Walton Heath hosts Women in Golf Summit

Women in Golf Summit 2023

Walton Heath Golf Club, venue for the 2023 AIG Women’s Open, recently hosted the inaugural Women in Golf Summit, bringing together women from across the UK golf industry.

The summit, founded by Walton Heath Golf Club Chief Executive Alex Woodward, provided a platform to female leaders with four keynote speakers addressing more than 75 attendees.

Woodward said: “While the overall number of women in the golf industry is still too low, the number of leaders in our industry who just happen to be women is very healthy. This summit served to highlight these leaders, network and showcase them formally to as many more women as possible with the goal of facilitating a bigger wave of involvement in the future.

Among the attendees were women representing club management, event management, player management, TV and broadcasting, golf architecture, agronomy, sustainability and more.

Zoe Ridgway, R&A Championship Director of the AIG Women’s Open, was one of the summit’s keynote speakers. With a career spanning 20 years, Zoe shared stories about her time working in the golf industry and women progressing into senior leadership positions.

Speaking after the event, Ridgway said: “Walton Heath’s Women in Golf Summit was an excellent opportunity for women working across the golf industry to come together. It really highlighted what opportunities are possible within golf and I hope that it inspired those in attendance to continue to aspire towards long and successful careers.”

Attendees also heard from Vicky Cuming, Vice-President and Head of Golf Clients at IMG EMEA; Sky Sports Golf presenter Inci Mehmet, and Nicole Wheatley, founder of marketing and public relations company Medi8 Golf.

Also in attendance was love.golf Founder and Head Coach, Alastair Spink, who said: “It’s vital that our sport creates and supports opportunities to bring more women into the game, at both playing and industry level.

“The vision of Alex and his team at Walton Heath to raise awareness and deliver a number of initiatives to support women alongside is testament to their commitment and is sure to make a big difference.”

Ahead of the AIG Women’s Open, Walton Heath Golf Club has become the host club for the AIG Women’s Corporate Academy, and has extended an invitation to professional female greenkeepers to help deliver the course during the AIG Women’s Open in conjunction with The R&A and BIGGA.

INSIGHT: Are women golf's 'outsiders'? Find out more about golf's 'insiders' and 'outsiders' in the new report Golf & Social Media: The Great Divide