Gumpoldskirchen, Austria - The 2023 World Adventure Golf Masters (WAGM) featured an amazing location, marvelous hosts and a beautiful course. Additionally, something unexpected and wonderful happened there. A record number of twenty-two female players comprised about 20% of the participants. As a result, the largest field of mixed pairs, twenty, also competed. A solid number of female coaches were visible at all times on the course.
The ladies were also on fire with some exceptional performances! Women's General Class gold medalist Olivia Prokopova (Czech Republic/USPMGA club) finished ninth overall in the straight standings. Double dipping in style, was medalist Petra Riegler (Austria) who scored both the gold medal in the Female Seniors class as well as a bronze medal in the mixed pairs. Twice was nice for double silver medalists Elisabeth Gruber (Austria), who picked them up in the Women's General Class and the Teams competition, and Sandra Walker (Finland) who grabbed them in the Female Senior and Mixed Pairs. Impressive Gold in the Mixed Pairs and Bronze in the Women's General Class as well, for Wilma Harrysson (Sweden). In the links you can find the full final results including all the medal places for the women.
To grow ladies participation, we must have women visible, respected, in an inclusive environment. This was achieved in Gumpoldskirchen. Bravo to the WMF for the addition of Mixed Pairs to International competition (starting in 2019). A prime example of how to move the needle in the correct direction.
On a personal note, the support and friendship of female participants, even across national lines, towards one another was clearly visible. This also creates an environment that is welcoming, which will in turn grow the number of incoming ladies. It's been a privilege and a blast to tee it up with you!
Well done, women of WAGM 2023!
Article courtesy of Vanette Block, member of Team USA and the WMF Women in Sport Committee.