09 Aug 2022 | Feature stories |

Giving new golfers great experiences

by Golf Australia

Garth Cusick players

Garth Cusick, the July Visionary of the Year monthly winner, was the cherry-picked recently joined the Australian Golf Show for a yarn on the future of the game of golf. 

Cusick, Founder and head coach of The International Golf Academy Australia in Melbourne, said when attracting new golfers we need to do more than just stand and teach them to hit the ball. 

“By listening to each person, we can understand the unique selling factors of golf. Getting outside and walking while playing was one aspect that a lot of people loved,” Cusick said.

“Participants are also not focused on scoring so getting a handicap and playing in competition is an irrelevant upsell.”

Cusick has been coaching for 15 years and has spent half his life coaching in Mandarin. He is committed to attracting and retaining Chinese-Australian women in golf.

“We need to show an appreciation for their culture and who they are. We need to pay careful attention to them and how they can drive others to come and play golf,” Cusick said. 

“Having direct contact and giving unmatched attention to each person is pivotal. We make sure each person knows where to go, we make sure they know if the class is going to be outside and what the weather will be like.

“Another important aspect is understanding individual needs. The women are extremely impressed with the accumulation of skills that produces knowledge. A selling point for the program is that no what your ability is, you will have an opportunity to be on course, on day one.”

Cusick is not only passionate about attracting women to golf but also growing the game to suit every unique need. 

“Going forward we need to exploit the assets of each golf course and use them to become more inclusive. If you have a flat golf course, then you have a great opportunity for people in wheelchairs to have a go at playing,” Cusick said.

“The all-abilities is a sector that golf hasn’t explored enough and is a big opportunity to grow the game of golf. Local councils can provide more funding to increase opportunities for new golfers such as all abilities and non-English speakers.”

Cusick’s work is a great model for what other golf clubs re doing to tap into new golfing audiences and ensure golf is accessible to everyone. 

Hear more from Garth Cusick as he chats with hosts Tiffany Cherry, Mark Allen and Martin Blake by listening to the Australian Golf Show.

Podcast | Australian Golf Show

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