Glenelg Golf Club becomes the first Southern Australian club to sign The R&A Women in Golf Charter

With an exceptional club culture and a history of gender-neutral practices, Robert Vincekovic, General Manager at Glenelg Golf Club is not surprised that the Adelaide-based club has quickly become a Women in Golf Charter (WIGC) signatory.

“The Charter is a great positive step by Golf Australia and The R&A, and we are excited to come on board,” he said.

To learn and improve gender equality practice at clubs, Golf Australia takes clubs through a process that supports and focuses on the growth of all aspects of women’s golf.

Vincekovic is excited to start implementing the work associated with the Charter and is proud of what the club has already achieved.

“It was great that our club was already able to tick off items such as equal playing rights, membership and championship/event prizes” he said.

“We also have a good representation of women on our board, which is another requirement of the Charter.”

The club in fact has many women in leadership positions across all aspects of the club – committees, management, staff, and coaching. Vincekovic believes that ‘this diversity is helping to build a wonderful culture with different thinking and ideas’.

Female leaders at Glenelg include:

Picture above (L-R): Anna Fontaine - Hospitality Manager, Sophie Warren - Course Staff, Tash Bryant - Customer Relations Officer, Helen McMutrie - Club President, Emma Twartz - Finance Manager, Sherylea Kemp - Events Manager, Robert Vincekovic - General Manager.

Imelda Lynch, who in June became the first woman to Captain the club, and first female to Chair the Board at a tier 1 club in Adelaide.

Helen McMutrie, Club President for the last 8 years

Sarah King, resident PGA Professional, who has been with the club for eight years and who Vincekovic believes has been a key attribute to the club’s women’s try program.

Emma Twartz, Finance Manager

Anna Fontaine, Hospitality Manager

Monina Gilbey, Biodiversity Manager, who in collaboration with superintendent Tim Warren became the first South Australians to receive the Crockford Sustainability & Environmental Award at the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association’s (ASTMA) Awards.

Beginner pathway already in place

As a part of the Charter, the club is aligning its development programs, coached by King, with national participation programs Get into Golf and MyGolf.

“We have had great success with our beginner pathway for many years with approximately 70% of participants ending up as members,” Vincekovic said.

“And now, with the addition of a buddy system that has been implemented by our women’s committee, we are looking forward to aligning with Get into Golf Women and MyGolf to enhance our work even further.”

King’s input has significantly increased the number of junior girls coming through the MyGolf program which has translated to increased junior female membership and flowed through to Pennant success for the Club. Creating strong junior culture for the girls with a fun safe environment has been key to the successful numbers coming through the Club.

Megan Carr, Women and Girls Operations Manager at Golf Australia reiterates the value of clubs aligning with national participation brands.

“Our national programs such as Get Into Golf and MyGolf looks to centralise opportunities and help interested participants find their local golf program,” she said. “If we can have a clear message and single location for new participants to find programs, we start to make golf familiar to those that are unfamiliar.”

Looking to the future at Glenelg

Recently, the club have moved to hold a multi-day club championship to give all women and girls the opportunity to compete, and are currently investigating the potential of changing its tee colours to remove the stigma of men’s and women’s tees.

When you add in becoming South Australia’s first WIGC signatory, the club is well deserving of being labelled progressive and proactive.

“The process to become a Signatory has been seamless,” Vincekovic said.

“We recommend all clubs, especially SA clubs to get on board and help better our sport as a whole.”

Read the original article via the Golf Australia website here.

Gosnells first WA club to sign The R&A Women in Golf Charter - find out more here.