Being able to golf year round is going to be a new experience for Gina Hosie, Victoria Golf Club’s new and first women’s golf program director.
Living and working in the golf industry in Ontario since 1995, Hosie said she isn’t used to being out on the links getting a tan in early April. Out on the course recently, playing in the sun, Hosie said she couldn’t help but think of her husband, visiting Ontario and trudging through two inches of fresh snow.
“That’s going to be new for me, being able to play 365 days of the year.”
The new title Hosie is taking on is reflective of an industry realizing the strong presence and importance of female players. A number of people in other roles have organized the female programs at the club, but this is the first time the club has hired someone specifically for developing female-centric programming.
“I think the idea was to have some female presence on the professional team.” Hosie said. “And just have somebody whose focus it is to enhance the membership experience for the ladies here and try some new things.”
Hosie plans include developing new education programs and events for women. With some fresh ideas for clinics and fun events, she’s eager to bring new ideas and approaches to the club.
Long gone are the days of golf being a male-dominated sport, Hosie said. For seven years she worked at the Ladies Golf Club of Toronto, the only remaining private golf club in North America with a strictly female membership.
“That kind of demonstrates that it’s not a men-only sport,” Hosie said. “I think a lot of clubs are realizing that is an area of the market that is growing, that clubs need to cater to.”
In 1896 the Victoria Golf Club had 27 female members, but they were only honorary members, meaning they had no say in committees and couldn’t vote. This rule didn’t change until more than 100 years later, when in 1999, changes were made to allow women the same membership status as men, including eligibility for election to the board of directors. Bylaws continued to be updated until 2008 to implement full equality.
The passion for golf didn’t come to Hosie until she moved to Canada. Her husband is an avid golfer and she began to golf with him. A couple of years in, she fell in love with the game and decided to make a career out of it.
“Golf just kind of happened for me,” she said.
The challenge of the game is what initially hooked Hosie. Having played a number of other sports, Hosie said golf was one of the few she couldn’t easily master.
“The good thing about golf is it can be competitive or it can be social,” Hosie said. “I can go out and play a competitive round if I want to or I can go out and just have some fun and not keep score.”
Victoria Golf Club is the perfect fit to continue making a career out of her passion, she said. She and her husband are moving into Oak Bay and she’s excited to become a part of the golf community.
“I’ve played golf courses all over the world, some really top-level courses, and this course, without a doubt, is one of the most spectacular settings for a golf course I’ve ever played,” Hosie said. “It’s just beautiful out there. It’s kind of hard to concentrate on my game when there’s so much to look at.”