Gavin Kirkman named as new PGA Australia chief

If you teach them, they will play – that seems to be the platform the PGA of Australia’s new chief executive officer Gavin Kirkman will adopt after being appointed to the role last week.

Kirkman said he had already been asked how he intended to grow the game in Australia following his appointment after a grounding in this industry that began when he was CEO of the Queensland PGA from 2002-2007 until moving to Victoria.

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There he has been the PGA’s national chief membership officer for the past six years.

“This industry needs to be unified to grow the game,” Kirkman said.

“When people ask what I intend to do and how I will help grow the game in this country, my answer is this…more coaching and more lessons.”

“If we get more of our pros out and teaching then people will find they start to play well.”

“They do that and suddenly they will then want to play more – it’s as simple as that.”

Kirkman described his new role in leading the PGA as “an honour and a privilege.”

“Australian golf on the world stage is celebrating great success and we can be very proud of the achievements of our current touring professionals who are making news every day,” he said.

“My intention is to continue to develop opportunities for these members and drive a tournament and event strategy that ensures confidence across government and commercial sectors in the best interests of our partners, our professionals and the game here and overseas.

“I am very excited to be in a position to truly make a difference by supporting and building programs for the unsung heroes of the game, the vocational professionals, who work tirelessly across the country and behind the scenes every day to keep this great game great.”

“These members are small business owners, employees and trainees who are the face of the game and critical to growing participation through national collaborative programs, in providing education and in the day to day commerce of the industry.”

PGA chairman Peter O’Malley said he was thrilled to make a promotion from within the organisation’s ranks.

“Gavin is a long-term, dedicated and highly regarded PGA executive who understands all aspects of the game and who we appointed as interim joint CEO in January this year with Stuart Hergt,” said O’Malley.

“Gavin and this new leadership team represents great continuity, industry knowledge and experience which is critical to delivering to the membership strong playing, employment and business outcomes.”

“He has a highly-regarded reputation and is known throughout the industry for his focus on people and his passion for the game.”

“He will be a champion of teamwork and partnership.”

“His undoubted open style and capability in engaging with all the stakeholders in golf will be critical to the success of the game in Australia into the future.”