With the goal of supporting girls to become golf club members and gain handicaps, the Australian Golf Foundation (AGF) Junior Girls Scholarship program has grown from strength to strength over its three-year period.
So too has an inaugural supporter of the program, Yowani Country Club in the ACT.
Yowani was one of the 37 clubs to receive funding in the scholarship program's first year. Now in 2023, the club is one of 142 clubs across the country advancing girls' golf.
"The funding and AGF Scholarship program were the catalysts to get us started," said Ken Norris, junior manager at the club.
"It prompted us to build a better pathway for girls and juniors to progress their golf at our club."
The club's pathway now includes three stages:
- MyGolf Program - to get girls aged 5-12 started in golf.
- AGF Junior Girls Scholarship - supports girls on their golfing journey and to become members of a club by providing access to coaching and a handicap.
- Rising Star scholarship program - supports girls and boys through coaching to lower their handicaps and advance their golf.
"The scholarship program has been the perfect segway between girls learning the basic skills through to becoming advanced golfers," said Norris.
"It has prompted our club to extend its support by financing a junior boy's scholarship program plus the Rising Star scholarship program.
"Both additional programs are directly funded by the club through the establishment of the Yowani Junior Development Fund."
Through this extended pathway, the club has been able to retain more girls and achieve some great outcomes including:
- 13 girls currently on various scholarships with the club.
- Five of the original six scholarship girls from 2021 advanced to the club's Rising Star scholarship program.
- Three girls have been selected to represent the ACT in 2023 Schoolsport Australia national championships.
- Seven girls at the club have GA handicaps and play regularly in club and district events.
- 80 percent of girls who have gone through the AGF scholarship program are still members at the club.
- Five of the girls have represented Yowani in junior pennant over the past two years.
Girl's golf is big, and it is only getting bigger as the club gets geared up for another scholarship year in 2024.
"We have some girls coming through our MyGolf program which is our feeder program to the AGF scholarship," said Norris.
"So, we are very keen to apply for funding again in 2024."
Norris offers some words of advice to other clubs thinking of getting involved in the AGF scholarship program.
"Use the AGF funding as an opportunity for your club to get started and set up a pathway that is visible for not only girls, but members at your club," he said.
Applications are now open and close on October 28.
For more information on the program click here
To apply for the 2024 program click here
Australian Golf Foundation is the national foundation for golf in Australia. The AGF supports Golf Australia’s vision to grow golf by investing in targeted initiatives to inspire all Australians to enjoy and play the game.
Find a local scholarship program near you. Visit australiangolffoundation.org.au for further information.
Australian Golf Foundation is thrilled to announce NEXTGEN Group as the principal partner of the AGF Scholarship program once again for the third year in 2024. Important financial support also continues to be provided by a number of generous benefactors, in addition to golfing bodies.
The scholarship program has come to fruition thanks to the foresight and generosity of Bonnie Boezeman AO, Director of the Australian Golf Foundation, who originally established the program at Killara Golf Club, NSW.