09 Jul 2024 | Australian Golf Foundation |

Bulimba finds the keys to attracting girls

by Martin Blake

Bulimba image
Ilaria Kelly is one of the AGF scholars who has picked up a love for golf at Bulimba.

Bulimba Golf Club in Brisbane is the latest club to benefit and regenerate itself thanks to the Australian Golf Foundation’s girls scholarship program.

The program is driven by PGA Professional Ian Jones who has a passion for bringing new golfers to the game.

Recently Bulimba, which runs beside the Brisbane River, picked up 12 new members who graduated from the AGF program. There are another seven new players at the club who are not in the program but who are schoolmates of AGF scholars.

Jones says the AGF scholarships have been hugely successful.

“We’re told by parents that the girls eagerly await putting their yellow shirts and blue caps on and catching up during our group classes and on course games,” he said.

“We encourage them to tell their school friends about it and already have three new girls ready to sign up to start their golfing journey in Term 3, bringing our total of girls in our little club to 18.

“We have already had one social event after class one evening with the club helping with food and drinks and we also invited and encouraged the families to make it a family night out. We ended up with a lot coming and buying dinner and drinks, so it was a win for all.”

Bulimba is activating women members of the club to engage with the scholarship girls and graduates of the program, helping them with basic rules and etiquette.

Other activities to attract girls included:

• Family Come and Try classes (Mums and daughters or daughters/grandparents) • A hitting bay at the local shopping centre • Ensuring that local schools are aware of the program • School holiday programs combined with another activity, such as swimming, trampoline or cinema.

Jones, a 40-year PGA Professional, previously built a successful junior academy when he was Head Professional at Goulburn Golf Club.

Jones’ sales pitch to parents is around safety. He makes the comparison with the football codes, with their issues around concussion. “I sell it to people as: ‘You won’t have knee reconstructions, your children won’t get knocked out, they won’t have problems going forward’.”

But he says golf clubs need to work hard in this space because of the competitive environment.

“No golf clubs should be without junior programs. It just shouldn’t be. There’s too many kids living around golf courses,” he said.

“It’s worth every bit of effort.

“Some clubs are waiting for them to walk through the Pro shop door. It’s not going to happen, because there are so many choices for kids.” Information about Bulimba

Read about the AGF Scholarships

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