England Golf Trust ambassador Abi Frodsham is hooked on the sport and striving for a handicap of just 10 – thanks to free golf lessons she received at school.
Now, the 19-year-old want to inspire other young people to take up golf which she says has transformed her life. Just two and a half years after first setting foot on a golf course, Abi’s handicap is now an impressive 16.8.
‘I used to think golf was a boring sport for old men,’ says Abi, who is now a student at the University of Central Lancashire. ‘Then several girls at my school were taught to play golf for free and I haven’t looked back.’
‘I now can’t go a day without touching my clubs and even practiced during lockdown by putting in my bedroom and hitting full shots into a net in my garage. I just love it so much.
Golf coach Danny Adams offered free weekly golf lessons to pupils at Abi’s school who were studying for their GCSE in PE.
‘I just became addicted to trying to improve my game. I loved being competitive against myself because it’s so motivating and encourages you to push yourself to be the best you can be.’
Abi, who lives in Wallasey, Liverpool, says the golf also helped her manage the stress of studying for her GCSEs. ‘I was struggling with schoolwork and had reached a bit of a low. Discovering golf gave me freedom from stress and helped me relax. I loved how happy it made me feel, just being free on the course.’
However, Abi’s parents struggled to cover the costs of her golf. She took a paper round to raise more money, but eventually she received a grant from the England Golf Trust. This supported her first year of playing golf, covering membership fees, golf lessons and new equipment.
Indeed, Abi soon progressed to the point where she needed better clubs than the budget set she bought initially. The grant from England Golf Trust allowed her to buy a new set of clubs which helped her handicap improve quickly from 42 to 23. It is still heading down and she hopes to achieve a handicap of 10 by the end of 2021.
She has been an ambassador for the trust since 2018 and is keen to encourage other juniors, girls and women to try the sport.
She is also encouraging existing golf club members to welcome juniors. ‘Some people are less keen on having juniors playing in their clubs, but now I am trying to bridge the gap in showing that we are fun to play with and we can actually be quite nice. This is an ongoing change for many clubs.’
‘There are now a few girls at my club in Wallasay and we have made lasting friendships.’
She is also promoting the Girls Golf Rocks campaign, designed to encourage more young women into the game and is also working with the Golf Foundation to promote the Trust.
Her Instagram profile is also crucial for helping Abi promote golf to other young women and girls. She now has more than 800 followers and follows other female golfers from all over the world.
‘This has helped me show that golf can be fun and cool – not just boring and for old men, which is what I used to think. Anybody can play.’
In her first year at the University of Central Lancashire, Abi is studying for a degree in Sports Coaching and Development. She commutes from home so that she can continue playing golf easily.
‘I want to work in golf but I’m not quite sure in what role yet, although I am considering taking PGA qualifications so that I can coach and help others take up the game.’
Abi is grateful for the England Golf Trust’s support through the grant and her role as a Young Ambassador. ‘They’ve really helped me develop in so many ways.’
And her advice to other girls thinking of taking up the game? “Just go for it! Throw yourself into it. It can be challenging to start with but you’ll love competing against yourself rather than comparing yourself to others. It’s a fantastic sport and I’d encourage everybody to give it a go.’