22 Jul 2021 | Women and girls |

Kooringal Golf Club making waves with women and girls

by Contributor

AGF Junior Girls Golf Scholarship Kooringal GC
Heather Harley (Chair of Junior Committee), Alan Jones (Club President) and Jody Hawkins (PGA professional) with the group of scholarship holders.

Written by Heather Harley, Chair of the Junior Committee, Kooringal Golf Club, VIC

We hear from one of our Australian Golf Foundation Junior Girls Golf Scholarship centres first-hand about their program.

Kooringal Golf Club is a popular golfing destination for the western suburban area of Melbourne. Our Board has been proactive in developing a whole club approach to regenerating the sport of golf and our membership base.

In recent times we have established a Junior Academy; are conducting Golf Australia’s Get Into Golf – women program, which includes three coaching sessions, plus on-course experience matched with flexible membership offers; weekly MyGolf sessions (also a program run Australia-wide by Golf Australia) for approximately 70 children per week, school holiday golf programs for juniors, secondary school introductory sessions for Mount St Joseph’s girls school (approximately 200 students), flexible membership packages, and more.

Kooringal Golf Club is very excited to be included in the Australian Golf Foundation Junior Golf Scholarship program. This program will provide a pathway for our scholarship holders to explore their golf options.

At the end of each term’s MyGolf sessions Jody Hawkins, our teaching professional, conducts a golfing event for all of the young folk. Every child has an activity appropriate to their skills, either individually or in teams. The support provided by the family & friends of these kids is fabulous, the Clubhouse terrace is buzzing with positive vibes at the end of the golf.

A chat group using Whatsapp was established between the girls and their parents, enabling an open and easy communication channel. This has been a way of sharing the photos, news, successes, organising games with each other, etc. The local newspaper and the club’s website have been other vehicles that have publicised the girls exploits.

A member of our club interviewed the girls to hear what their hope and thoughts are on golf.

Charli Edwards, one of the girls honing her skills under the guidance of the club’s head teaching professional, Jody Hawkins and judging by the wide smile and confident walk onto the tee, Charli is enjoying her new sport. “I think the program is really good because not a lot of girls play golf. I’m not quite sure why.”

“I just wanted to give it a go and see what it was like. Having a program for girls made it better because I thought I would feel more comfortable with girls. I love the challenge of the game, the environment and the friends,” Jade Addison said.

“In the old fashioned days it used to be just a boys sport and now girls can do it,” Charlotte Sweeney chimed in.

Participant Elaina Crozier said, “I like that golf is more about using your mind and thinking. It’s not just physical. And I like that you get to meet new people and have fun.”

“I feel good when I hit a really good putt and have less strokes,” said Emily Hendra.

“Jody has taught me everything and now I have a beautiful swing,” said Charlotte Sweeney.

“Just give it a go, do your best and have fun. I like that in golf you work on yourself. It is really great when we play a few holes during a lesson,” Darcy Butler.

Periodic Covid restrictions in Melbourne are providing a challenging environment for our efforts but we continue to plan and look forward. The club is very supportive with volunteer members working with each program, the club’s Golf Foundation providing financial support and an energetic staff all working together.

Our future is bright!

Find out 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.

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