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Dog friendly golf courses

Dog friendly golf courses

I’m back on the subject of dog-friendly golf courses because the other week I rather apprehensively decided to let my 2-year-old Springador Bing join me for a 9-hole Texas Scramble at Hamptworth Golf Club in Wiltshire. I was encouraged to do so by Advanced PGA Professional Katie Dawkins, the organiser of this women’s open event, as the emphasis of the day was FUN. I wasn’t sure that would be the case for me with Bing in tow, but you’ve got to start somewhere!

Bing loves to run and he’s a real puller, so I knew it was going to be tricky controlling my electric trolley with one hand and him with the other. Needless to say, on a couple of occasions and to the amusement of my dog-loving playing partners, the trolley fell over, clubs came crashing down, all while I was desperately trying to cling tightly to Bing’s lead to stop him from running off and causing more havoc on this lovely course. You can just imagine it!

I must admit, I was on tenterhooks, worrying about what he was going to do next like a naughty child, but other than barking a couple of times on my backswing, which was a good excuse for a bad shot, or wanting to chase the ball when one of us thinned it, he sat very nicely when we took our shots and he really amused me by lifting his head to follow the flight. Over 9 holes, he did calm down, so now we both know what to expect, I’ll do it again if I can access another dog-friendly course and I hope I might have encouraged you to do the same if you have a four-legged friend.

Aside from Bing’s first golf experience, I’m a big fan of relaxed and inclusive events like the one at Hamptworth, and that’s not just because I enjoyed the magnificent post-round afternoon tea. For the newbie golfers, it had all the fun elements and an atmosphere that will help to retain them in the game and for the more experienced players who regularly play competitive golf that requires serious focus, it was good for them to let their hair down! Best to keep your eye out for these type of events via social media including the Ladies Golf Lounge Facebook page and UK women's golf community, and for open events visit golfempire.co.uk.


By way of encouraging women and girls to the game, through events like this up and down the country at golf clubs and venues such as TopGolf and Pitch, there does seem to be a conscious effort to demonstrate that golf can be what you want it to be, whether that is a quick 9 holes, social golf or simply playing with family and friends on holiday. That’s fine, to spark interest one way or another is a good thing and most women will still probably want to take a traditional route into golf club membership, but golf culture is definitely changing. Take Bing and me as an example!

Happy golfing!

Alison Root

Women's Editor, Golf Monthly

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