What are the success stories of the 2023 Women in Golf Awards?

By: August 15, 2023

The encouraging statistics regarding the rise of female golfers in the United States and the United Kingdom are absolutely fantastic to see:

  • In the past 3 years (2020, 2021, and 2022), female on-course golf participants in the U.S. topped 6 million. Before this stretch, the last time had happened was in 2007.  Source: National Golf Foundation
  • The share of adult female golfers playing full-length courses in the UK & Ireland was 20% in 2022. In 2019, this ratio was only 15%.
  • Kudos to the Republic of Korea (45%), Germany (36%), and The Netherlands (32%). The R&A has identified three countries with the highest percentage of female golfers globally. Women make up 23% of adult registered golfers worldwide.

It would greatly help to see more initiatives such as Love.Golf and Women’s Golf Day, but also more female employees in golf clubs. Promoting gender diversity in leadership positions within golf clubs, including hiring women, is crucial.

There are 2 million job openings in the US within the golf industry.

I wouldn’t delve now into the importance of transforming golf clubs into more women and family-friendly. Maybe next time.

For these reasons, I was happy to accept the invitation of Elisa Gaudet to become a country ambassador for Women’s Golf Day in Hungary. The other noble initiative that I supported with great pleasure was Love.Golf program (supported by Syngenta).

Women in Golf Awards 2023 Amelia Lewis_with Rising Star_Daisy Starling_Players 1st

2023 Women in Golf Awards – the winners

Last night, the 2nd annual Women in Golf Awards hosted by Nicola Bennett brought together a hundred women and men from the global golf community at Walton Heath.

The winners, aged between 20 and 83, represented various sectors of the industry, showcasing the remarkable contributions made by women at every stage of their careers.

The 2023 Women in Golf Award winners are:

  • Sally Hinton of Close House won Female PGA Coach of The Year, sponsored by The Professional Golfers’ Association, in recognition of her commitment to growing women’s and girl’s golf;
  • Maureen Clarke of Sherwood Forest Golf Club won The Unsung Hero sponsored by England Golf for her 40-year commitment to golf, with volunteering roles in rules, handicapping, and junior golf at club, county, and national levels;
Women in Golf Awards 2023_Pure Golf_Brand_The BGIA
  • The Women’s Initiative sponsored by PING was taken by Yvonne Brooke, Founder of The Ladies Golf Lounge, a 10,000+ social community of women golfers;
  • Women in Turfcare, sponsored by the British and International Greenkeeper’s Association, went to Amanda Dorans of Loch Lomond Golf Club, a champion of sustainability for the last 15 years;
  • Lydd Golf Club’s Assistant Greenkeeper, Daisy Starling, won The Rising Star award sponsored by Players 1st in recognition of her appetite, commitment, and passion for a role she had to google a definition for when she joined;
  • Burham & Berrows Golf Club, who have delivered significant change at their club by delivering multiple initiatives linked to its R&A Women in Golf Charter pledges, took Venue of the Year sponsored by Women & Golf;
  • Pure Golf was named Brand of the Year, sponsored by The British Golf Industry Association, acknowledging the brand’s products, service, and commitment to empowering women golfers;
  • The International Woman of the Year Award, sponsored by Perry Ellis International, went to Singapore-based Karen Proctor. During her 20-year career has dedicated her time to supporting initiatives that help others address the gender imbalance in the industry and breaking boundaries in the region.
Jean Booth Nicola Stroud Alyssia Reeve Burnham and Berrows_Venue_Women in Golf Awards 2023
Trailblazer Award

Emma Whitlock, the Country Secretary at Sussex County Golf, was honored with the Trailblazer Award for her outstanding contribution to the Union. Emma’s remarkable initiatives have transformed the Union since she was elected to the role.

She has been a vocal advocate for girls to participate in boys’ competitions, introduced sustainable practices, and conducted successful mixed events.

Emma is one of only two women who hold the Country Secretary role, and she is the youngest person to do so in the UK.

Inspirational Achievement

The final award of the evening was the Inspirational Achievement, which was given to the Founder Members of the first women’s professional Tour in the UK.

The award was given to honor their courage in relinquishing their amateur playing rights, love for the game, camaraderie, and dedication to motivating others to pursue the sport.

Founder Member Denise Hastings, WPGA Chair Sarah Bennett, and PGA Director Tracey Loveys were in attendance and accepted the award on their behalf.

Women in Golf Awards 2023