on Worldwide Golf


Editor’s Letter

Celebrating the ladies

Women around the world will celebrate Women’s Golf Day on June 7 with a host of initiatives aimed at promoting the game to the female population by offering them various routes into the sport through taster sessions, leagues and a multitude of other activations.

Some women still find golf a daunting prospect, believing it is a man’s game, which isn’t helped by the fact that some clubs still discriminate against females. It was only in 2016 that Muirfield Golf Club lost its place on the Open Championship roster after members voted against allowing women to join the club. The decision was reversed a year later, but it wasn’t until 2019 that they welcomed women members to the club for the first time in their history. It beggars belief that this can be allowed to happen in this day and age.

Thankfully, in the UAE, we have been supportive of women’s golf for a long while, welcoming the stars of the Ladies European Tour to Emirates Golf Club since 2006 while the Emirates Golf Federation and clubs up and down the country offer plenty of sessions and initiatives to get women into the game.

In this month’s Editor’s Letter, I wanted to shine the spotlight on three fantastic ladies who are at the forefront of the game in the UAE, not just by introducing women to the game, but keeping them in it.

Olivia Jackson

In October 2020, the UAE PGA welcomed a female to the winner’s circle for the first time in its history courtesy of Olivia Jackson’s triumph at Emirates Golf Club. The LPGA Professional at Emirates Golf Club was the only female in the field but managed to beat her male counterparts after shooting a three under par round on the Faldo course – the only player to break par in the event. Since then, Jackson has gone on to create more history by becoming the first female to compete in the Dubai Golf Trophy, picking up 1.5 points to help the professionals end a run of six successive defeats in the prestigious event.

April Varney

Since 2019, April Varney has been coaching the women’s and girls’ National Teams. She and the Emirates Golf Federation have led the women’s team to a silver in the Arab Championship, followed by a gold in the GCC Golf Championship. Varney has also been at the forefront of the EGF’s National Ladies Program, which has attracted over 100 female players, particularly young women, from different emirates, as part of the game’s Women in Golf efforts.

Jenny Hennessy

Our columnist Jenny Hennessy only moved to the UAE in September 2020 but in that time has introduced over 450 women to the game through the all-girls golfing group Chicks With Sticks. Hennessy’s motto is ‘Growing the game, one chick at a time’ and she certainly did that in Dubai at the Els Club since the first 30 members took part in an introduction session last year. The growth of the group has been so rapid that Hennessy has recently launched sessions in Abu Dhabi, combining coaching sessions with social events.

Time for celebration

Those three are the first that came to my mind, but there are plenty more shining lights paving the way for female golfers. In this issue you’ll find articles celebrating the women’s game as we shine the spotlight on arguably the greatest female golfer to ever play the game, Annika Sörenstam, and Jamie Camero, who was recently crowned EGF Order of Merit champion. Hennessy gives us her latest insights into the game while we also hear from Jackson on her historic outing at the Dubai Golf Trophy. Play well, ladies.