15 Jun 2023 | Women and girls |
Junior girls data is a sight to behold
by Australian Golf Media
By Serrin Bertino
There is a lot to smile about after reading Golf Australia’s 2021/22 Participation Report. In particular, the fact that golf has experienced a 10.1 percent increase in junior girls’ membership. With a history of being ‘a gentlemen’s game’ and therefore, a pre-conceived idea by some girls that they are unwelcome, how has this increase occurred? The investment in two national programs by the golf industry over the past three years explains part of this change. The Australian Golf Foundation Junior Girls Golf Scholarship program and MyGolf Girls are at the heart of it. The notion goes as follows: • A girl (aged 5-12) starts her golf journey by learning the fundamentals of the game through MyGolf • She then receives an AGF scholarship to progress her golf into on-course play, club-membership and obtaining a handicap. Providing an avenue for girls to learn and play golf with other girls is proving invaluable, with exponential growth experienced in both programs. David Gallichio, General Manager of Golf Participation at Golf Australia, believes the golf industry is on the right path. “We have placed a large focus on MyGolf Girls over the past two years,” he said. “This includes the roll-out of MyGolf Girls month in April - a month aimed to promote girls’ participation and awareness within golf.” In one short year, there was a 53 percent increase in the number of girls-only programs being offered. Overall participation by girls in MyGolf programs throughout the country has increased by 25 percent. Bonnie Boezeman AO, director of the Australian Golf Foundation (AGF) and founder of the scholarship program, is thrilled with the growth of girls’ golf. “I created the girls scholarship program at my club, Killara because there was never a proper girls program,” she said. “Now after five years, there have been 26 girls through the program with outstanding results. “It has been transformative to see the program rolled out nationally for the past three years. “The effect it is having on junior girls’ membership numbers across the country, is simply exceptional.” In just three years, the scholarship program has grown from 226 girls involved in 2021 to 965 girls in 2023. With the intent to support girls into competition and obtaining a handicap, girls receive coaching and membership at local clubs over the course of one year. This membership has a profound effect on Golf Australia's Participation Report figures. However, the change is not short-lived. The program proudly boasts an 89 percent retention rate in membership following the girls scholarship experience. “We are extremely proud that such a large percentage of our scholarship graduates continue with membership at their clubs,” said Boezeman. As these two programs continue to grow, it is expected a similar trajectory will follow in junior girls membership. Want to build your junior girls membership figures at your club? • Become a MyGolf centre here • Find out more about AGF Scholarship program here • Donate to the Australian Golf Foundation here Applications for 2024 AGF Scholarship club funding open on 18 August 2023 and close 28 October 2023. Keep an eye on the AGF website for details. 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. Find a local scholarship program near you. Visit australiangolffoundation.org.au for further information. 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, Golf Management Australia, WPGA Tour of Australasia and PGA of Australia, as well as a number of additional generous private benefactors.
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.
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