Alice Nunn has become the third ever woman to take out the Devil’s Own golf championship after eight decades of competition.
The 86th Devil’s Own tournament was played last month at Manawatu Golf Club in Palmerston North. The tournament is the longest running private sports competition in New Zealand, having only missed one year during World War 2.
Travelling from Waikato for the weekend competition in Te Papa-i-Oea, Alice didn’t have her sights set on winning this year. However, in a pleasant turn of events she found herself in the final with Lance Green, who’s caddy for the final was one of the event’s organisers Julian Long. After a hard-fought round on the Sunday, Alice was triumphant.
“If you looked at the tournament from the outside, you’d think with 100 plus men - and it's been traditionally all male, all lawyers for its history – that it would be the quintessential old boys club.”
“But, the atmosphere of the event in my experience has not been one of old boys’ exclusivity. I have very much been welcomed and encouraged along the way, which I think is a positive reflection on the legal professions growth in this regard.”
Whilst it is still predominantly male lawyers who can be seen strutting the fairways the number of women taking part is increasing. Alice says that also echoes the gender participation in the sport of golf itself.
Alice is also breaking ground as the first woman to sit on the Devil’s Own Trust Board.
Alice has been playing golf for five years but considers herself still quite a newbie to the sport. She credits experience playing hockey as helping her achieve her recent victory.
As part of her work to encourage more women to get involved in Devil’s Own Alice offers a crash course in golfing or opportunities to caddy. She is also hopeful to combine a She Loves Golf event for next year. This year Jessica Collett couldn't play but came along as Alice’s caddy.
But there is more to Devil’s Own than just the golf. Alice says the networking opportunities out on the fairways is on par with any other conference or event.
“It gives you the opportunity to learn from some very senior lawyers. If you’re partnered with one for a round, you have the time between greens to pick their legal minds.
“You get to meet people from different areas of practice and make some really valuable connections.”
For anyone interested in finding out about more about the competition check out the Devil’s Own website.