in 2021 for Year 2.  In 2021 (despite Lockdown) 1 new female member has joined the Year 1 Academy to date.

·         A mentoring scheme has been organised for new female members.

·         A social event in autumn 2020 provided the opportunity for new Academy members to meet existing female members.

·         Our Junior section is successful with all Juniors attending regular sessions.

·         A welcome pack aimed at female members is available providing information etc.

·         All new female members are contacted by the Ladies Captain and mentoring offered if wished.

·         The Academy pathway is promoted at Taster events etc; regularly monitored and reviewed.  It is also promoted on the website and via social media.

·         The General Manager and all staff are very welcoming and promote Women and Girls into Golf.

·         The Golf Professional is very flexible and able to meet new members in the evenings and weekends.

·         A girl’s pathway specifically working with the Junior Organisers.

·         Taster events plans for whole families in school holidays.

·         On-going promotion via social media; website and communication to members as well as specific advertising for events such as Taster Days.

·         The retention of the Year 1 2020 Academy members into Year 2021 is excellent progress.

·         Academy Year 1 2021 membership to increase to 5 members (currently 1) when clubs re-open.

·         Membership numbers regularly monitored by the Board and WiG sub-committee.

·         Further liaison with the Junior Organisers, Club Welfare Officer and Charter Champion to take place.


To become a SafeGolf accredited club and ensure policies and procedures remain up to date

·         Adopted the required club policies

·         Appointed a Club Welfare Officer and a female Deputy Welfare Officer

·         DBS checks are obtained for relevant club personnel

·         Club staff and volunteers have obtained any required qualifications -PGA professional is included on PGA SafeGolf coaches register (under RND).

·         Our welfare officer is currently liaising with Brad Bodinnar regarding our approval for accreditation for SafeGolf. 


·         The club aims to meet the SafeGolf accreditation as soon as possible and no later than March 2021.


Impact measures

·         To capture and record a baseline of all the key measures we are committing to within the charter including membership data for our club to determine the impact of the charter

·         Formally share progress and updates/changes to the charter with England Golf moving forward

·         Continue to use the Clubv1 Systems for data collection and analysis.

·         To provide annual measures to help determine the impact of the charter

·         Our current target is for 20% of the membership to comprise women and girls by end 2023.


Promotion of the charter

·         To appoint a charter champion utilising the role description provided

·         The champion will be responsible for the promotion, activation and reporting on the progress of the charter.

·         The club will formally display the charter commitments internally and externally – noticeboards, website, social media, membership packs and utilise the England Golf press release

·         The charter champion is a co-opted Board member.

·         The Charter Champion will actively promote the position of Women and Girls within the club.

·         The Charter Champion to provide England Golf with an annual report on progress on commitments made