JANINE Fitzpatrick is among the new faces at Terang Golf Club following a successful beginner program aimed at enticing women to the sport.
The retired schoolteacher took part in an eight-week course with PGA of Australia certified coach Sean Charleston in October and November last year.
The Golf Australia-endorsed program was a hit and south-west women, including Fitzpatrick who is keen to add to her skillset, have joined up for another eight-week course, starting Thursday.
Fitzpatrick, who taught French at Terang College before stepping into a relief teaching role and then retiring, said the course was the ideal way to navigate a new sport and environment.
"I was never a golfer. I am 61 and my husband (Tim) has played golf and I just thought 'oh my god, it ruins a good walk'," Fitzpatrick said.
"But I am at retiring age and with COVID it's good to do stuff outside and then this class came up.
"I thought I'd give it a go. We had eight lessons with Sean (Charleston) and he was wonderful and I met a new group of people.
"We all clicked and we'd have a cuppa afterwards.
"We'd learn a different skill each week and having a group starting at the same point was good because you weren't just the focus.
"I was very intimidated by the idea one-on-one. When he (the professional) has to speak to eight people, you have time to listen to what is taught and that really suited me."
Fitzpatrick caught the golf bug and now hits the Terang course with some of the women who went through the program with her.
"I still wasn't very good and got very excited if I hit the ball in the air and I didn't have my own clubs," she said of her introduction.
"My mum, who is nearly 93 and lives in Melbourne, said I could have her clubs but she is five-foot-two so they were a bit small.
"I just used odd clubs and when I had a hit I'd just take a seven-iron around but over the Christmas break I bought a cheap set of clubs and now I have my own clubs."
Fitzpatrick said the program had "opened a new world for me".
"It's given me a challenge which is quite achievable," she said. "I don't want to be a great golfer, I just want to be able to play."
Signing up for eight more lessons was a no-brainer for Fitzpatrick.
"Hopefully I'll be able to hit it higher in the air once I am given techniques," she laughed.
"I have improved a lot. The goal is to get the technical stuff so it just becomes rote and you're not thinking about it."
The Get into Golf program will run every Thursday from February 10 to March 31 at Terang Golf Club.
Now just one tap with our new app: Digital subscribers now have the convenience of faster news, right at your fingertips with The Standard:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.