BOLTON golfer Privita Parma is helping get more people playing golf by using the power of social media.

The Deane Golf Club member started a Facebook group last year to engage with and inform female players about what is going on in the sport locally.

The group, called Ladies Golf and Tee, has taken off with a large number of women using it to talk about golf and arrange to play.

And it has been such a success that Privita has expanded the initiative to include men.

She said her idea was sparked by a decline in the number of ladies playing golf and a desire to bring like-minded ladies together.

She said: “I have been at Deane for over 10 years and membership has gone down due to an ageing ladies' section and a lack of new lady golfers.

"I enjoy playing in club competitions, but I also love the opportunity to play in an open and experience different courses within our region.

“So I was looking at ways to bring like-minded ladies together so we could play together.

“We are very privileged in Bolton as we have a number of golf courses on the doorstep.

“My vision was if we all linked together we could make up teams and be able to play in opens, form new friendships and, most importantly, provide support for each others' club opens, so they wouldn't get cancelled due to a lack of entrants.

“Initially, it was set up to incorporate the local golf clubs in a forum for ladies to discuss golf topics, rules and ideas and have a central portal to promote their charity evenings, coffee mornings and golf opens.

“To help it develop I contacted all the clubs in Bolton, found out who their lady captains were and sent them an email, inviting them to join the Facebook group, Ladies Golf and Tee, that I had created to bring us all together.

"Ladies began to spread the word. I started receiving phone calls and text messages from ladies saying their friends wanted to join but they were not from Bolton.

“The group was going from strength to strength, and I had about 50 members.

“Every time I went to a different course, I would mention the benefits of being in the Ladies Golf and Tee group to promote ladies' golf and ensure the ladies' sections continued to thrive and succeed.

“Within a few months, I had 100 ladies in the group and about 35 different golf clubs.

"To date I have 410 ladies and approximately 80 golf clubs represented in the group including the lady captain from Silver Lakes Golf Club in South Africa, a lady from Pennsylvania and one from Faraja.

“I have loved achieving what I have.

“If ladies want to play in an open, they just post a message in the group and ask for one, two or three players required to play on such a date at such a club.

“There have been a number of teams made up by people who have never played golf together before, and they have met because Ladies Golf and Tee has provided that forum for them.

“It's also been brilliant because opens which may have had to be cancelled due to a lack of entrants have been supported by members of Ladies Golf and Tee, allowing the open to go ahead."

Due to her success, Privita is expanding her idea to also benefit the men's game.

“We had a lot of men wanting to join Ladies Golf and Tee so I set up another group called Mixed Golf and Tee," she said.

"There are men and women on this site and it is brilliant for when you want a partner for a mixed open."

Her success is set to continue with her own competition.

She said: "Blackburn and Wilpshire golf clubs have approached me to run an open in conjunction with Ladies Golf and Tee.

“I said I would provide a Ladies Golf and Tee trophy which will be presented to the winning team.

“I have a number of totally new-to-golf ladies on the site. It is brilliant to have been able to create a group for them where they can learn about, and develop a knowledge of, the game and the rules, etc, in a non-intimidating way.

“I am also in the middle of getting a Ladies Golf and Tee Open – just nine holes for the new-to-golf ladies from handicaps 36 to 54.

"Only they will be allowed to play in it, which will mean they will all be at the same level, make new friends, and hopefully have a fantastic experience without it being daunting to play 18 holes.

“I will be looking for sponsorship for trophies and prizes which I am providing myself at the moment."

If any local businesses are interested in sponsoring or donating trophies or prizes they can contact Privita by emailing"