McKinstry Women Advance their Game Through Golf
The Pro Shop is a nonprofit organization founded by women with the mission to empower women in architecture, engineering and construction into greater positions of influence through the game of golf. Overall, the Pro Shop aims to get more women to say yes to the game of golf. Hear from McKinstry’s Corey Robinson and Kelsie Woodhouse about their journey with the sport of golf and how they have gotten involved with the Seattle organization.
As the daughter of a golf pro, Corey Robinson (second from right) has played golf since she could hold a golf club. The game has been a consistent part of her life and family for as long as she can remember. When Corey joined McKinstry more than eight years ago, she was thrilled to discover how golf could also support her professional goals, helping her to establish and build relationships with colleagues and clients.
“Other sports don’t give you the opportunity to really talk but with golf, you spend hours with the people in your group at a pace that allows for quality conversations,” said Corey. “You get to know people on a different level, and there’s a lot you can learn about a person from how they act on the course — do they know the rules and play by them? Do they keep an honest score? How do they act when the game isn’t going their way? All are good indicators of whether you would want to work with that person professionally.”
In her years of experience with the game, Corey says she’s often been the only woman in a foursome but says that’s changing thanks to a Seattle organization called The Pro Shop, founded by women wishing to “get more women to say yes to the game of golf.”
“Golf is equally difficult for everyone, but it’s not about skill, it’s about character. Women are just as good as anyone else at golf, and the more you play, the better you become,” said Corey. “You can forward your career in construction on the green and build some real friendships along the way.”
Kelsie Woodhouse (far left) also recommends the game to women as a way to network in an industry where golf is a cultural norm.
“The first time I played golf was during my first week in a sales position five years ago,” said Kelsie. “I wasn’t exposed to golf much growing up, but that first week — boom! — I was on the course with my colleagues and outside my comfort zone.”
Over time, Kelsie has grown to enjoy the sport and its career benefits. She says golfing with clients makes interactions more relaxed and human than meeting face-to-face in a conference room or on Zoom.
“I feel passionate about women’s representation in careers and spaces where we’re typically the minority. The Pro Shop helps you feel that you belong and that you’re not on a journey by yourself. I love how they create a safe space for learning so that you don’t take yourself too seriously. They help shorten the learning curve,” Kelsie said.
McKinstry began sponsoring The Pro Shop at the end of August 2022. This year, the Pro Shop is holding official events for the first time, with regular golf clinics and instruction from golf pros in Interbay in Seattle and at a facility in Sumner.
They’re also collaborating with SIFF to bring new golf film “Playing Through” to Seattle on March 18, a fictional film honoring the life and legacy of Ann Gregory, a pioneering female athlete and civil rights advocate. 100% of ticket sales from the event will go toward The Pro Shop and the Jackie Robinson Foundation. Learn more
Not in Seattle? The Pro Shop and our McKinstry women golfers recommend these resources for women to learn more and improve their game: