23 Jun 2022 | Women and girls |

A catalyst for change

by Golf Australia

Four of Gympie's five Australian Golf Foundation Junior Girls Golf Scholarship recipients (one participant was absent for this photo) after another successful session.
Four of Gympie's five Australian Golf Foundation Junior Girls Golf Scholarship recipients (one participant was absent for this photo) after another successful session.

The launch of the Australian Golf Foundation Junior Girls Golf Scholarship program last year could not have been better timed for Gympie Golf Club which is located two and a half hours north of Brisbane.

“It was perfect timing,” said Sean Dwyer, Golf Operations Manager at the club. “The program has acted as a catalyst to some very positive change. At the time, there was not much junior activity and somewhat a bit of a flatter atmosphere around the place. The scholarship program has helped revitalise the club. It sparked an enthusiasm and momentum. Since then, we have been a lot more active in the development space, including women’s clinics.”

Gympie is now in the second year of the scholarship program. Since its inception, some girls have hit their stride and travelled to pursue their golf.

“Grace Kelleher, a 2021 recipient has relocated with her family to Brisbane so Grace can attend the Kelvin Grove School of Excellence Golf Program,” Dwyer said. “Another 2021 graduate, Caitlyn Wheatley, is now playing pennant for a larger club in Brisbane.

“It has been inspiring to see these girls progress their golf to such a level. With the intent to not shut these girls out, the club has been working to revise eligibility to honour board events, pennant and so forth so these girls continue to come ‘home’ to play. I think it’s important to acknowledge some girls will leave our club and town to pursue their golf and careers. However, we want to ensure we make it easy for the girls to come back, and that they want to come back.”

To ensure that happens in the future, Dwyer and the team at Gympie are getting the participants off to a great start in the game.

“Whilst this year’s scholarship program has been interrupted by catastrophic rain,” he said. ” The girls are really enjoying themselves. Before the program started, they had all played a little before, but the scholarship program has bought them together. Since then, they are thriving, making friends, and really enjoying hangout out (with some golf thrown in too!).”

For more information and to see a list of funded centres, 2022 visit the Australian Golf Foundation website.

Australian Golf Foundation is thrilled to partner with NEXTGEN Group as the principal partner of the AGF Scholarship Programme in 2022, 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, Jack Newton Junior Golf, Golf Management Australia, WPGA Tour of Australasia and PGA of Australia, as well as a number of additional generous private benefactors.

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. Visit australiangolffoundation.org.au for further information.

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.

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