The first WPGA Series event in Ireland was a roaring success at Glasson Lakehouse as a festival of golf came to County Westmeath for two days.
Twenty lady golf Professionals took part in the Monday pro-am before the one-day pro only series event on Tuesday, but this was much 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 and whizzed around Glasson in 66 strokes!
All 20 teams were invited to a clinic which took place at the driving range at 10.30 on Monday morning before the pro-am.
The WPGA Professionals put on demonstrations and tutorials across all facets of the golf game. Sarah Bennett and Nicholas did a long game clinic while Sarah Claridge and Louise Darcy put on a chipping and putting clinic with WPGA Pros and amateurs from across Great Britain and Ireland taking part.
Director of Golf at Glasson Lakehouse Lynn McCool had a huge role to play in bringing the 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 was 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.
“The pro-am was amazing and we decided to do something different. We started off with golf clinics with Alison Nicholas and Sarah Bennett before the golf, we did a shotgun start which created a really good atmosphere. Glasson Lakehouse is a really cool place and suits a pro-am so we went for food upstairs afterwards and we had a brilliant time.”
The Monday pro-am was won by England’s Emma Allen who 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 Gillian Burrell the highlight of Monday evening.
2022 PGA Captain 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. The PGA in Ireland will discuss plans to establish a women’s focus group off the back of the success enjoyed at Glasson Lakehouse.
PGA in Ireland Manager, Conor Dillon commented, “It was great to bring a WPGA event of this magnitude to Glasson Lakehouse and to Ireland. The event was a great success as we created a full schedule of events over two days to bring the women’s golfing community together”
Tuesday’s pro-only competition was greeted with glorious sunshine with Allen emerging a three-shot victor with compliments of the course flowing from all the players.
“Two perfect days in the hidden heartlands!” smiled McCool. “The course played really nice you know, 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.”
There will be another eleven WPGA Series events held across the UK this year.
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