Editor Emma Ballard looks back at our second annual Business Networking event in association with Lester Brunt Wealth Management
After the successful launch of our Women & Golf Business Networking event in association with Lester Brunt Wealth Management last year, we were excited to head back to the south coast last week.
In the lead-up to Friday, the weather had been extremely wet, so we were delighted to see the clouds disappear and be greeted with sunshine when we arrived at Barton-on-Sea Golf Club in New Milton, Hampshire.
The Business Networking event started with a welcome glass of prosecco and a Women & Golf goody bag. A light breakfast followed which enabled participants to dive straight into getting to know each other.
Then it was the turn of our compère for the day, Lester Brunt Wealth Management Managing Director Ed Bell, who set the scene perfectly:
“Golf gives me the opportunity to spend three or four hours with somebody, just getting to know them. Sometimes in business we don’t do that, it's all about the sale, it's all about let me tell you what I do rather than let me tell you who I am. Golf is a fantastic way of getting to know people, which will make your business relationship so much better.”
He also had high hopes and ambitions for the women, of whom most had not played golf before, to become part of the corporate golf space:
“I've been to loads of golf charity days and corporate golf days, we even run them ourselves at Lester Brunt. Trying to find women participants is really difficult. Trying to find women participants who want to be there, who have a right to be there and who would be adding value if they were there is really difficult. I'd love to be coming to you all in 12 months time saying Lester Brunt are running an event, come and put a team in.”
Our headline speakers
Nicole Wheatley, Founder and CEO of Medi8 Golf, a golf PR and Marketing agency, was first to speak. She took us back to the origins of women in golf and emphasised the changes that occurred over the years. As well as the history she talked about the changing fashion over the years. The main takeaway point was to note, that what you need to wear to play golf, may not be what you believe it to be.
Nicole then went on to talk about her own experiences in the corporate golf space. She gave an honest and open insight into her career path and how she only recently started playing golf with other people in the golf industry.
Our second speaker was Amelia Lewis, Director & Regional Manager for the UK at Player's 1st, a player experience platform designed to help golfs club retain and recruit players.
Amelia made up her own acronym for GOLF (no not Gentleman Only, Ladies Forbidden!).
G – Get out of the office
O – Opportunity to grow your network
L – Levelling up
F – Fuel your body and mind
She delved into each point but the one that stuck in my mind was Levelling up, which focused on women continuing to be part of the disruption and smashing the glass ceiling. That we need more women in golf to help plug the gender data gap that exists within the sport.
Again, lots of food for thought from a golf and corporate perspective.
A Q&A followed which gave participants the opportunity to ask anything. It was good to be able to highlight the different opportunities that there are to take part in the sport (it’s not all about 18 holes) as well as explaining that there were now options such as iGolf which can help you play without necessarily having to commit to a golf club membership.
Once everyone had had an opportunity to choose a slice of delicious cake and have a tea or coffee, it was time to head out onto the golf course.
An introduction to golf
Barton-on-Sea Golf Club’s PGA Professionals Peter Rogers, John Bullen and Finbar Kane were on hand to guide the attendees through three basic golf skill activities, which took place on the putting green, chipping area and driving range.
In three groups they rotated around the areas and were given a full golf taster session over the next hour and a half. The coaches provided a relaxed and informal environment, making sure that each individual was given advice and tips across all three skills.
After a quick group photo, everyone was in need of a refreshment!
Thanks to our supporter Slingsby Gin we were able to offer everyone a gin and tonic, alcoholic or non-alcoholic, so that a golf de-brief could take place before we ate a late lunch.
The food throughout the day from the catering team at Barton-on-Sea had been fantastic and lunch definitely did not disappoint with a delicious two-course meal.
It was then time to bring to a close our second Women & Golf Business Networking event in Association with Lester Brunt Wealth Management.
An inspiring day, not only for our guests but also for the team at Women & Golf. These events have shown us just how important it is to reach more women in the corporate world, so that they can enjoy the many benefits that golf brings to our lives, both professionally and personally.
Here's to next year!
Don't just take our word for it, here is some initial feedback from attendees:
“Probably the best networking event I've been to! A great networking opportunity - so many really interesting women, several of whom I'll be meeting up with again, the food and venue were fantastic, the speakers were inspiring and such a fun day! Absolutely loved my first golfing experience with the pro - I'll be doing it again for sure! Thank you Women & Golf and Lester Brunt!”
“I thought that it was well-run and very organised. I thought the event was well-attended, the presentations informative and there was enough time for Q&As. I enjoyed the coaching sessions we had with the professionals who I thought were very helpful. The goody bag was also a welcome treat!”
“Amazing event, one of the best networking events I have been to. It is an informal setting amongst likeminded business women and the common interest of golf makes it very comfortable.”
With thanks to our Partners
Lester Brunt Wealth Management are Appointed Representatives of St. James’s Place.