In honour of Troon Women’s Golf Month which runs throughout the month of June, we are celebrating some of the fantastic female associates around the world of Troon. From golf operations to teaching, marketing to membership management, these women are using their skills, experience, and know-how to lead the way within the world of Troon.
Area Retail Manager, Troon Middle East
I’m a small town Texas girl who grew up with three brothers raising animals, loving sports and have a passion for design and all things creative. In 1994 I was working at a local ranch with a golf course with a female Head Professional managing the course; I had no idea what a rarity that was during those days. She became a positive role model and inspired me to take a job in this male-dominated world I knew nothing about. She was strong-willed, professional, genuine, hardworking, always immaculately put together and completely intimidating! We didn’t know each other that well when one day she approached me at the ranch and said, “Debbi, I just hired a new Golf Pro from Louisiana and I want you to show him around.” Out of utter fear, I replied “yes ma’am”. I later married that golf pro so I have a lot of professional and personal milestones to thank her for. After a few years of moving clubs, working with people who inspired, mentored and supported my new goals, it became clear I had found my career path within the golf industry. In 1999 I became the Merchandise Manager back at that first country club and the cute golf pro, now my husband went to work for Troon Golf; I followed a year later. Since joining Troon we’ve lived in four countries and are experiencing a life we never could have dreamed. Due to the progressive culture of our company, I’ve had the privilege of a flexible working career whilst raising two children around the world. I’m especially thankful for the bold and tireless female leaders ahead of me who paved the way and lead by example, proving that high quality productivity can be achieved while permitting flexibility. It’s now a personal responsibility for me to continue these efforts in hopes that this becomes the norm vs a privilege.
Director of Sales, Golfinity Performance Club, Austin, Texas, USA
Growing up in rural Wisconsin, I began working for Troon at the age of 16 at Wausau Country Club, and was launched into a lifelong love for the service environment and the golf industry. Amid professional growth and relocating to warmer weather I moved on to Cimarron Hills Country Club in the Austin Area working with events and developing relationships which steered me to my current and most exciting position in Troon at the Golfinity Performance Club. This is a concept that is new to golf and a way to bring the gift of the game to a wider demographic than ever before. My constant desire for growth and new challenges has propelled me to many new opportunities within Troon and I look forward to building the Golfinity story as one of Troon’s unique new brands. One of my biggest passions aside from working in golf, and a big reason for moving to Austin, is training for my MMA career. During my time as a MMA fighter, I fought at Madison Square Garden on New Year’s Eve 2018 on ESPN as well as two other televised matches.
Ever since I was a child, I have loved sports. I used to be an elite basketball player, so I know how important it is to surround yourself with a team of people who enjoy what they do and are driven to achieve results. My journey with PGA National Czech Republic started at Oaks Prague in residential marketing but I knew from my first interview that the golf course was where I wanted to be. The golf division was just being formed and I asked if there was a chance to develop into that area; as I often say, “there is a time for everything”, and a few years later I have achieved my dream. I am proud to be part of the team at PGA National Czech Republic; from winning Europe’s Best Course and the Best Course in the Czech Republic mere months after opening to the sustainability initiatives being rolled out to a fantastic golf experience we offer, I am lucky to be surrounded by true leaders in their field, from whom I am able to learn from every day.
Maria Garcia Izquierdo
Golf Operations Manager, Costa Navarino, Messinia, Greece
I was born in Seville, Spain, next to a golf course designed by Olazabal, and I feel like my life choices always seem to bring me back to one. Growing up and moving to Ireland, I was getting prepared for the perfect opportunity. And after nearly a decade, I had the opportunity to move to Costa Navarino in Greece; it was a hole-in-one type opportunity for me to combine tourism and golf and it’s been an amazing experience. Costa Navarino is an incredibly enchanting resort, full of cultural and warm hospitality and some stunning golf course views! And now our resort is going to add another of Olazabal’s vision. It is like my memories from home have guided me to my new Mediterranean home and after 4 years in Messinia, I can undoubtedly say that I am a proud part of the story of Costa Navarino and Troon Family.
Membership Manager, Royal Golf Club, Riffa, Bahrain
I was born and raised in South Africa, but moved to the UK in my teens before relocating to China for a 10-year long expat adventure. Having spent time in Africa, Europe and East Asia, it seemed my next home was inevitable; the mysterious and alluring Middle East.
I was completely new to the golf industry back in 2015, but I recently celebrated my 6th year at the Royal Golf Club in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Some proud personal moments include being presented with Manager of the Quarter in late 2018 and again in Q1 of 2019, receiving a Troon 5-year Service Award in 2020 along with the more recent Impact Award for Marketing & Communications Excellence in March 2021. I have had so many opportunities to learn within Troon at Royal Golf Club and it’s exciting to see the passion for this sport that the members have; it crosses all boundaries and as Membership Manager, I have had the pleasure to experience the cultural diversity this country and golf club embraces.
