20 Apr 2021 | Women and girls |
Trafalgar opens up for families
by Martin Blake
Trafalgar Golf Club’s Vision 2025-inspired experiment with an open family event – updating a long-standing father-son tournament – has proved to be a resounding success.
A big field of 73 players contested the Kevin Barr Memorial event last weekend, playing as an all-gender field for the first time in the 40-year history of the tournament.
The popular country Victorian club – mindful of Vision 2025 pillars of gender equality – changed the event from a father-son tournament last year but Covid-19 restrictions forced a cancellation of the 2020 event. Thus, the 2021 event was the first under the changes.
Club president Stewart Cluning attended a presentation by Chyloe Kurdas, Golf Australia’s Female Engagement Senior Management, several years ago and immediately set about opening up Trafalgar to women and girls in a meaningful way.
Tee times are now gender-equal, and the constitution was rewritten to form one committee rather than two, with women represented on the new board.
The Kevin Barr Memorial is an instrument of those changes.
One prime example last weekend was club member Kerryn Ashton being able to play in the event with her 79-year-old father, Neville Dilger. “We had a great day,” said Ashton, who recently joined the club because it allowed her to play on Saturdays.
“I work full-time and if I could only play on Wednesdays, I’d have to give up my golf. That’s something that I love and something I’ve grown up with.”
Cluning said the feedback had been all positive.
“It’s been fantastic for the club,” he said. “It’s the right thing to do. We had a good vibe around the clubhouse and there were people there who hadn’t been down for 15 years.”
Winners on the day on a countback were Ed Hayward and his son James with 45 points. But the event itself seems set to grow stronger. “This isn’t a one-year wonder,” said Cluning.
“It’s going to grow and evolve.”
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