Having a woman in charge of the day-to-day operations at the Yellowknife Golf Club wasn’t a matter of if but when?
That question was answered earlier this month and the first woman to be hired as the head professional is someone who’s a familiar face to those who golf in this town.
Kylie Frederick has been hired by the club to take over the daily functions as the director of golf operations, a new position created by the club that will see Frederick look after the golf-related side of the club only. It’s a two-year contract for the 2022 and 2023 seasons.
Shaun Morris, the club’s president, said the new position differs from the former position of general manager.
“The general manager was responsible for everything within the fences of the club: pro shop, clubhouse, maintenance, grounds,” he said. “You get some pros who don’t know about maintenance or grounds and so the new position will deal with everything having to do with just golf.”
Frederick spent the last two years as the assistant head pro to Cole Marshall, who will be leaving to become the new head pro at Mountain View Golf Club in Whitehorse beginning this season.
She said she’s excited for the chance to become the new person in charge.
“I loved the last two years and I look forward to seeing everyone again,” she said.
Morris said Frederick signed her letter of intent back in November and her new contract took effect on Jan. 1.
Frederick said she gave some thought about applying for the position but it felt right to do it based on the people she’s met at the club.
“I knew I wanted to return before this position became available,” she said.
Every head pro has their goals for what they want to do while on the job and Frederick is no different.
She said she wants to work on growing the game with a focus on women and juniors.
“Definitely create more junior and women’s programs and grow the game of golf in the NWT,” she said. “I am very passionate about coaching and helping others.”
Working alongside Marshall for two years gave her an idea of what it takes to run a golf club, she added.
“I am definitely grateful he gave me the opportunity two years ago when he hired me to come up,” she said. “He was there for 21 years, which is an incredible accomplishment. He definitely knows a thing or two.”
As mentioned, Frederick will become the first woman to ever run the show at the club and she said this is a chance to show people that women are just as capable of being in charge.
“I know that in Canada, only eight per cent of golf professionals are female,” she said. “I think this is a huge step in the advancement for women’s golf. If I can show any junior or girl interested in the game of golf that this is possible, I will have done my job.”
Something else Frederick is proud of is representing the LGBTQ community as an openly-gay golfer.
“I appreciate the steps on inclusion and diversity that have been taken in the (Canadian Professional Golf Association),” she said. “I also hope to get involved up there in the community. I think that will be good for inclusion — a gay director of golf. That should show people that the game is for everyone.”
Morris said he’s excited about what the next two years will hold.
“She’s made a lot of great relationships over the last two years and she’s made a big mark,” he said.