CLASSES for women of all ages are ready to tee off at Musselburgh Golf Club, which is hoping to encourage more people to take up the sport.

Head professional Norman Huguet will lead lessons for women interested in learning to play golf and they will also get the chance to practise their skills on the club’s stand-alone par 3 beginners’ course.

Committee member Linda Smith has organised the initiative, which starts with an open event at the club next Sunday (March 17), 2-4pm and 5-7pm.

Women can join others also considering taking up golf in a relaxed atmosphere. Everyone is entered into a draw for a free afternoon tea at the club.

A block of six lessons for one hour a week then start in April, with clubs provided and trainers allowed. During this time, players have full access to the beginners’ course and all other practice areas.

The tuition for a maximum of 10 women is held on a Tuesday, starting on April 9, and also on a Wednesday, beginning April 10, 6-7pm. More classes will be organised if there is demand.

Linda said: “We want to give people an easy and cheap way to try golf.

“People might think they need to get golf shoes and equipment. If you decide you want to play, you’d get those things over time but, to try golf, you don’t need them as we will provide the clubs. We want to take away those barriers.

“There might be a lot of women who would like to try golf but don’t know how to go about it.

“Group lessons are a nice way for women to learn and, once the lessons are finished, they have a nice, ready-made group of people that they know in the golf club. So, if they go on to join the club, they have people they can play with.

“We will make sure the ladies, during the lessons and after, are integrated into the club. That is something we want to focus on because there is playing on the golf course but there is the golf club which is a different thing.

“People can come into the clubhouse and enjoy the tray bakes and scones, have a coffee and a chat with people, and meet new friends.”

Linda said the ladies’ section was small with just over 30 members who play.

She added: “During the six-week lessons, lady members will help with the lessons and then we can go for a tea or coffee after, so people will be comfortable coming into the clubhouse.

“Existing members will also play with the ladies involved in the lessons on the six-hole course.

“The six-hole par-3 course is great. No one is going to go and watch you playing there. If you miss-hit the ball, which you will when you are learning, there is no one to see you other than other learners.

“It is a non-scary place to learn to play golf.

“We are a really friendly club and people will be made very welcome. If people like it, after the six-week period, they can join the six-hole course or join and be able to play on the championship course.

“We are just hoping that there are enough people out there who want to come and learn.”

Linda stressed that there were different lengths mapped out on the championship course, including a shorter blue course.

Linda said: “They can play the length they feel is suitable for them.

“We want people to come in and make new friends and use the clubhouse facilities.

“If people want to come and only focus on getting their handicaps down because they are competitive golfers, that’s great as well and there are places for that. Those people don’t need these group lessons.”

Linda added that golf was social, provided exercise in the fresh air and the chance to see wildlife and the seasons change.

Anyone interested to going along to the open event or to find out more about the package, which costs £50, email sec retary@themusselburghgolf or call 0131 665 2005.