By Serrin Bertino
Until golf completely eradicates a common perception by girls that it is not a game for them, it can be a challenge for some clubs to recruit this demographic.
Through persistence, and the support of The Australian Golf Foundation (AGF) Junior Girls Golf Scholarship Program, this challenge is being overcome.
Just under an hour south of Perth’s centre, Pinjarra Golf Club is now reaping the rewards of persistence and tapping into AGF funding.
The club had previously applied for scholarship funding in 2021, however was unable to attract enough girls.
Continuing to run MyGolf and offer opportunities for girls to come and try the sport, numbers slowly expanded, and five girls are now thriving through their AGF scholarship experience at the club.
“Once you attract a couple of girls, they talk at school and all of a sudden you have a group,” said Joan Martain, Junior Coordinator at the club.
“It has been a challenge in the past to attract and retain girls, but the scholarship program is brilliant and is helping to keep a group together and engaged.”
The club has been impressed by the enthusiasm and progression of the girls.
“We have two girls who have lowered their handicaps by about 20 shots each over the last year,” Martain said.
“One girl is now playing on a regular basis with her dad and will soon have a handicap. The other two girls are also progressing exceptionally well.”
This early in the year Martain is already receiving enquiries from younger girls in the MyGolf program about applying for next year.
“My advice to other clubs that may have struggled in the past to get numbers is keep trying. You may need to start small, but once you get some momentum, numbers will grow,” she said.
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 partner with NEXTGEN Group as the principal partner of the AGF Scholarship Programme in 2023, with significant further support provided by Golf Australia, Golf Victoria, Victorian Golf Foundation, Golf Queensland, Golf South Australia, Golf Tasmania, Golf Western Australia, Western Australian Golf Foundation, Golf Northern Territory, Golf Management Australia, WPGA Tour of Australasia and PGA of Australia, as well as a number of additional generous private benefactors.
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.