Oh what a night! A fantastic celebration of women in the golf industry at the second Women in Golf Awards

One hundred women and men from across the world of golf gathered at Walton Heath last night for the 2nd annual Women in Golf Awards, hosted by Nicola Bennett.  The winners come from all sectors of the industry and range in age from 20 to 83, showing the amazing contribution that women make 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 level;
  • 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 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 First 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 as Brand of the Year sponsored by The British Golf Industry Association acknowledging the brand’s products, service and commitment to empowering women golfers; and
  • International Woman of the Year Award sponsored by Perry Ellis International went to Singapore based Karen Proctor who during her 20-year career has dedicated her time to supporting initiatives that help others address the gender imbalance in the industry and and breaking boundaries in the region.

The Trailblazer Award was presented to Emma Whitlock, Country Secretary at Sussex County Golf.  Emma has transformed the Union since being elected to the role, including advocating for girls to take part in the boys’ competitions, introducing sustainable practices, and trialling mixed events.  She is one of only two women to hold a Country Secretary role and is the youngest person to do so in the UK.

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 recognised the bravery they showed in giving up their amateur playing rights, the passion that they brought to the game, their camaraderie and commitment to inspiring others to take up 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.

“What a night!” commented Nicole Wheatley, co-founder of the awards.  “I feel like we have met some future industry leaders this evening.  To see them shine on this stage gives me a huge sense of pride, and confidence that golf continues to move in the right direction.  I have no doubt that the guests have gone away inspired, motivated, and with joy in their hearts, just as I have.”

The ballot for 2024 Women in Golf Awards ceremony is now open and available through the website www.womeningolfawards.com