20 Apr 2021 | Participation | Women and girls |
MyGolf Girls making waves at Royal Hobart
by Dane Heverin
By Dane Heverin
Courtney Docking knows how it feels to be the only girl at a golf club.
In her junior days, the former LPGA Symetra Tour professional was often the only girl at clinics.
“It can be difficult feeling like the odd one out,” she said.
Now, she wants to ensure that the current crop of girl golfers never have to feel that way.
Docking runs the MyGolf Girls program at Royal Hobart Golf Club and it is booming.
A year and a half ago, the program began with only one girl in attendance.
But, the recent Easter school holiday clinic attracted 34 girls from across Tasmania.
“I was hoping for 10 girls!” said Docking.
“It’s a massive jump from anything we have had before. Half a dozen girls came from Launceston and Burnie.”
Word has clearly spread around the Apple Isle that the Royal Hobart MyGolf Girls program is empowering and creates strong bonds among all involved.
Chat sessions between Docking, the volunteers and the girls have been the foundation of this.
“It’s important for them to get to know us,” said Docking.
“They ask how we got into golf? If we were the only girls then too? To get a better idea about us rather than us just being coaches.”
When the time comes to hit some balls, the girls drive their own sessions.
The girl who did the best job in the previous session is handed the responsibility of choosing the first activity in the following session.
Whatever they choose, everyone is an active participant.
There are no long lectures from the instructors, only questions back and forth discussing with the girls on how to approach the shot they are hitting.
And the parents love it.
“They’re so happy with what they are seeing, the kids are happy and the community feel is fantastic,” said Docking.
The parents are not just sitting back and watching, a few times a year Docking runs a mother-daughter clinic and it has been a winner.
“A few of the parents have gotten back into golf because they saw their kids get into it and forgot how fun it was, not just as a fun sport for kids but for the whole family,” said Docking.
Going forward, the plan at Royal Hobart is to keep them coming back and if they do, they’ll bring others along with them.
“There is generally an interest by girls in golf, and we just need to keep providing relevant opportunities for them to give it a go!” said Docking.
Find your local MyGolf Girls program at mygolf.org.au.
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