The second birthday of Chicks With Stick is just around the corner. After being formed in March 2021 by Irish expat Jenny Hennessy, she always had a goal in mind of wanting to create affordable female group golf lessons, in a fun relaxed social setting and it’s safe to say she has achieved that to boot.
With the girls group golf session initially being set up in Dubai, Jenny expanded her “Chicks” to Abu Dhabi in September last year. Recently Gulf News Exclusively caught up some of the team who run the sessions at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Kieren Pratt the Director of Instruction and Amy Condon a PGA Golf Professional as they prepare for their upcoming term of lessons.
Thanks for having Gulf News here guys. Kieren let’s start with you, how did Chicks With Sticks come to Abu Dhabi Golf Club?
Kieren - I saw the programme alredy up and running on Instagram, and I just thought “This Chicks With Sticks, what a great idea. How can I get something like this started at Abu Dhabi Golf Club?” Granted we do have a pretty good Ladies programme already. I actually just jumped onto Instagram and messaged Jenny the organiser of it all and things moved on from there.
And Amy, how often are the session you run here in Abu Dhabi?
Amy – So we have got five sessions running. We have classes on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday starting from 6pm and they are every hour on the hour. We provide a lot of classes as well, we provide beginners, intermediate and advanced and we run different levels in each. So for example in a beginner class 2.0 how that works is if they start off fresh, one five week programme with us and then they would transition into the beginner 2.0. So that way they aren’t going into beginner then intermediate and then advanced so you work your way up so then there isn’t a massive jump in levels. So it has seemed to be quite popular in that regard! I started here in September and the numbers started off in the 40’s and now it’s got close to 70 ish ladies which is brilliant!
What is the main type of demographic you get attending Chicks With Sticks?
Kieren – Quite a lot of the teachers are into it. That five week block seems to work quite nicely. But we have got nurses, lawyers, women who work in oil and gas, and we’ve actually had a couple of local ladies in Abu Dhabi which have joined the classes here which is quite cool and unique. It’s just a bit of a different market in Abu Dhabi than what it is in Dubai.
Amy – I think the main factor of it is that it’s in a relaxed, comfortable environment. You can turn up in comfortable clothing. You don’t have to have the strict golf etiquette where you can’t wear jeans and you have to wear a collar. You can rock up, in your gym gear and wear something comfortable. I think that’s a massive attraction. The environment as well, it’s a great way for people to meet others and I know that some of my friends are some of the people I first started coaching in Dubai.
What do you feel makes Abu Dhabi Golf Club so good for hosting Chicks With Sticks?
Kieren - We are lucky here at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. We have such a big driving range, we’ve got trackman range which has just set up so we can play Lahinch where Jenny is from at Abu Dhabi Golf Club with a load of the Irish school teachers so we can literally give golf lessons to any of the ladies and they can continue to come down and use the facilities and feel part of a membership even though they aren’t a member of the actual golf club from a membership perspective so it’s very very inclusive in that way. It’s been really cool to be a part of it from the start in Abu Dhabi and the best thing about it is that it’s a very social thing. It’s a very light, easy and fun way for the women to get involved and started in golf.
How much is the game of golf changing for women Amy?
Amy - I have been playing golf for nearly 12 or 13 years at this stage and I’ve even seen the game change. This was never available to me. So to have this on offer where you can join a five week programme and get coached by fantastic golf coaches, if I may say that! But it is a fantastic opportunity and our aim is to grow the game and we can do that with Chicks with Sticks which is fantastic.
Anyone looking to get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org or check out their Instagram @chicks_with_sticks_x