15 Mar 2021 | Women and girls |

Gove girls' golf going places

by Golf Australia

From back left, Gove community instructor Esther Rika alongside scholarship winners Erin Miles and Ruby Smythe, and, from front left, Poppy Ross, Frankie McKie Blamey and Chloe Budja.
From back left, Gove community instructor Esther Rika alongside scholarship winners Erin Miles and Ruby Smythe, and, from front left, Poppy Ross, Frankie McKie Blamey and Chloe Budja.

Gove Country Golf Club is known for being the most northerly golf course in Australia, but it might become even more revered for its development of champion female golfers.

The club, in the north-east corner of Arnhem Land more than 1000km east of Darwin, has recently granted five scholarships to girls aged 10-16.

This is thanks to funding from the Australian Golf Foundation as part of the Australian Golf Foundation Junior Girls Golf Scholarship program.

The club is not shying away from its ambitions.

“One girl told me her aim is to fine-tune her existing skills so she could one day be a professional golfer,” said Esther Rika, community instructor at the Gove Country Golf Club.

The scholarships help the girls on their golfing journey by providing coaching, obtaining a handicap, playing in club competitions and forming lifelong friendships.

“The girls have told me that it is an honour for them to be selected and they are excited to be able to do this together as a group,” Rika said.

Gove’s five scholarship recipients are among 200 budding teenage golfers involved in the scholarship program, which has been launched at 40 MyGolf centres across the country.

The program is also designed to close the participation gap in girls’ golf.

“We have high numbers of girls under 12 years of age enjoying our MyGolf program, but smaller numbers once the girls hit their teenage years. The scholarship program will help us close this gap between girls and teenage girls,” Rika said.

Rika said the program was also an active way for Gove to achieve its Vision 2025 goals.

Learn more about the Australian Golf Foundation Junior Girls Golf Scholarship program via the Vision 2025 website.

The 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, in New South Wales.

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