Picken the first female golf pro
NICOLE PICKEN has returned to her home turf to become the first female golf professional at the Mullumbimby Golf Club.
A winner of the Coraki Ladies Pro-Am a few years ago, Picken had been competing on secondary tours in Europe and the US.
But after becoming a mother, she had to cut back on her tournament commitments.
It was always her dream, though, to come back to her much-loved childhood home, so when her husband found work locally they jumped at the chance.
With the position at the golf club for Picken, it all ‘just fell into place’, becoming the second female club pro in the district after Rhys Wright at Byron Bay.
“It’s a really exciting time to be attached to the club,” she said.
“The board has some great ideas about moving the club forward, to improve the course, the clubhouse and the facilities.”
Picken, 35, and her team have been in the job for nearly three weeks, with the course flourishing after the recent rain. There is also a new fleet of 13 carts.
Picken plans to be in the job for at least as long as her predecessor.
“I see this as a long-term position,” she said. “I feel very proud to be the club pro here.”
Picken, who fell in love with the game as a 12-year-old, is now enthusiastic to give back to the game and the community.
She hopes to encourage more young players to have a hit at the club.
“I’m looking to develop a junior program, with Tuesday afternoon training sessions and cadets playing on the weekend,” she said.
“There will be ladies’ clinics as well. We aim to increase the membership of the club.”
Picken undertook her PGA apprenticeship at NSW Golf Club in Sydney from 1997 to 2000 and speaks highly of the skills learnt during her training and career.
“It teaches you so many life skills,” she said.
It is also pleasing for Picken to see more women training to get where she is.
It would seem a new cycle of young Mullum golfers has just begun.