Luke Elvy: One Small Step for MyGolf

During the week something happened which you may have missed, but it’s important you didn’t. Our two major governing bodies, Golf Australia and PGA of Australia announced a joint venture over the Junior Development program – MyGolf.

I get that it’s not major news, but it’s significant for one major factor – our governing bodies are showing to the industry, they can work together. In the past, they have been like opposing magnets… it didn’t matter how hard they tried they couldn’t and wouldn’t come together.

MyGolf Luke Elvy: One Small Step for MyGolf

MyGolf is a grassroots program aimed at bringing kids aged 8-14 into the game and is set to launch in the coming months. It’s a great concept and no one should rest until every child has a club in their hand. Australian golf’s future will rest with those who get exposure to this junior development concept.

While the kids will enjoy this national program, adults who love golf will get a different sense of joy and this is my focus. The main reason Australian golf has failed to flourish since the end of the Norman era is because our governing bodies have worked against each other.

Golf Australia primarily looks after the amateur and junior level of the game plus runs the Australian Opens – Men’s and Women’s. While it doesn’t happen this way, the State bodies should then feed into the National body. Sadly the tail often wags the dog in this respect.

Conversely, the PGA of Australia runs the professional game, both the club and touring professional, thus the tournaments. Because various situations are hard to decipher who controls what, the lines are often blurred. The simple solution is a merger, but that’s easier said than done.

No one wants to relinquish control because a) it would cost some people their jobs and b) there are many who have vested interests. But for the sake of the game these two should come together.

The amount of times I have heard people say they don’t care who runs the game, they just want it run better and I agree with that sentiment… it’s honest and pure. Look at sports like AFL; it has flourished under central and National governance.

The best solution I’ve heard is to have a Golf House with five floors to it. Bottom level is junior golf, 2nd floor are the state bodies, 3rd floor is the APLG, which runs women’s golf, 4th floor is the amateur game while the top level looks after the professionals.

Basically this would ensure everything works through a centrally located business and everything filters from the top down, like all successful companies. It makes sense to call it Golf Australia.

Another big win for this model is its simplicity, people interested in connecting with the game i.e. sponsors and various partners wouldn’t be bamboozled by the current situation and scared off. As Sam Kekovich says, “you know it makes sense!”

MyGolf isn’t the greatest initiative to be introduced by our governing bodies, but it might be the most significant as it was the program which Golf Australia and PGA showed the rest of us their willingness to work together for the greater good of the game… and I applaud it!

Join the conversation online with Luke Elvy at @elvisgolf