Nicky Lawrenson, Director of Golf at Bowood PGA Golf Course, explains how her twin passions for coaching and increasing female participation have come together at the Wiltshire resort.
Nicky Lawrenson began her professional career over 25 years ago at The Belfry, where she counts herself fortunate to have experienced two Ryder Cups at the Midlands venue.
Following her PGA training and graduation in 2002, she moved to Dubai to work with the Peter Cowen Academy Emirates Golf Club – and gained experience from working with one of the world’s best coaches. Following a year of coaching, she moved into the role of Academy Director.
After four years in Dubai, she took up the position of Academy Director at Roda Golf and Beach Resort, in Spain, assisting in the establishment of the new PGA Academy there. She returned to the UK in 2010 to develop her own Academy and was awarded PGA Fellow status in 2011, which she says she was “honoured” to receive.
What does your role as Director of Golf at Bowood involve and how long have you been in the job?
The key focus of my role as Director of Golf at Bowood has been to drive the golf department and PGA Academy forwards. I have worked on some fantastic projects. These include the implementation of the new performance studio and developing strategies for the department to expand in the future, especially with the academy offering.
You are one of only a handful of female Directors of Golf in the UK – what are your thoughts on future progression for women in the golfing world?
I feel the future of women’s golf is currently extremely positive, as there are some fantastic initiatives in place and the appetite is certainly there. The future is bright for females working within the golf industry, with some amazing women fulfilling a wide spectrum of roles and having such a positive impact. I have been extremely fortunate with the opportunities throughout my career and have rarely faced any gender-related obstacles. I would encourage any female considering a role within the industry to go for it and follow what they love doing.
Tell us about your Ladies Get Into Golf programme
We have been running it since last year, and it has proven to be incredibly successful. It incorporates a weekly coaching programme, unlimited use of our Academy Course, spa access, use of the practice facilities and coffee mornings and aims to combine social and wellbeing elements with learning new skills. We have had in the region of a 30 per cent uptake of ladies transitioning to both our full membership and our Academy membership which has been so rewarding to see. In addition to this programme, we have delivered a ladies’ golf wellbeing and fashion evening with over 40 ladies in attendance.
Rohnisch attended the event with a selection of their apparel, plus ‘Willow Yoga’ showcased a unique range of their yoga products. This event was in conjunction with a ‘Golf – more than just a swing’ workshop exploring some of the mindset principles and golf specific wellbeing elements for female golfers. I feel passionately that there is so much more we can continue to explore to support and expand female participation within the game.
What are you golfing passions?
My passions lie with Academy development, coaching, performance, and wellbeing. An area that I have been championing for several years is supporting, empowering, and encouraging women to enjoy and embrace the professional and personal benefits of the game. Exemplary customer service is also key to a successful club and any service-based venture or business – ensuring that all guests and members genuinely enjoy their experience; that they feel welcomed and receive a level of service that consistently goes above and beyond.
What is your coaching philosophy?
I am a firm believer in the importance of the fundamentals and ensuring the student has a simplified understanding of their game and what they may be working on to ensure they can ultimately become as self sufficient as possible and help prevent any frustrating loops of continual experimentation. I believe it’s important to adapt to each individual’s needs with a holistic approach, keeping things simple, yet as efficient and effective as possible – most importantly keeping it enjoyable!