SSE Women's Invitational paves the way for women to mix golf and business
OREANDA-NEWS. October 05, 2015. The stunning Stoke Park Country Club was the venue for the bespoke event, which saw over 60 women pick up a set of golf clubs – many for the very first time – in the name of breaking down barriers and allowing women to benefit from the advantages of doing business in a golf environment.
And the event proved a hit with all those in attendance. SSE Next Generation athlete Kylie Walker, a two-time winner on the Ladies European Tour, was there to support the event and pass on some pearls of wisdom on the driving range. “It was brilliant to see all these businesswomen turn out to enjoy a day of golf,” she said:
“Typically, businesses have golf days two or three times a year and they offer so many opportunities to those that already play golf. But this event is unique. It’s all women, and predominantly beginners as well, so it’s fantastic to be a part of that.
“Being successful at anything is all relative, and having spoken with some of the ladies at the event, a lot of the techniques I use to be successful on the golf course are relevant in business too.”
Participants enjoyed either a competitive nine holes of golf, or, for the first-timers, expert tuition on the putting green and the driving range from Stoke Park’s PGA qualified professional coaches.
And after a key-note speech from athlete, author and journalist Matthew Syed, guests were treated to a lively debate from six industry panellists around the issues of diversity in sport and business.
The SSE Women’s Invitational began as the brainchild of IMG’s Global Head of Golf, Guy Kinnings, who was also on hand to open and close proceedings at Stoke Park. SSE has committed to the event until 2017 and judging by the reaction of those in attendance, Guy’s desire to hold the event every year looks increasingly likely.
Allana Smith, lawyer at Sky Sports:
“I’ve always wanted to play golf but never really had the opportunity before. So I jumped at the chance to come here and it’s been brilliant.
“I’ve met some really fantastic ladies, and to have the opportunity to receive tips from golf pros – including Kylie Walker – has been amazing.
“It’s a brilliant sentiment to connect businesswomen and golf. This is a perfect forum for like-minded women to meet and have a bit of fun, as well as meeting new business contacts too.”
Fiona Morris, Head of Sales and Marketing at Havas People:
“This was my first experience of proper golf after a couple of tries at the pitch-and-putt, and it’s been really good fun – I didn’t think I’d enjoy it as much as I have.
“Being on a golf course is a great way to break down the barriers and chat on a social level, rather than in a business networking environment.
“It potentially opens up so many new doors for the women here. I’m in marketing and sales, so attending this kind of event could be very valuable for us in the future. I’m very likely to be heading back to the driving range in the future.”
Isla Cunningham, Creative Solutions Editor at Press Association:
“This was a great opportunity for me to come along and network, but also to meet new people in a relaxed and informal setting and learn some golf.
“We’ve been really lucky to have Kylie and the other pros here. It’s a really fantastic and rare opportunity for women to get together in a sporting environment and feel encouraged and supported while learning something new.”