Dubai: In September 2020, Jenny Hennessy left the west coast of Ireland and made the move to Dubai to pursue a new opportunity teaching at an international school.
Being an avid golfer herself, with a current handicap of 2, Jenny picked up golf when she was just 10 years old. First being introduced to the sport by her father, golf certainly wasn’t a love affair at first sight! She only grew to love the game when she started to see improvements when she was about 13. Fortunate enough to spend summers playing at Lahinch Golf Club certainly added to her love for the sport. Jenny was a single-figure handicap by the age of 15, and from then on there was simply no going back, especially with the enthusiasm from her mother, brother and sister all taking part as well, a real family affair!
Fast forward to Jenny setting foot in Dubai, over 6,000 kilometres from home, she quickly learnt that in the UAE there was a huge interest among the young female professionals and expat community to learn how to play golf.
After several months of friends telling her they wanted to take up the sport, she decided to seize the opportunity. Her vision? To create affordable female group golf lessons in a fun, relaxed and social setting. Golf is a game you can play all your life and has many benefits.
As the sun starts to set here at the Els Club, Jenny relieves how much the community she started has grown over the last 18 months. As her saying goes “Growing the game, one Chick at a time”.
“30 eager newcomers to the sport turned up in late March 2021 to our inaugural taster session at the Claude Harmon III Performance Golf Academy at the Els Club. Two months later we had 90 members, four months after that we reached 165 members. Fast forward to September 2022 Chicks With Sticks has introduced golf to over 500 ladies between our two locations, The Els Club, Dubai and Abu Dhabi Golf Club. It’s just amazing to see the growth of the game of Golf!”
“The large majority are total beginners and newcomers to the sport, which is great to see!
However, to ensure progression we now offer beginner, intermediate and advanced golf lessons as well as a social class specifically for those who don’t want to take things too seriously. Each term also includes Par-3 and nine-hole events. All lessons are taught by highly skilled PGA Professionals four days a week in both locations. It is hugely positive and I am excited for what is yet to come!”
A huge part of the community she has started is the social aspect to the sessions. Not only can the “Chicks” gain lessons from PGA Professionals, the bonds and friendships that are formed and created are far from what many had thought of the original game of golf being only for “the elderly” or for “men”, Jenny is really showing how the game of Golf is “cool”.
“The social aspect is very important. Happy hour takes place at the clubhouse after each golf lesson where the ladies can catch up, network and make new friends. And of course, all abilities are welcome, we have something to offer every level of golfer. We also have end-of-season gatherings with prizes for winners of the team Par-3 and 9 Hole competitions. Showcasing the positive sides to golf has proven to be a huge success.”
If this achievement wasn’t enough already, her hard work was recognised by the DP World as
Chicks With Sticks has become a beneficiary with the DP World Tour and their container initiative. A recycled golf ball programme where a shipping container travels to numerous DP World Tour events to collect and redistribute golf balls to give them a second life in grassroots golf. The container will be completing its journey in mid-November at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
“Yes! This was announced at the BMW PGA Championship in Wentworth in early September on the DP World Tour. What an amazing initiative by DP World to give golf balls a second lease of life. We are absolutely thrilled to have been selected and will certainly be putting all of those golf balls to great use! Another bonus of the week was to see Shane Lowry win the flagship event of the season! We are also going to be associating with the DP World next month in November when the DP World Tour Championship is on at Jumeriah Golf Estates in Dubai, so I am really excited, and the best is yet to come!”
Chicks With Sticks is growing by the week, but the best part is there is always space for any female wanting to start the game of golf and give it a go!
“Of course, the more the merrier! Our opening season will run until the end of October, this was practically a sold out event. The next intake for new joiners will be early November, sign-up for this five-week lesson package will begin mid-October. In the meantime, for anyone who would like more information or to get involved they can email email@example.com or check out our instagram page: chicks_with_sticks_x”