Karen Lunn has made history by becoming the first-ever woman to chair the Australian Golf Industry Council.
Lunn, who is also Chief Executive of the WPGA Tour Australasia, was elected this week to the role.
She replaces Gavin Kirkman, Chief Executive of the PGA of Australia, who served two terms over four years at the helm of the all-encompassing industry body.
“I’m very honoured,” said Lunn. “To represent the whole of the industry is an honour. We’re seeing collaboration through the industry and it’s great to be a part of that, and it’s really good timing.
“Everyone in the sport including all the organisations that sit within the AGIC will play an integral part in delivering the Australian Golf Strategy. It’s an exciting time and I’m proud to take on the
Lunn said there was symbolism in the appointment.
“The strategy has such a strong focus on women and girls’ participation, knowing that the industry hasn’t done so well in that space before, so it is significant,” she said.
“Any time that a woman takes on a role when they haven’t taken on before, it’s significant, and that’s not lost on me either. I’m honoured that the rest of the organisations in the AGIC, who are all represented by men, have put their trust in me to do the job.”
Kirkman said Lunn was an obvious choice in a time when the industry was promoting inclusiveness for the sport.
“She’s there because she’s the best person to do the job,” he said. “It’s about her input and her knowledge and her experience. We’re delighted that Karen has seen fit to take this on and we’re sure she’ll do an excellent job.”
Lunn is a former touring professional who played in Europe (1985-2013), on the LPGA Tour (1994-2002) and in Asia (1998-2005), serving on the LET board of directors for 14 years including a 10-year stint as chair as well as chair of the players’ council.
A 10-time winner in Europe, the high point was her 1993 British Women’s Open victory.
She has been CEO of the WPGA (and its forerunner, the ALPG), for nine years.
Lunn said the industry had seen how it needed to move forward with the publication late last year of the Australian Golf Strategy, a roadmap for the future compiled by the full golf industry.
“The work that we’ve done has shown us that there is a lot of work to be done,” she said. “We’re all very aware of that. But there are resources allocated to the areas that need to be focused on.”
The AGIC was formed in 2006 to help unite the golf industry in Australia, and includes representatives from the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association (ASTMA), Australian Sporting Goods Association (ASGA), Golf Australia, Golf Management Australia, PGA of Australia, WPGA and the Society of Australian Golf Course Architects (SAGCA).