A new-found interest for golf has seen a surge in participation and membership among female players at a blossoming north-east country club. Kippie Lodge, set within the bounds of Aberdeen yet surrounded by the picturesque scenery of the Dee valley, has been the perfect sport & leisure retreat since the early 1970s. Once dominated by male businessman in the oil trade – the club is affiliated to Scottish Golf as Aberdeen Petroleum – it is now seeing an upsurge in ladies keen to take up the game and gain handicaps.
The picturesque 9-hole golf course in the grounds opened in the early 1990s and provides a challenge for all levels of player, with a family-friendly ethos. Director of Golf Keil Beveridge has been working at the venue with groups of ladies through Scottish Golf’s Get into Golf coaching programme, while Laura Murray, who recently won her first pro event, continues the female theme through her attachment to Kippie Lodge. Kippie Lodge offers a delightful test Such has been the interest from women club members at Kippie, they have now taken a leaf out of the men’s book by setting up their own ladies golf association, with 45 joining in order to have fun, learn the game and perhaps gain handicaps to start playing medals next season. Currently, only six of the ladies are members of other city clubs. “Never before has there been so much interest in ladies golf,” says Nicky Caldwell, marketing co-ordinator at Kippie. “We have Keil here and we do ladies coaching, but a group of ladies have now set up their own golf association within the country club. It’s just gone from strength to strength really. “It’s never been so busy with the ladies.
Groups of men go out, but all of a sudden these ladies have come out wanting to play and wanting to get involved in golf. They’re not feeling pressurised, if they are a beginner or intermediate, they can join this group of ladies and play. It’s a group of ladies who have got together who are learning, enjoying and playing the game. “They are trying to encourage other ladies to come along, saying ‘you don’t need to have a handicap, come along for a bit of fun. If you want to join us brilliant, we can then look at getting you a handicap’. It’s golf at Kippie for ladies. It’s a club within a club.” The lady members meet for golf every Wednesday and Saturday, numbering around 20 regularly, with more expected next season. One of the beginner ladies, Fiona Willox, has even already notched a hole in one, at the 4th hole in pouring rain! Susan, Chappell –Smith, who runs the ladies’ golf association at Kippie, added: “The ladies are already playing a longer course, which allows for handicaps and competitions. The greens staff at Kippie have altered the tee positions to comply with this and new cards have been printed with the revised yardages. “We have 45 paid up members and have been able to register and issue handicaps to 24 ladies since the course was changed to allow for the required yardage. “Over the winter we will devise a competition schedule for 2017, incorporating various ideas we have to retain the interest of the ladies – allowing for a mix of competitions and fun games. “We will be playing fun bounce games on Wednesday mornings as well as Saturday’s during the winter, weather permitting, and have also organised social functions and away days to other courses, just for fun golf.”