18 Jul 2023 | Participation | Clubs & Facilities |
The long and short of it at Huon Valley
by Golf Australia
As Huon Valley Golf Club President Brett Doyle puts it, the Tasmanian club started off pursuing a goal of gender equality – and ended up achieving golfing balance.
The club, which has a 12-hole course located on the banks of the picturesque Huon River south-west of Hobart, was looking to address the age-old golf “system”.
The men played Wednesdays and Saturdays in their competitions and the women played competitions on their traditional Tuesdays.
“But our rules stated that only men could win the competition on Saturday, even though women could play in it,” Mr Doyle said.
In addition, as is the norm with most golf clubs, men played a longer course and women played off shorter course tees.
Club Secretary Christine O’Connor said Huon Valley Golf Club has now created two “gender-neutral” courses, playing off blue tees (long) and white tees (short).
“Both men and women are now able to play and win in the same competition, from either the long or the short course,” Mrs O’Connor said.
“They key result for our members – which has been accepted by all members – is enjoyment of the game across the board.”
Mr Doyle said one issue which needed explanation was how a player’s handicap would be affected on either course.
“But you get one handicap from Golf Australia. And that handicap will adjust according to the course you are playing," he said.
Mr Doyle said the biggest competition cohort at the club was men.
“The truth was that some of our older members were struggling to play the longer course. They now love playing the shorter course because they’re competitive again and the biggest win is that they are enjoying their golf.”
Huon Valley Golf Club boasts an impressive 260 playing members, with eight varying forms of memberships available.
Golf Australia Development Manager – Tasmania Simon Weston said Golf Australia encourages all clubs to consider offering gender neutral tees which allow golfers to choose a length of golf course that fits their skill/ability.
“Allowing senior golfers, as well as juniors and new golfers, the ability to play a shorter course regardless of their gender can assist in retaining golfers for longer,” Mr Weston said.
Join our newsletter
Get weekly updates on news, golf tips and access to partner promotions.