Becky Brewerton: 'Golf Has Never Been More Inclusive For Women'
The two-time Solheim Cup Player on why nothing beats golf and how more females can get into the sport
- (opens in new tab)
- (opens in new tab)
- (opens in new tab)
- Sign up to Golf Monthly Newsletter Newsletter
The Ultimate Guide to Women's Golf - on sale now
I got into golf really as my dad took the game up quite late in life. He was quite a heavy smoker and made a conscious decision he didn’t want to bring his kids up in a smokey household. So he saved up all the money he would spend on cigarettes, bought a set of golf clubs and joined the local club. He was quite an obsessive person so when he wasn’t working he would be practising and playing, and so pretty much the only time I would see him was by going to the golf club on a Saturday morning and caddying for him.
I was 12 at the time, and by chance the pro at the club had started doing junior lessons. It was 50p for two hours! Unbelievable! I went along and my dad ended up getting so into it that he started helping to run the junior group.
By the time I was 14, I had got down to scratch. I had been put on a path by my club because they identified I had a bit of talent. I was built up quite slowly but it was worth it. I was the only girl and I got looked after very well and playing and learning with the boys was a benefit as they were bombing it past me and that added to my competitive nature to work harder and be better.
I absolutely loved it, and the environment of the golf course – my home club Abergele Golf Club – quickly became such an important part of my life. You would see people every day and they would soon become friends, and the summer holidays, it was dusk till dawn golf. We’d play all day, every day. It was a haven and somewhere where I always felt comfortable. It was ‘my club’ and I felt safe there.
I know a lot of women still look at golf as being a male-dominated sport and may be apprehensive about taking the game up due to feeling uncomfortable - but I can honestly say the negative experiences have been minimal.
Related Meet the club captain breaking boundaries for women
My club was always very inclusive - even though I was the only girl in my weekly lessons. Of course, as my career progressed and I went and played at other courses, there has been the odd time when you feel like an outsider but, by and large, I would say golf is moving away from its old, stuffy traditions.
There was one time that sticks out, when, as a teenager I was playing in a top amateur event, the club in question shall remain nameless but there was a separate entrance for women and we were not allowed to walk across the patio of the clubhouse. That was where the men would congregate and it was like a woman walking past would be an offence. But overall, golf clubs are embracing their female membership. There are always going to be stories that sound like something from the Dark Ages, like men-only bars and lounge areas where the women are not welcome. But the game is moving forward and there has never been a better time to get involved.
For me, golf teaches you such great life skills. You learn to figure things out on the golf course and as such, you learn how to handle things off the course too. For children this is so important. Being around a golf club, it develops your social skills and gives you so much confidence to interact with others. It’s the best sport for building character. The social side of the game is just as important as the playing side and there are lots of branch-offs you can do. Golf makes you self-sufficient. Women can be nervous about the environment of a golf club. But a couple of years down the line you will be the one welcoming that nervous ‘newbie’ into a club. So go for it. Nothing beats golf. Trust me, you will love it!
Related Mia Baker on changing the perception for women in golf
Related 'Lots of girls stop playing' – female pro reveals strain
Born in St Asaph, Wales, Becky Brewerton joined the professional ranks in 2003, with her reputation and glittering record as an amateur turning heads from the word go. By 2009, she was a multiple winner on the Ladies European Tour with two Solheim Cup appearances. Her most recent pro victory came on the Rose Ladies Series in 2021 at Brokenhurst Manor Golf Club.
Top 100 Golf Courses UK & Ireland 2023/24
Golf Monthly's full list of the UK and Ireland's Top 100 courses
By Elliott Heath • Published
The 9 Courses In Our Top 100 That Start Or Finish Opening With Par 3s
One-shot holes to start or finish a round may be rare among our Top 100 courses, but they do exist in limited numbers…
By Jeremy Ellwood • Published