29 Apr 2019 | Women and girls |

Vision 2025: One year on

by Golf Australia

MyGolf Girls clinic

Vision 2025 was launched in February 2018 with the goal of increasing the rate of participation of women and girls in golf and changing the culture of the game. KAREN HARDING takes a look at how it’s progressing. 

When Jill Spargo, chair of the Vision 2025 steering committee, reflected upon the first anniversary of the program’s launch, she felt genuine pride in what had been achieved in the first year. 

And so she should. It’s an impressive list – made even more impressive because much of it has been achieved alongside the introduction of the One Golf structure and all that has meant in terms of transition and integration of states, programs, events and personnel. 

“When I think of all the key things that we’ve got underway, I realise that it’s been a big year, a very satisfying year,” Spargo said. “So much has been foundational, about relationship building and ensuring we had goodwill and understanding from people in the golf industry and community about what we are trying to do. But we’ve been able to pick some low hanging fruit, which we hoped we would do, and we’ve had a very positive reaction from both golfers and clubs, so that’s terrific.”

A snapshot of some of the highlights: 

  • The key appointments of Chyloe Kurdas as Female Engagement Senior Manager and Stacey Peters as Female Pathway Manager. 

  • The establishment of a steering committee which includes Karrie Webb, Karen Lunn, Gavin Kirkman and senior representatives from Golf Australia, state associations and other industry bodies. 

  • The adoption of the R&A’s Women in Golf charter and ongoing collaboration and support with and from that organisation. 

  • The 2019 release of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Guidelines for the Promotion of Equal Opportunity for Women and Girls in Golf, which followed the 2018 Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission’s Equal Opportunity in Golf. The establishment and rollout of the national Vision 2025 roadshow for clubs. 

  • The establishment and rollout of Even Par to assist clubs in reviewing own-club gender-neutral strategies. 

  • The establishment of a collaborative agreement between ALPG and PGA of Australia.

  • Co-sanctioning of the ISPS Handa Vic Open between the LPGA, European Tour, ALPG and PGA Tour of Australasia. 

  • The commitment by Stephen Pitt, CEO of Golf Australia, to become a Male Champion of Change. 

  • Increase in the number of girls-only MyGolf programs. 

  • A review of the participation pathway for girls and development of product offerings to fill identified gaps. 

  • The start of benchmarking where women are positioned in leadership roles around the country. 

  • One Golf itself providing opportunities for a uniformity of approach and program delivery nationally. 

These, of course, are official initiatives. 

All around the country, happily, there are things underway whether they be at a very small or local level right up to big-ticket items. And Spargo is excited. 

“I think we’ve got this momentum underway which is just taking off!”, she said. “I think one of the great things has been just the people you meet, and see and hear what they’ve been doing. I’d like to think we can harness all the good work that is happening around Australia and really build on that.”

Kurdas has been travelling the country with the national roadshow, delivering practical suggestions, educational resources and support to interested clubs. By the time the tour finishes in September, she will have delivered around 50 presentations, addressing the offshoots of one fundamental issue – gender inequality.

“Some of the issues surrounding golf clubs are not problems in themselves as much as symptoms of a problem – and that’s gendered attitudes. The biggest thing to address is to challenge the preexisting culture in golf and in our broader society,” she said. 

“If we can open our culture up to be more gender-inclusive for everyone, then a lot of the problems that we see or think we have can shift and change slowly. We all own the culture in which we live because we all live in it, we’re all affected by it, but we also all have the ability to influence it and that’s why it’s neither men’s nor women’s responsibility to fix it, it’s everyone’s. We can morph it into whatever we want it to become in the future.” 

Going forwards, the emphasis will be to build on the solid foundation now laid for each of its four pillars – Culture and Leadership, Grassroots, High Performance and Coaching, and Marketing and Positioning. It will be done with the same measured strategic approach. 

“It’s better to do everything well, rather than everything at once,” said Kurdas.

More more information on Vision 2025, visit the page here.

Vision 2025: The future of women and girls in golf

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