RCGA makes significant strides

DARREN FRIESEN -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 6:49 AM ET

Getting women to take up golf isn't hard these days.

Getting them to stick with the game is another situation entirely and one the RCGA is taking very seriously.

As of last season, the RCGA implemented a pilot program designed specifically to help women with any and all of their golfing needs.

This year, that program has landed in Calgary.

And Heather Dobbin, the RCGA's program's manager of the women's division, is excited the impact Golf Strides will have on this hub of ladies on the links.

"We've got a lot of women starting but then we lose sight of them," explained Dobbin. "We're trying to figure out what they want and trying to make it a women friendly environment.

"The goal is for us to get more women involved in the game and try to keep more women in the game."

In order to do this, the RCGA has handpicked several pros in their system to spearhead the Golf Strides program.

Their goal is to help women understand and improve on all aspects of the game, so as to keep them teeing off.

Recent studies have shown more than half of people picking up the sticks these days are women, which equates to about 20% of all golfers are females.

"They're going to get their questions answered without feeling embarrassed and intimidated," said Dobbin of the program. "These pros are there to help them and to let them know that they care about women's needs and help them improve their games."

More specifically, Golf Strides is designed to help female players reach their goals and objectives through swing and equipment analysis.

For $90 ($70 for RCGA member) each participant will get a one-on-one session with a CPGA pro, who will make recommendations from everything to etiquette to fashion. For more information and to sign up visit www.golfstrides.ca.

SPIRIT LIVES ON: A popular rumour floating around Calgary's golf community lately has been that River Spirit is on the verge of bankruptcy.

But majority owner Cole Bygrove told the Sun yesterday his 27-hole facility located off Hwy. 8 is doing just fine.

"If this is the brink of bankruptcy, I want to be on it a lot more often," laughed Bygrove, who said he's heard the rumours to.

"I was golfing with a guy the other day and he asked me if I was the new owner because he'd heard we'd gone under.

"Things are going incredible. Just the normal growing pains of a new course."

River Spirit has been open since the spring of 2004. For tee times call 247-4837.


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