Dublin footballer Hannah Tyrrell says that Leona Maguire is inspiring a new generation of Irish talent to pick up the game of golf.
The former Irish rugby star was taking part in the Golf Ireland International Women’s Day event supported by KMPG at Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort in Wicklow yesterday.
It was the second staging of the event after RTE Sport presenter Jacqui Hurley joined forces with Golf Ireland for the first time last year.
And with 68 other golfers from nine different sporting backgrounds on show, including Maguire, the 32-year-old Clondalkin native thinks she is a huge asset to the future of Irish golf.
“We have seen a lot of women in the last couple of years paving the way. The one that comes to mind, Leona Maguire is doing fantastic things on the women’s tour,“ said Tyrrell.
“She has been a great role model for women in sport not just obviously women in golf. It’s been seen as a pathway less travelled for women in Ireland. So she has shown young girls that there is a pathway there for women.
“She is setting those standards and it’s fantastic to see that representation.”
Golf Ireland have continued to promote the roles and importance of women in golf through the LevelPar campaign. This four-pillar programme was launched just over three years ago and focuses on leadership and governance, active participation, coaching and officiating, and visibility.
As part of Golf Ireland’s Strategic Plan 2022-2026, the organisation is looking to achieve at least a 5% increase in female membership across the island. And with 60% of the total Get into Golf participants becoming members in their golf clubs over the last two years, it has been a huge success.
And after hitting her first golf shot from the tee box on Hole 1 in Druids Glen, Tyrrell is looking to keep it up.
“I wouldn’t really have done an awful lot of golf before. It’s something new and exciting and we’ll give it a go,” said Tyrrell.
“But my dad would have played a lot of golf and my brother would have played golf to a good standard. I have been to the driving range a few times but never actually played (on the course). I am hoping I will get better as I go on, practise makes perfect.
“I would like to give it a go a bit more often. I would probably get better over time. My biggest problem would be can I fit it into my busy schedule. But look, it’s a lovely day out here. We are having the chats with the girls. I would love to do it again some time.
“It’s a low impact sport and it’s a nice way to relax. Out in the fresh air, the views here are beautiful. It’s something that everybody can get involved in. I am having a great time so far and I would encourage anybody to take up any sport.
“But for golf, it’s very easy to get into it. Low impact, it doesn’t take a lot on the body or anything else like that. Sure it’s a bit of fun.”