Juniors take centre stage in April

March marked another busy month across a range of areas for Golf Australia as the amateur golf season moved into full swing.

After crowning two exceptional champions at Victoria Golf Club, the Australian Amateur Championships will undergo some changes from 2012 to ensure the men’s and women’s titles maintain their position at the pinnacle of non-professional golf in Australia.

MyGolf MyGolf: Golf Australia’s National Junior Program

For the first time since before World War I, the Australian Amateurs will remain in the same state (Victoria) for consecutive years and move from the recognised March date to January to increase the opportunities for a range of players in Europe and the United States to compete.

The change in the scheduling will ensure Australia can provide an attractive amateur tournament schedule to overseas players and allow our leading Australian players the opportunity to compete against the best amateurs in the world on their home turf.

Keep a look out for news on the Australian Amateur Championships in the months to come as Australia’s oldest golf championships see a number of changes to make them more exciting than ever.

April also brings about our national junior titles – the Australian Boys’ and Girls’ Amateur Championships.

The Boys’ Amateur will be held in NSW for the first time in more than a decade.

Last time, in 1998, Orange Golf Club hosted the event and a Queensland junior called Adam Scott collected his second consecutive national junior title.

The title itself has a superb honour roll including Scott, Robert Allenby, Stuart Appleby, Peter O’Malley and Jason Day.

The Girls’ championship, which is played concurrently with the boys’ title, returns to NSW for the first time since 2003 boasting prior winners including Sarah Kemp, Sarah-Jane Smith, Wendy Doolan and Jan Stephenson.

With a wonderful list of former winners, these titles have consistently been a proving ground for emerging talent in Australia and represent an exciting time in the nation’s ongoing development and identification of outstanding juniors.

Last month saw two visitors to our shores – the R&A’s Director of Rules Grant Moir to jointly conduct our Advanced State Level Rules and Competitions course and USGA Senior Director Kevin O’Connor, who took part in a number of sessions where a range of club officials engaged in discussion about the future make up of the Australian handicap system.

Both visits proved very successful – Grant’s visit played a key role in Golf Australia’s national rules education framework while Kevin’s participation in the handicapping sessions gave us a range of feedback which we can use in the ongoing work to produce the best handicap system for Australia.

The new national junior program, MYGolf, is progressing well as more and more clubs across the country sign up to be involved.

If you want your club to be involved, visit www.golfaustralia.org.au/mygolf for more information.

This autumn, let’s get as many juniors swinging golf clubs as possible.