In this featured Female and Family Friendly Facility John King of the EGCOA speaks to Joe O’Connor, General Manger of The famous Leopardstown Golf Centre in south County Dublin – Ireland, ‘home’ to the largest community of lady golfers in Ireland.
Friendship at Leopardstown
2,500 lady members is an impressive number. What do you feel the key factor is in attracting this number of lady members to Leopardstown golf club is?
At Leopardstown the focus is on having fun amongst friends in a vibrant golfing environment.
The centre hosts twenty-five established ladies golf societies and the ILGU-affiliated Leopardstown Ladies Golf Club, which combine to create playing opportunities and a lively social scene for a substantial number of participants every week.
New members are warmly welcomed each year and get into the swing of things immediately. There are excellent organisational structures in place with each society having its own committee and social secretary.
Each of the twenty-five Monday-Saturday societies avails of a fixed tee-time segment on a specific day each week on the beautifully maintained 18-hole course, which means that members can plan their golf in advance.
The various groups also arrange outings and luxury golf and leisure breaks at intervals, along with social events at the Leopardstown Golf Centre and other venues. There is a strong emphasis on social interaction between members. Being involved with a Leopardstown ladies society is a great way to widen your circle of friends.
Families & Juniors at Leopardstown
How do you cater for Juniors at Leopardstown golf club? Does your high level of female membership impact the number of junior golfers starting at the club?
Youngsters are, of course, the lifeblood of any sport and introducing them to golf at an early age has many benefits. It’s a healthy, active outdoor pursuit which introduces kids to a whole new way of life and circle of friends. Many may go on to develop a lifelong passion for golf, some could even emulate their idols and become future champions!
Over the years thousands of kids have taken their first steps in the game at the Leopardstown Golf Centre, and the facility continues to fulfill an important role in the growth of Irish golf by making the game accessible and attractive to boys and girls of all ages.
The level of our ladies membership has most definitely had a direct impact on the numbers of junior golfers joining the club with the centre providing coaching to over 1,000 youngsters each year. The focus at the centre’s Summer Camps and junior coaching programmes, which are run by the Pure Golf Leopardstown team of PGA professionals, is on providing kids with an enjoyable and enlightening introduction to the game. Fun
Fun at Leopardstown
The ‘’Fun Factor’’ of golf or the lack of it is often a hot topic when it comes to attracting and retaining golfers. What do you do at Leopardstown to create an environment of fun?
The ladies at Leopardstown are all about fun, with the Monday Marvels to the Saturday Signets, a light fun stage is set for all to enjoy. Along with the weekly scheduled events at the club the ladies societies have their own committees, which arrange regular golf and social events at other locations. I think the pictures speak for themselves!
The good old collective model of a 1.000 members paying a 1.000 euro’s per year does not seem to attract new golfers anymore. Waiting lists to become member are now replaced by waiting lists to get out of the club. What solution solution have you found at Leopardstown to deal with this trend?
In the last few years we have seen a large portion of our female members returning to part time work. We have had to adopt to this offering a new level of flexibility with our societies to suit every schedule, playing ability and social group and in addition to this we offer programmes for the kids while the moms are out on the courses.
Out of our 25 affiliated societies there is a perfect fit match for any lady member with different schedules for each society group available. One of the many reasons the Ladies society membership structure is such a big hit is due to its flexibility, small financial outlay and welcoming and open nature.