Ladies Night Tees Up Friendship, Fun and Great Golf
Story by Allison Chorney
Photos by Britton Ledingham
Each Thursday of the season, ladies take to the links at Collicutt Siding Golf Club for fun, friendship and a chance to take on the course. Ladies Night at the club has grown significantly, becoming a popular pastime for local golfers and those from Calgary, Acme, Didsbury and more.
“My first season as co-ordinator was 2015, and I would say we had probably 20 ladies weekly at the max. I’m proud to say that last year we had 80 women registered, so it has grown in leaps and bounds,” said Colleen Donaven, Ladies Night co-ordinator.
“That is absolutely one of the greatest pleasures in my life to get it going and see it growing.”
She said ladies’ golf, in general, has grown dramatically throughout the last decade.
“Now, I don’t know why women are taking it up more…but once you get the golf bug, you’ve got it for life,” Donaven said.
The 2021 season began May 6 and Donaven said membership totaled more than 100 women – the best turnout ever. While the Thursday night league is full, a new Tuesday morning league began May 4 with tee time slated for 9 a.m. Those interested in joining the Tuesday group can contact Maureen Isaac at email@example.com
“It’s not a competitive league at all,” Donaven said. “You’re, more or less, competing with yourself, wanting to improve all the time. But it’s a fun league, and I think the beauty about Collicutt is that they try and keep it as economical and inexpensive as possible but still have all the benefits.”
Annual membership is just $30 for Ladies Night – plus weekly green fees – and the voluntary entry fees for prizes and the 50/50 draw. Monetary prizes are awarded for each golfing level, while the 50/50 supports the 18-hole end-of-year tournament and banquet.
“We’ve kept our registration fees down,” Donaven said. “They were $25 for years, and we put them up to $30 last year just because the price of food for the year-end tournament, it obviously goes up.”
Members call the golf shop each Thursday to book a tee time between 4 and 6 p.m. Tee times can be for a solo golfer or a group of up to four. Donaven said the format changes weekly from a regular nine-hole round to a game.
“And afterwards…the [members] who can, congregate in the clubhouse and have dinner and drinks and then we do prizes at 8:30,” she said.
While Donaven said she is naturally competitive and enjoys challenging herself to improve in what she called “me against the course,” it is the social aspect that makes Ladies Night special.
“We’re all friends. We all look after each other,” she said.” We’re always helping each other out or offering tips or whatever the case may be. We have new golfers who have never even hit a ball before, and then we have the seasoned veterans that have been doing it for 20, 30, 40 years.”
She recalled being “a nervous wreck” the first time she tried ladies league play, which is why she tries to pair new golfers with experienced ones. Donaven believes the intimidation for most newcomers is not knowing what you should or shouldn’t do, but added, “once you know it, it’s not a big deal.”
She recommends the club’s Golf Etiquette course, usually held early in the spring, to ease those fears. Due to pandemic restrictions this year, the etiquette course was not offered but was instead added to the four Ladies Night clinics that were offered with registration. However, Donaven said the lessons from other members are invaluable.
“I can’t stress that enough because I think [Ladies Night at Collicutt] is the best place on earth to learn how to become a better golfer and how to learn the game,” she said.
For more information, email Donaven at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit collicuttgolf.com