KARRIE WEBB is one of Australia’s most successful golfers of all time and on the eve of the groundbreaking Vic Open was awarded honorary membership of the PGA of Australia.
Webb has proudly represented her country at the highest echelons of the game for more than 20 years notching up an incredible 51 wins worldwide including seven Major titles.
The award was presented in the midst of moves to increase greater female participation and equality in golf – and at a unique tournament that sees to men and women golfers compete on the same courses, at the same time, for an equal share of the prize money.
Given the timing it was ironic that Webb should meet and talk with another very successful long time international golfer – Geoff Ogilvy – for the very first time this week.
“I spoke to Geoff Ogilvy for the first time today. Our paths just don’t cross. It would be nice, just as the tennis does, that we have a handful of events a year that we’re all together and you get to know everybody,” Webb said.
Webb’s outside the ropes services to golf
While Webb’s playing resume speaks for itself, just as impressive is her work behind the scenes to foster young talent via her Karrie Webb Series and subsequent scholarship being provided to two Australian females amateurs each year since 2008.
“I’m really chuffed,” said Webb of her honorary PGA membership.
“When Gavin Kirkman called me late last year, I wasn’t sure what he wanted to speak to me about and I definitely wasn’t expecting that.
“It’s a very, very nice honour and I’m really thankful to the PGA of Australia for thinking of me like that.”
As a vocal supporter of increasing female participation in golf, it was fitting that Webb received her honorary membership of the PGA of Australia at the ISPS HANDA Vic Open; a golf tournament leading equality in golf.
“Obviously the Vic Open’s had this format for I think six or seven years now and what I love about it is it’s actually gotten the world’s attention now that the LPGA have co?sanctioned and the men’s European Tour have co?sanctioned. World media are talking about it,” added Webb.
Throughout her career Webb has had a strong association with the PGA, most notably with PGA Professional Ian Triggs.
“I had a fabulous time working with Triggsy. He really got my game ?? it wasn’t in great shape when he started helping us out, you know, from the swing obviously to just refining a few bad habits.
“But for me, we did a lot of great work on my short game, just tidied all of that up.
“His knowledge tee to green, every shot in the bag was fantastic. I learnt so much from him.”
But it is the work that the PGA is doing to produce more female PGA Professionals which excites Webb.
“I know a lot of the female PGA of Australia professionals have great junior programs, so that’s boys and girls. You know, I think they’re great nurturers, women,” added Webb.
“Women might have a different approach to coaching that identifies with certain people, whether it’s men or women.
“I think it’s great that the PGA of Australia’s really making it a little bit more accessible for women to go into that field and knowing that that is an option if they want to stay in the golfing world and have a career in golf.”
With 2800 PGA Professionals across Australia, PGA Chairman Rodger Davis said that it is an honour to have the support of Webb.
“Karrie Webb is a wonderful ambassador for Australian golf not just as an athlete but as a role model,” said Davis.
“We are privileged to welcome Karrie to the PGA of Australia with honorary membership. To count a person of her calibre amongst our ranks is truly wonderful.”