In the latest of our #WhyIGolf series, Scottish Golf caught up with ‘The Jazzy Golfer’ to hear all about her mission to improve her game and inspire more women & girls to take up golf, all while wearing the jazziest of clothes. The Jazzy Golfer has an undeniable enthusiasm for the game, coupled by an impressive social media following of over 30k, the perfect recipe to document her journey and inspire golfers across the globe. Here’s how we got on…
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into golf?
I first got into golf whilst on a family holiday in Portugal. I was driving the buggy around, I got bored and was heading for the clubhouse when my family told me to ‘give it a go’. I’ve played lots of sports before but have never got into golf for all the reasons that young women don’t get into golf, but at that moment, having played hockey before, I thought ‘How hard can it be?’, and it turns out it is really difficult!
I played for a couple of holes and hit one or two good shots and that was it, I was hooked and had well and truly caught the bug.
Once I got home from holiday, I began searching social media to see if there was anyone in my age bracket that was documenting their journey or promoting women’s golf, a beginner that I could look up to and there wasn’t really anybody (in the UK). I had a light bulb moment, I thought why don’t I put myself out there, as a beginner I’ll document my journey on social media in the hope that other women and girls would see it and it would change their opinion of golf and things escalated from there.
The name Jazzy Golfer… where did it come from?
Well, my name is Jasmine and all my friends called me Jazzy so it started from there and then I thought, well, I wear bright and colourful clothes on the golf course anyway, so why don’t I turn it into my own brand that people could recognise. I am now recognise for wearing very jazzy leggings and clothing on the golf course.
And your thoughts on women’s golfing attire?
There are not a lot of options really, I don’t think golf clothing in the UK caters for women of all shapes and sizes. There isn’t a massive selection and I think the industry needs to offer a range of different styles, so all women can find something that suits them and they are comfortable in.
What is it you love about golf?
The social side of golf really is one of my favourite parts of the game and I love the fact that it is one of the only sports that you can play with anyone, of any ability. I could play with my niece who is seven and my granddad who is 80 and we would still have a great game. Take tennis, for example, if one player is so much better than the other person, you are probably not even going to be able to return their serve, and what’s the fun in that?
I also love the fact that if you put a lot of effort and practice into your game, you can actually see the results, for example by lowering your handicap, or just by the feeling of hitting a quality golf shot.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about golf?
Loads of people think it’s boring, which it totally isn’t. I’d say don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, because I don’t know many people that have tried golf and not enjoyed it!
Expensive, yes it can be expensive to join a club but to actually play, it doesn’t have to be. I got my first set of clubs from eBay and they weren’t very expensive at all, and I played local courses around where I lived at off-peak times. Driving ranges aren’t too expensive either and there are lots of beginner group sessions offered at very reasonable prices (and some are even free!)
What advice would you give to someone thinking of taking up golf?
Go for it, just go for it. I would encourage women and girls thinking of taking up golf to join a Get into Golf session, or a beginner taster session in their local area, because not only will they be with other people in the same situation, they will be able to make new friends and they can all learn together.
One of the greatest benefits of golf is the social side, the 19th hole is obviously brilliant, and there is no better way to spend an afternoon that walking on a golf course, in the sunshine, having a natter with your friends.
What do you think is the key to getting more women and girls into golf?
It’s difficult to answer because there isn’t a silver bullet here. To start with I think there needs to be more coverage in the media. We really need to shout louder about the amazingly talented women in the game, the professionals and the volunteers behind the sport. I think we need to tell the story of golf better… be more overt and package it as a fun sport for all.
I always say you have got to see it, to be it. How can young girls see themselves as golfers if they walk into a golf club and don’t see any women playing golf and rarely see women playing golf on the tv or in the media?
Also, golf clubs need to take responsibility for making their premises an inclusive environment for all, equal access to golf clubs is very important. They need to get the basics right- no restriction on tee-times for men and women, no ‘men only’ areas, pro-shop stocking women’s clothes and equipment, women’s clubs available for hire, user-friendly website, a junior / family friendly environment, photos of women in and around the club to name a few.
How do you think the industry could improve the image of golf, especially women and girls?
I think golf clubs could learn so much from TopGolf, you get food delivered to your bay, it’s fun, the equipment is on-site, there is no dress code, no restrictions on age and it’s full of millennials.
I have lessons at TopGolf after work on Tuesday’s around once a month, and without fail every time it is full, or there is a queue out the door! It’s the perfect environment to learn, and hopefully, people will as the next stage, think about joining a club.
How was your experience playing in the ASI Ladies Scottish Open Pro-am this week?
It was amazing, I played with Michelle Wie. I was weirdly more nervous on the range beforehand, in amongst all the professionals, and I was worried I would be topping it left right and centre (which I did a few times in the beginning!). It was great to see the professionals’ close-up as these women are so talented. Overall it was an awesome experience, I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be, I just didn’t want my first shot to be terrible, but it was alright, phew!
Who are your golfing role models?
So many, I love Lexi Thompson and Georgia Hall. Charley Hull is a great character, and I’m a big fan of Mel Reid, she does such a good job of promoting the women’s game on social media, Dame Laura Davies is such a great character too, I think she’s hilarious and we need more humour to better promote golf.
Who would be in your dream fourball?
Ok, so Lexi Thompson, Captain America as I am a huge marvel fan and My dad.
And finally, what’s your favourite golf course?
Oh that is a tough question! It is hard to choose. Celtic Manor was a great experience (even if I did find the water on every hole on the back 9), Archerfield was fun, Monte Rei in Portugal was where I hit my first ever golf shot, no wait, I have to say Queenstown Golf Club in New Zealand… it’s surrounded on three sides by water with stunning mountains in the background.
Make sure you follow The Jazzy Golfer’s journey on social media: