09 May 2023 | Women and girls |

Girls camp turns out to have a lifelong impact

by Australian Golf Media

Junior girls camp image
A selection of the junior girls who attended the camp on the Murray.

By Serrin Bertino

For six women at this year’s Victorian Junior Girls Development Camp, the annual fixture was a step back in time. The former camp graduates hosted 40 girls aged 10 to 16 at Tocumwal Golf Club just across the border at the Murray, and relished the opportunity to give back. “It has been a rewarding to be part of something that gave me so much joy as a girl,” said Jody Fleming, PGA Professional from Rich River, and Deniliquin Golf Club. “Whilst I was in the era when the camp ran at Anglesea Golf Club in the middle of winter, most things remain the same. The camp has always been a way for girls to make friends with other girl golfers and form friendships for life.” Past Victorian Girls Golf Camp attendee and manager of this year’s program, Jayne Young, also enjoys a rewarding career in golf working as Golf Relationship Officer at Golf Australia. “It has been such gratifying work to coordinate something you attended as a girl yourself,” said Jayne. “I am looking forward to watching this next generation of girls flourish and discover a career in golf for them.” With the aim of connecting girls and providing opportunities for friendships to flourish as well as improve golf skills, the camp consisted of a mix of skills practice and on-course play, plus non-golf related activities such as trivia and a dance night. A further four past camp attendees were on hand to assist in the delivery of the camp: - Tahlia Holmberg, community golf instructor who coaches golf through the sporting schools’ program; - Molly O’Brien, community instructor who delivers MyGolf at her local club -- Hamilton GC; - Alex O’Dell, previous Goulburn Murray Golf Association junior coordinator who is now the district president; and - Kate Purtill, a recent junior who acted as a mentor for the girls. Not only are camps providing an opportunity to showcase possible career paths in golf to girls, the PGA of Australia, WPGA Tour of Australasia, and Golf Australia are also running a series of Women in Golf Careers showcases throughout 2023. Tiffany Cherry, Head of Women and Girls Engagement at Golf Australia is thrilled with the outcome. “It’s now a case of ‘you can be what you can see’,” said Cherry. “The camps provide us with a great platform to show girls what is possible in golf, and we are extremely grateful to those women who share their journey in the game and inspire the next generation of women playing and working in the game.”

Designed to attract, engage and introduce women of all ages and backgrounds into the golf industry – as well as the available education and training opportunities through the PGA Golf Learning Hub – events are set to run throughout regional locations in Victoria in May and June.

The showcases will each feature a diverse group of guest panelists who hold a range of roles within the industry. Each keen to share their experiences, the panel discussions and insight will give attendees the chance to understand what a path to a career in golf can look like.

Following the panels, all guests will have the chance to network, take part in a clinic run by a PGA Professional and seek more information about the potential for a career in the sport. Venues are:

- Traralgon Golf Club, Princes Hwy, Traralgon VIC 3844, May 28 - Kyabram Parkland Golf Club, 12 Racecourse Road, Kyabram, VIC 3620, June 2 - Wangaratta Golf Club, 5 Fairway Drive, Waldara VIC 3678, June 4 - Curlewis Golf Club, 1279/1419 Portarlington Rd, Curlewis VIC 3222, 18 June

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