Sussex County Ladies' Golf Association Ltd

Sussex Spotlight (February): Yvonne Brooke, The Ladies Golf Lounge

Sussex Spotlight on Women in Golf: Yvonne Brooke, Founder of The Ladies Golf Lounge (LGL)           

We are delighted to feature Yvonne Brooke in the latest of our Sussex Spotlight series. Despite a full-time career, Yvonne is the founder and leader of a national group of women golfers up and and down the country through a Facebook group named The Ladies Golf Lounge. This has seen her receive an award last year at the Women in Golf Awards. Yvonne is a member at Chartham Park Golf Club.

Firstly, tell me about your interest in golf, when you started playing and your golf history? 
As a junior, I was very much focussed on swimming and tennis which were sports that I competed in at a county level. My Dad played golf regularly but I didn't give it a go until my mid 20s and then very quickly had a desire to improve, at the time it was to try and beat my Dad. My first handicap was 28 and my Dad was in single figures, a 9 if I recall correctly so my goal was to achieve a handicap of 8. Through my junior sports, I had a strong mindset to train and focus however I struggled in the low teens for some time before breaking into single figures.  At the time I was living in Berkshire and played at Burnham Beeches - it probably took about 6-7 years to achieve my goal. I now enjoy playing golf with friends, playing as family with my husband and two children plus representing my club in Divisional matches. 

What is your current job?
For the last 3 years, I have worked full-time for Get Golfing who operate 12 clubs, mostly around the M25. They are in fact a charity - a self-funding organisation who plough all profits back into the golf courses, clubhouses and community projects. My role and focus is very much on community projects and initiatives, running mum & daughter sessions, co-ordinating free coaching sessions for children (in receipt of free school meals) and group member events. My passion is encouraging children into the sport that would probably not have that opportunity. 

How did The Ladies Golf Lounge (LGL) come about?

I had only just returned to golf having given it up for a few years whilst I had children. I joined Copthorne GC in 2019 however shortly thereafter COVID came along. I was living in Horley, didn't know many people and was home schooling my children. I started joining Facebook groups looking to hopefully meet female golfers in the area and couldn't really get much from it and if anything it felt a somewhat negative environment. I'd had experience of running Facebook pages in a business environment previously so had the idea of opening a group but also questioned myself whether this should be women only, particularly in these times of equality. I wanted to create something that women could feel relaxed in and not intimated to 'talk', share and exchange views. This overriding aim made my decision and I used the word 'lounge' to foster an informal, almost going for coffee, casual feel.

When did it start? and how has the journey been since its inception?

I set the group up in May 2020 not really knowing if it was something other women wanted or not. I highlighted it on a few Facebook groups and very soon the ripple effect started and it is still seeing continued growth today. We have 11,800 members of the Facebook group and our posts reach/comments average 20-22,000 per month in the peak summer months dropping to 15,0000 during the winter. Last year, I looked to create regional hubs using WhatsApp and we now have 13 hubs across the country - the Surrey/Sussex/Kent is currently the most successful and active with more than 200 members. 

Has LGL delivered on your goals and what do you feel are the biggest achievements?

The aim was to have a forum where ladies could exchange questions, talk about golf without feeling intimated and potentially meet like-minded women golfers. My goal was that you could post a question as you would on google and receive tailored advice and responses. These can range from advice on being Ladies Captain, ideas for fun comps, rules, to the more serious questions asking for advice on club operations. There was one lady who asked advice as her club were refusing junior female golfers to compete in the women's competitions. Following the advice provided, this lady golfer pursued the matter further at her club and had the rules over-turned. I am very passionate about encouraging children, particularly girls into the game and seeing this develop was very rewarding.

Other achievements in the past year include:

  • Away days have and continue to be organised - golfers are hosting days at their respective clubs and feedback has been excellent.
  • A fun and informal North v South event/competition over 2 days (pictured), this was well subscribed so much that for 2024 we are having a draw for entry.
  • Solheim Cup trip last year and other large event trips have taken place and are planned.
  • Free online coaching videos and tips from some leading female pros across the country

On a more personal level, I have made some great and life-long friends which I am very thankful for.

You were presented with an award last year from Women in Golf?
I was delighted to even receive a nomination and to then receive the award for 'Women's Initiative of the Year Award' was absolutely wonderful. I got the opportunity to meet lots of leading women in golf.

What would you like to see in the future?

I would like to see an improvement in the number of women on the board and management of more golf clubs. I don't see the culture changing within club infrastructures unless more women are included. I remain passionate about encouraging more girls and juniors into the sport and will continue to pursue opportunities. On a personal level, my goal is to reach the elusive handicap of 6 and to potentially be considered for county level golf.


Our thanks to Yvonne for taking time out of what must be a very busy schedule with looking after family, a full time job and the LGL. We wish Yvonne continued success and thank her for her passion to Women in Golf. LGL Facebook Link 

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