Dongguan, China: Mission Hills flew the flag for China at the inaugural International Women’s Golf Day (WGD).
Underlining its commitment to broaden golf’s popularity, Mission Hills joined more than 400 golf facilities in 25 countries as a participant in this first-of-its-kind growth of the game initiative.
Headed by Elisa Gaudet, WGD was started by a group of golf industry veterans working together to deliver an introductory golf experience to women and girls around the world.
Appropriately, the Mission Hills event was staged at the course sculpted by Annika Sorenstam, one of the finest female golfers in the game’s history and a respected ambassador for the sport.
A total of 200 females participated with 100 competing in an 18-hole tournament. Another 100 attended a golfing clinic conducted by coaches from the Mission Hills Academy with fun competitions for putting, chipping and driving.
Gaudet said: “The main reason we are doing this is to unite girls and women and let them experience golf in a safe, fun environment. For some women it will be the first time and others are active golfers.
“We wanted to unite everyone and with media we have the power to connect everyone and let them share their story and experience and know they are part of a growing global golf community.
“It is rewarding to see how many people have come together and very exciting to have everyone doing the same thing on the same day in a global community setting. We had a Women’s Golf Day event happening somewhere in the world for 24 straight hours as there was an event in every time zone.
“Thank you to Mission Hills for participating. We are so honoured to have Mission Hills be a part of this global event.”
Steve Mona, Chief Executive Officer of the World Golf Foundation, said: “Women play a critical role in the success of the golf industry. Nearly 23 per cent of all golfers in the US are female and the creation of Women’s Golf Day is an opportunity to increase awareness, participation, and showcase golf as a fun activity for people of all ages.”
To coincide with International Women’s Golf Day, Mission Hills announced the creation of the Ladies Amateur Golf Association [LAGA], aimed at further developing women’s golf globally.
Annika Sorenstam will act as Honorary President of the LAGA, which is supported by The R&A, China Golf Association, Guangdong Golf Association and Hong Kong Golf Association.
The mission of the LAGA is to build a platform for all female golfers to compete, communicate and share a happy and healthy lifestyle. The goal is to organise more than 100 amateur tournaments and 100 golf clinics annually.
Tenniel Chu, Mission Hills Group Vice Chairman, said: “Mission Hills has always prided itself on its efforts to develop the game. We invited Annika Sorenstam to design her first golf course which is also the first female design course in Asia Pacific. We partnered with Annika to create the only junior girls tournament in Asia and now we have created the Ladies Amateur Golf Association.
“Mission Hills is pioneering China’s golf development and we are delighted to see more females taking up the game. Of the 60 million golfers globally, only 18% are ladies. I believe we will see this figure rise in the coming years and undertakings such as the International Women’s Golf Day will be positive in raising the profile of golf for women.”
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