GAO golf Golf Ontario team ontario

Golf Ontario Celebrates Women in Golf on International Women’s Day

We caught up with just some of the passionate girls and women across our community recently, and asked them to share what it means to them to be a woman in golf in Ontario, and if there was a moment in their golf experience that made a major impact on them.

Barbara allan, volunteer -golf ontario & golf canada

We know that sport has the power to change lives. Girls who play golf tend to learn teamwork, self- reliance, resilience and confidence. All powerful skills that can create great leaders. I love watching young women playing golf and I’m very proud to be associated with both Golf Ontario and Golf Canada who provide so many opportunities for both young and older women to learn the sport, compete in the sport and to support the sport. We are so fortunate in Ontario to have many excellent female role models as players, as coaches, as volunteers, as golf course owners and even as golf course architects. And, as we all know, “if you can’t see, you can’t be it”. So on March 8th, let’s celebrate all that International Women’s Day means to golf and to all the opportunities that we have and can continue to create for female golfers. “Play like a Girl”

krystal li, team ontario 2023

Growing up, media coverage for the LPGA tour was not very big. Only recently, it started to change and women in golf are beginning to gain the attention and recognition they truly deserve. As a woman in golf, I believe I have the opportunity to represent this community to further develop the game for future generations. The sport has given me many new opportunities to grow and learn invaluable skills. I hope to inspire other girls to become more involved in sports and continue the progress we are making for female athletes today.

Emma Hansen (right) Team ontario 2023

I always felt like golf was always a very male dominated sport, I didn’t know many other female golfers and women’s golf was almost never broadcasted on TV. I’m glad to say that female golf is gaining its proper recognition now, and it means the world to me that I am a part of the generation where female golf is growing immensely. Golf means the world to me, and I am so proud that I am able to represent females in golf for Ontario. I hope that my fellow female competitors and I can continue being role models for the female golfers in the making.

swetha sathish, 2022 ontario jr. (u19) girls champion

Women in Sports have come a long way in the last few years with pay raises, more tournaments/tours, and more recognition on television. One of the sports that I have seen the most improvement in is golf. There is so much talent for women in sports and in golf right now, and I think we can prove to the world that we should be recognized. Women in Golf is an awesome movement to bring more women into this sport and help them feel belonged, and I think Golf Ontario is doing a great job by promoting this event every year and helping it grow. The more we can teach and get women interested in golf, the more we can help this sport grow in all parts of the world for everyone!

In my family tree, I am the only female athlete to have come far enough to play in provincial, national, and international tournaments at a junior age. I have tremendous support from my whole family and our friends. But, the most support I get is from my little cousins! They love to ask me about my tournaments and find out if I have won, and watch me play. They are so interested to learn and play golf when they grow up and go play in these high-level tournaments. When they ask me if I can teach them golf, and they say “I want to be like you when I grow up,” it inspires and motivates me to become better every day. I think to myself that one day I will be inspiring many more little girls to start playing golf, and grow this sport for the girls out there that can truly bring out their talent!

leslie ferrari, golf ontario president

I joined my golf club shortly after graduating and I didn’t know a soul. Over the past 47 years, I have participated in many events, draws and competitions. I started without a handicap and I’m now a single digit golfer. Most importantly, I have met hundreds of people through golf some I include in my family circle. These lasting connections will last a lifetime.

nancy bertrand, golf ontario board director

I think it is very important for women in business to participate in golf. Personally I started to golf when I first started at a law firm and the men left to go golfing but the women were not invited. Many women miss out on important business development and mentoring opportunities when they don’t know how to golf. Learning to golf is not only enjoyable but can be very helpful in a woman’s longer term career objectives.

Aja crawford, golf ontario cfo

Golf has and continues to play a significant role in my life, in wonderful and meaningful ways. Starting back as a student, I fondly recall enjoying the landscape and sunshine of Ontario summers outdoors on the golf course on a beverage cart. In my professional career as a finance professional, I have had the fortune of occupying leadership roles at member golf facilities, and at present here at Golf Ontario. Our vision of Golf for All and mission to shape lives by connecting people to positive golf experiences are statements that resonate, and are congruent with my personal values and philanthropic desires. Our association’s path forward is exciting!

As a Woman working in Golf, I am driven to be a positive influence and supporter of others in both the accounting profession and in business management, particularly in sport. In my personal life, golf talk continues – my husband also works in the golf industry as a Turfgrass Professional, we met nearly 20 years ago on course, sharing many friends in this wonderful industry. Today we raise our two young children with an active lifestyle, and cherish the memories we make as a family together, often on the golf course.

Amanda cookson, director of golf – Firerock
& regional manager, golf ontario

For me this means so much more than just women playing the great game of golf. I would love to see in future years more women in the business of golf, whether that be reporting, managing or even creating golf courses. I am most excited to see Golf Ontario venture into creating hype over working in golf and all the benefits that come along with the game!

I will never forget the time when we hosted the 2019 University College National Championship and a players parents came up to me to say how their daughter couldn’t believe that it was a woman in charge of running the facility. Throughout the week I had many young ladies ask me about my career path and how I came to hold my position in golf. This was encouraging for me as they now can see someone who they can relate to in a senior leadership position as well as opening the conversation surrounding female empowerment in sport.

This International Women’s Day, Golf Ontario celebrates and acknowledges all the many contributions made by these young girls and women that are just a small part of the fabric of our golf community across Ontario. We thank them for being part of our mission to shape lives by creating positive golf experiences for all.