Editor Emma Ballard speaks to LET Membership Manager Sophie Mills about her career to date, looking after LET players and how they're inspiring the next generation of golfers

Welcome to our new 12-part series Inside the LET. Each month we'll be hearing from someone within the Ladies European Tour, to gain a better insight into the tour, the large number of stakeholders and partners involved and what it really takes to run a global professional women's golf tour.

Sophie developed a passion for golf from a young age, thanks to her parents who introduced her to the sport. Golf was very much a family activity which really fostered her love for the game. This early enthusiasm led Sophie to pursue a degree in Applied Golf Management Studies, where she built a solid foundation of knowledge and skills within the golf industry.

The degree covers a wide variety of areas in the golf industry, from business management and applied sports science to equipment technology. It provided Sophie with a well-rounded view of the industry and showed her the many opportunities available.

During her final year at university, Sophie completed a work placement with the Ladies European Tour (LET). This experience marked the beginning of her career with the organisation, where she started nearly six years ago as an Event Coordinator. In this role, she focused on the logistics and management of events, ensuring their smooth operation.

As Sophie's career progressed, the LET recognised the importance of enhancing athlete services, leading to the development of her role. She took on greater responsibilities in this area, which ultimately led to her current position as Membership Manager.

Can you give us a little bit more about what the role of Membership Manager entails?

My job involves ensuring that we consistently provide players with the best possible experience and level of service. I regularly liaise with our players for any queries related to the tour events or policies. I also review our existing services to enhance players' time and experience on tour.

What does a typical day look like for you?

My role varies day-to-day and depends on whether I'm working remotely or on-site at an event. A key constant is liaising with our LET members to ensure any queries are addressed promptly. I review upcoming events, coordinate different areas, and manage the level of service we offer to players. This includes scheduling internal meetings and communicating with the team to enhance our current policies. I also work with the IGF as our athlete liaison for the Olympics in Paris, which has been fantastic.

Why is player services so important, and how has it developed over the years?

Player services are crucial because they empower athletes to perform at their best. These services cover a broad area, from sports medicine, health and wellbeing, athlete nutrition to on-site logistics and event coordination which all tie into the overall player experience. Achieving a high level of service across our events and operations allows athletes to focus on competing at the highest level and supports future generations coming into the game.

What are the standard player services provided at events?

The level of service varies depending on the size of the event. We're working on standardising services across all tournaments and are now in a great position to be able to do this. We have recently introduced the LET Performance Institute, which focuses on women's health and well-being. This initiative is a key area of focus for us.

What do you like most about your role as Membership Manager?

I really love working with our players. I feel privileged to witness firsthand the hard work and dedication that goes into competing at such a high level and achieving success. I've also found it incredible to see the growth within the women's game and the impact this has had on the level of service that we are able to provide for our players. My focus remains on optimising these opportunities.

How does working directly with top players in women's golf impact you personally?

It's super inspiring. Our members continue to showcase to everyone the level of hard work and dedication it takes to succeed, and their talent will continue to inspire future generations to come. Being able to work so closely with them as they progress in their careers is very rewarding.

Emily Pedersen 2021 Solheim Cup
2021 Solheim Cup - image credit Tristan Jones/LET

Have you had a particular career highlight at the LET?

The one that immediately comes to mind is the Solheim Cup. I've been lucky enough to be involved with four Solheim Cups where I have got to experience the incredible atmosphere on-site and work closely with the team during these events, it is such a unique experience. I guess a standout moment was the winning putt at Gleneagles in 2019. Sitting with the team around the 18th green, where Suzann holed her putt for victory –  an incredible moment!

What are your thoughts on mixed events like the Volvo Car Scandinavian Mixed?

It's fantastic to have events like the Scandinavian Mixed that bring together the best female and male golfers. It ultimately showcases the talent and the game's ability to be an inclusive sport. Linn Grant's incredible performance winning this year and in 2022 was inspiring and showcased the extraordinary talent within women's golf. It's moments like this that will continue to inspire the next generation of golfers.

What are your thoughts on the future of women's golf and the role of the LET?

I think there's no doubt that women's golf is on an upward trend. It's ultimately up to us and key organisations and individuals within the industry to harness that growth as we continue to create a more inclusive and strong platform for future generations to come. Capitalising on this trend is essential and I feel proud to be in a position where I can have an impact on this progression.

Did you miss part five of our 12-part series? Inside the LET: Felicity Kinge, Senior Tournament Administrator - read the full interview here.