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Australian Golf Foundation Scholarships; Hamilton making a difference

The Australian Golf Foundation’s junior girls scholarships are making an immediate impact at Hamilton Golf Club in Victoria’s western district.

Fifteen girls registered to take part in the program on Sunday mornings under the guidance of two-time club champion, 18-year-old Molly O’Brien, who is a qualified community instructor.

They come from far and wide with one girl travelling an hour from Portland each week.

It is the only AGF scholarship program in the area, making it all the more important.

“It’s been enormously valuable to our club,” said Vice President John Hill.

Molly O'Brien knows all too well the feeling of apprehension for young girls starting out in the game, having worked through it herself.

"I went for a hit once a month with Dad, and then Covid came, and I couldn't play netball or basketball," she said. "I was going mad sitting at home, so I started playing more golf and I fell in love with it."

It was a lonely time for her, but she persisted. "I didn't have anyone in my own age range, but the members were really welcoming for me."

She believes the program has been a big success at Hamilton.

"They're all engaged with it, and they've formed some good friendships as well," she said. "I think they'll stay on in golf. They're always nagging me, 'can we go and play some holes this week'?''

Hill says the fact that Molly O’Brien can connect with the girls is key.

“We probably wouldn’t have done it if we didn’t have Molly to be the instructor,” he said. “We felt that we needed a younger female to do it. They see Molly around the town. Everyone knows everyone else in a town like this, and they know Molly. It’s that peer support thing with girls. They listen to her and they understand.”

Hill says the different vibe at the club has come not only from the presence of the scholarship girls, but from their parents. The club offered parents of scholars free golf if they played with their daughters, and many have taken it up.


The program enables girls aged 9–16 around Australia to begin or continue their golfing journeys under the watchful eyes of qualified PGA Professionals or community instructors.

Designed to foster a deep love of golf, the program nurtures strong bonds between the participants while developing invaluable life skills such as perseverance, etiquette, concentration and cooperation.

Scholarship graduates may also continue to develop their golf through enrolling in courses at the PGA Learning Hub, including the PGA Academy membership pathway program to pursue a career in golf.

In 2023, 974 girls took up scholarships at 142 golf clubs around Australia.

For information about the scholarships, go to:

Article written by Golf Australia


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