The inaugural WPGA Series event proved a phenomenal success at Glasson Lakehouse as a festival of golf arrived in the majestic County Westmeath venue for a two day period.
Twenty female PGA members took part in a pro-am on the Monday before the first OCEANTEE WPGA Series stroke play event of the season the following day, but this was more than just a golf competition. A stellar field was in store for the Monday and Tuesday competitions including former US Open champion and Solheim Cup captain Alison Nicholas, while Roscommon starlet Olivia Costello, fresh from her Irish Girls Amateur win, played in the pro-am carding seven birdies for her winning team.
All 20 teams were invited to a golf clinic which took place at Glasson Lakehouse driving range on the Monday morning ahead of the pro-am. The WPGA members hosted demonstrations and tutorials across all facets of the golf game.
Nicholas and former PGA Captain, Sarah Bennett, hosted a long game clinic, while Sarah Claridge and Louise Darcy conducted a chipping and putting clinic with pros and amateurs from across Ireland and Great Britain taking part.
Director of Golf at Glasson Lakehouse, Lynn McCool, had a huge role to play in bringing the OCEANTEE WPGA Series to Ireland and she was thrilled with how the two days went.
“It was absolutely superb, the support that we had from the pros in England and Scotland has really made this event,” she said. “Alison Nicholas and Sarah Bennett coming over and a few of the other girls and then the Irish girls were great. I’m really proud because we have had huge investment into Glasson Lakehouse so I knew the girls would love the place, but the team on the golf course are fantastic and the course is in brilliant order. There was a great atmosphere all week,” Ms McCool stated.
The golf clinics started with Alison Nicholas and Sarah Bennett, followed by a shotgun start which created a really good atmosphere. Players then enjoyed food and drinks in Glasson Lakehouse’s restaurant ‘Bonnies’ to round off the festival.
Events such as this do not happen without the support of sponsors , Press Up Hospitality Group, Failte Ireland and Killester Travel, which enabled the staging of a great two day occasion on the Glasson Lakehouse course supporting women in sport.
The pro-am was won by Emma Allen’s team and she would complete the double on Tuesday with a level-par 72 in the pro-only event, but it wasn’t only about the golf, with a Q&A session hosted by PGA Advanced Fellow Professional Gillian Burrell the highlight on Monday evening. Bennett and Nicholas were the headline acts on stage and some of the most influential characters in women’s golf with the subject matter concerning leadership, networking and careers in women’s golf.
The one-hour Q&A session was well received by the audience with plenty of questions and engagement from the floor.
The positive feedback came flooding in with many participants asking the PGA if they would consider hosting another event like this in Ireland again. Plans are in place to establish a women’s focus group off the back of the success enjoyed at Glasson Lakehouse.
“Two perfect days in the hidden heartlands. The course played really nice, the amount of rainfall we’ve had through March and April has been a record level but I have to say our greenkeeping team are fantastic and the golf course played just superb. It’s not just me I have a great team around me that make my job easier, and I am very proud of them. We have a golf course that is top quality and it’s a big testament to our owners for putting the investment in,” Ms McCool concluded.