14 Oct 2022 | Women and girls |

Girls put their hands up to play

by Golf Australia

Girls come together on the Central Coast.
Girls come together on the Central Coast.

Do you want to get more girls playing golf? Are you interested in the Australian Golf Foundation (AGF) Junior Girls’ Golf Scholarship program but concerned you don’t have enough girls who want to play?

Mick Lamaro sits on the Central Coast District Committee in New South Wales and this time last year he held similar concerns.

However, holding the Junior Development Officer role within the district committee, he was determined to get more girls playing.

This is how Lamaro created a groundswell of movement that saw girls knocking on the door of clubs asking to play….

“We have nine clubs in our district,” Lamaro explained. “This time last year we only had enough girls across the district for one club to be involved in the scholarship program. With funding open to all nine clubs, we didn’t want to waste such an opportunity – as many clubs and as many girls as possible should be involved.”

Taking this in his stride, Lamaro and the district association championed the AGF scholarship program calling for expressions of interest through the district’s men, women and junior Facebook pages.

Through this audience, Lamaro collected the names of 16 new girls who were keen to obtain a scholarship for the 2022 year.

“Our district media manager Jason Miller is very active on our Facebook pages frequently posting photos of junior pennant and so on,” he said. “It has helped having an engaged audience of people who have obviously spread the word through their networks and attracted new girls in.

“We already had six girls with handicaps who we wanted involved as mentors for the newer girls, so this made up a group of 22 girls scattered across our district.

“I then mapped out where these girls lived and identified hub clubs that all took up the opportunity to be gifted with six to eight girls and sign up for the scholarship program.

Lamaro’s work and passion for girls golf did not stop there, in addition to the clubs receiving funding to run group tuition throughout the year, Lamaro approached the district’s men’s and women’s committees to financially support the programs, plus Jack Newton Junior Golf Association.

Aligning with the ethos of the AGF scholarship program to connect girls and foster opportunities to develop friendships (a key indicator of teenage girls staying in sport), the additional money received has been used to run fun social events and a rules night.

“We regularly bring the 22 girls together from the clubs including a night at a local golf simulator centre,” Lamaro said. “Not only do we have the 22 girls enjoying themselves, but the 20 or so parents and siblings. These turn into a big, fun night!”

“The AGF scholarship program has really kick started some great momentum across the Central Coast. We have more clubs now wanting to get on board for 2023 plus more girls!

“I encourage other district associations, especially the designated junior officers to push this program. Get out there, make yourself known and tell the good stories.”

Applications are now open for clubs and PGA professional to obtain funding for 2023 (close 25 October). Learn more and apply here 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.

A scholarship recipient enjoys a golf simulator as part of the Central Coast District's fun night.
A scholarship recipient enjoys a golf simulator as part of the Central Coast District's fun night.

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