16th September 2005 at 01:00
Two Aberdeenshire golf clubs have started girls-only coaching sessions in a bid to increase the number of schoolgirl golfers.

Alford and Oldmeldrum golf clubs both found that some girls were put off playing in sessions with boys.

"We have around 150 boys at Oldmeldrum but only a few girls," says the Oldmeldrum ladies' captain, Brenda Urquhart. "Most of those who went along to the mixed sessions didn't enjoy being in a big group of boys. They said the boys would use all the equipment and wouldn't give them a chance to play. They felt outnumbered and intimidated.

"It was obvious to us that the only way to make a breakthrough with girls'

golf was to set up a girls-only section."

The club has signed 28 girls for a 10-week beginners' course, while Alford Golf Club, which has Scottish schools' champion Laura Murray among its members, has a class of 20. Girls are outnumbered almost 10-fold by boys at under-18 level in Scotland, with 25,000 boys and 2,700 girls playing golf.

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