Women in turf join team for CPKC Women's Open



Visibility and recognition for women in turf took a big step forward at this year's CPKC Women's Open in Vancouver, Canada.

Four female mentors and their mentees, supported by Syngenta, joined the turf crew at Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club in the run up to the national championship on the LPGA Tour from Thursday to Sunday.

Hannah Isinghood from Valley Ridge Golf Club, near Calgary, Mackenzie Levesque from Bear Mountain Resort, Vancouver Island, Michelle Smith from Capilano Golf and Country Club, Vancouver, and Shannon Perry, Town of Okotoks, Alberta make up the team of mentees. They were joined by their mentors Miranda Robinson, Lesley Thomas from Scarboro Golf and Country Club, Toronto, Amanda Frend from Ladies Golf Club of Toronto and Patricia Sloan, from Kamloops Golf Club, British Columbia.

Each of the women are part of the Women in Turfgrass Management Program, spearheaded by Morgan Creighton, Assistant Superintendent at Woodside Golf Course, Alberta.

During the week, the mentors and mentees assisted the turf team at Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club with daily tasks, sharing best practice and experience the level of detail and preparation that goes into an elite tournament course setup.

“This is a great initiative to showcase Canadian women in turfgrass management on the biggest stage for female golfers in Canada,” said Kathryn Wood, Chief Operating Officer, Canadian Golf Superintendents Association. 

“These women may have come into this career by chance. However, girls are now seeing that golf course management is a viable career that allows them to follow a passion of working outside in nature in the golf industry. With the support of Syngenta Canada, I hope these ladies create some lasting memories and have a lot of fun during their time at the CPKC Women’s Open this week.”

Women in Turfgrass Management founder, Morgan Creighton, recently attended the US Women's Open at Pebble Beach last month, where she first explored the possibility of bringing a group together. 

“I attended the U.S. Women’s Open at Pebble Beach in July hoping to see if it was feasible to bring it to Canada and continue the movement were seeing,” said Creighton.

“Miranda and I felt strongly we could do it, so we talked with Jason Steadwell from Syngenta, and he was 100 per cent behind the idea. He then talked to the Superintendent at Shaughnessy and the Superintendent at Earl Grey, which is the 2024 host of the CPKC Women’s Open, to make sure we could make a good run at this. Once we had both superintendents on board, we put together a list of mentors and students from the three provinces, which culminated this week at Shaughnessy.”

Explaining the reasons behind Syngenta's support of the mentors and mentees this week, Dale Kobelsky, Head of Professional Solutions - Canada, said: "Golf is such a wonderful sport because the turf crew needs to be in sync with the athletes in order to create an inspired golf experience,” 

“We know bringing people together from different backgrounds and genders leads to greater creativity and performance. That’s why this initiative is so important to Syngenta. By bringing in a diverse grounds crew, we can enhance the turf quality and, in turn, enhance the sport.”

Watch: Syngenta's Kimberly Gard and Bubba Wright discuss the women in turf team joining his crew ahead of the US Women's Open 2023