Golf Operations & Social Media at Al Zorah Golf Club, Ajman, UAE
Since I joined Al Zorah Golf Club, I have not only learnt the ropes of golf management but helped to create memorable moments for our members and guests, both of which have been an enriching experience. Being promoted to manage the club’s social media platforms in January this year was a WOW moment for me personally. This new opportunity has allowed me to develop my skill set and learn the ins and outs of aerial photography, becoming a competent Drones user, and mastering social media platforms like Hootsuite. And learning to play golf has been a fantastic experience and one which I have embraced; playing with my colleagues a few times a week has become the norm. I have always loved people and sport and finding golf and a company that wants me to grow made my move from the Philippines to the United Arab Emirates somewhat of a fairytale.
Director of Membership Sales & Marketing, Rio Verde Country Club, Rio Verde, Arizona, USA
My journey into the golf world began when I was just 5 years old going to the golf course with my dad. The course we frequented is no longer there, but I remember riding in the golf cart with him up and down the hills and putting on each green. Soon, I began hitting from the tees and eventually would be playing a few holes. I began golf lessons and clinics, then as I improved my game, eventually entered golf tournaments which was a great experience. I was able to meet so many other girls around my age that had the same passion for the game as I did. At this time, I was currently playing multiple sports, and decided to focus my attention just on golf as I realized it could pave a career for me. As part of my high school senior project, I decided to do my project on girls’ youth golf awareness; this sport has always been thought of as a male-dominant sport, so I wanted to show other young girls how this sport has shaped my life. Thirty-five girls from ages 5-12 years old participated in this where we had fun and interactive drills for chipping, putting and long game; it was a major success. Parents were emailing me telling me how much their daughter loved the clinic and that they wanted to continue golfing. Just being introduced to the sport at a young age paved the way to a full ride academic and golf scholarship for me to play Division 2 collegiate golf at Colorado Mesa University. While I was in college, I was hired as the Troon Sales & Marketing Intern that led to a Golf Sales Manager position with Troon at The Phoenician
Agronomy, Administrative Assistant, Royal Greens & Country Club, Saudi Arabia
I joined Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in early 2018 as an Administrative Assistant in the Agronomy department. It was the first time in my life that I saw an actual golf course, and if I am being honest; I did not know what Agronomy meant. The first few months came with many challenges; a single mom and a bachelor student combining family life, studies, and new role that I had little knowledge of in an industry that is still relatively new to Saudi Arabia and still very male-dominated. But I was excited to explore this new area; it was essential to learn and understand more about the work done on the golf course to be successful in my role. And the exposure I had to the course in those early months and seeing the daily practices and processes sparked something in me and I became very interested in the science. I am lucky to be surrounded by true leaders in their field, whom I can learn from every day and have invested time in me and educated me about this industry. And supported me through my studies; I recently celebrated completing The Ohio State University Golf Course Management online course with distinction. I am going into my fourth year in this role and I am very proud to be the first female in Saudi Arabia and the first Saudi in the Agronomy industry worldwide. To accomplish this so far is unbelievable to me. I am very thankful to see the support from Royal Greens, Troon and Golf Saudi.
PGA General Manager, The Allegria, Cairo, Egypt
My journey into golf began when I was young; as a professional golfer from 2009-2012, I lived and breathed the game and now I do so from the other side, to encourage more people into the game. My passion for the game came from my late father who became a member at The St. Andrews Golf Club in 2012 and volunteered for the Egyptian Golf Federation, to help initiate a vision and program to grow the game in Egypt since 2002. But I am also grateful for my education, experience and exposure to golf and hospitality, which brought me to where I am today, and continues to give me the confidence to venture further into the industry. My aim is always to be in a position where I can help to grow the game and be an inspiration for other women within the industry.
Membership Director, Sterling Grove Golf & Country Club, Surprise, Arizona, USA
I was introduced to the game of golf at the age of 7 through a local junior golf clinic at the Golf Club of Estrella. As a child, I played every adventurous sport I could get my hands on skateboarding, skiing, water skiing, triathlons, mountain biking, BMX racing, etc. With neither parent having ever golfed, I found that it was something of my own to learn and grow. As I continued to fall for the game, I couldn’t get enough of it. The golf course became my home away from home. The game of golf has provided me with so many great experiences, friendships, and life skills. Through golf, I received a full scholarship to play at the University of Northern Colorado, a game that I can enjoy for the rest of my life, and an amazing career as a part of the Troon Family helping others find and cultivate their love for the game as well.
I grew up on the outskirts of Phnom Penh in the province of Kandal; enjoying nature with my siblings from a young age and helping my family grow rice and vegetables. So my progression to forging a career in golf course management was somewhat natural as it allowed me to continue growing the skills I knew and be amongst nature. I started my golf course management career 8 years ago and have worked from the ground up; working as one of the golf course crew, a landscaper, operator, supervisor and now in my current role of 2nd Assistant Golf Course Superintendent. My strong work ethic and eagerness to learn, I have been able to develop professional in my role at Vattanac Golf Resort, and use my position as a leader to share my knowledge and experience with my team and the other women working at Vattanac Golf Resort.