By Serrin Bertino
In its third year of supporting girls to pursue their golf through the Australian Golf Foundation Junior Girls Golf Scholarship program, it seems that 'dads' are often key to getting girls into golf at Bunbury Golf Club in Western Australia.
"We have five girls in our program this year," explained Peta Van Wyk, junior coordinator at the club.
"Many of these girls have been introduced to golf by their fathers who are members here at the club."
This has also been the case for Lilli Andrew, a 2021 scholarship graduate.
In her younger years, Lilli noticed that lots of the men and boys played golf in her family, so she was determined to close this gap.
"I liked golf a bit, but more so I wanted to start a new generation of girl golfers in my family. Why should all the boys get to play?" she said.
Lilli was 12 years old and a B-grade golfer when she graduation from the 2021 AGF scholarship program.
She was nominated for demonstrating a great commitment to the program. As a result, she won a custom-fitted set of 14 Callaway and Odyssey golf clubs - kindly donated by Callaway.
Just 18 months later, Lilli who is now age 14, plays off a handicap of seven.
Peta Van Wyk is thrilled to see Lilli improve over this time.
"It has been wonderful to see how much Lilli has progressed since her scholarship year," said Van Wyk.
"She now competes in events such as the WA Amateur and club championships and is just hooked on her golf.
"She is a terrific role model for other girls coming through the program."
Lilli's younger sister, Bonni Andrew followed in her sister's footsteps and obtained a scholarship the following year (2022).
Girls are continuing to flourish in this year's scholarship intake.
"We have two girls who have progressed from learning basic skills, to now playing on-course via our 'Tiger' tees. The other girls have just obtained, or soon to obtain a handicap," said Van Wyk.
"The AGF Scholarship program has played a significant role in bringing girls together at our club and taking their golf to the next level."
Applications for the 2024 club funding open on the 18th August 2023 and close 28th October 2023.
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.