MyGolf program to boost our juniors

As summer approaches the Australian golf community is preparing for another action packed tournament season where we get the chance to see some of the world’s best players competing in our country on some of our great Australian courses.

Golf Australia is responsible for the Australian Open and the Handa Women’s Australian Open, which are being held at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney and the Commonwealth Golf Club in Melbourne respectively.

MyGolf program to boost our juniors MyGolf program to boost our juniors

While the professional tournaments represent the highest profile part of our game, there are some extremely exciting things happening at the grass roots level and for Golf Australia that really represents the area of greatest focus.

Our key mission is to get more people playing golf and enjoying the golf more.

With this in mind, Golf Australia will soon be launching MyGolf, which is our national junior program. This is exciting for a number of reasons, none the least that GA and the PGA have developed a coordinated junior pathway that will hopefully see more youngsters trying golf and staying in the game.

What that looks like in practice is the MyGolf program and the PumpGolf program working in tandem to get kids engaged in the game and then nurture them through their development. MyGolf targets younger children and beginners and connects schools and clubs.

PumpGolf, on the other hand, targets slightly older kids and juniors who are capable of playing nine holes or more and will be an exciting program that the players really enjoy and look forward to.

We believe the benefit of this pathway will show in the years to come as those juniors who try golf at school and in community programs become involved at clubs and ultimately seek club membership – offering an enormous incentive to clubs to be involved with the program.

Also pleasing has been the spirit of cooperation around the junior pathway and the State Associations have been fantastic with the enthusiasm they have shown to get this program implemented quickly.

At a recent Game Development Forum the feedback was resoundingly positive. The new national junior program involves a key component for schools so we don’t miss the opportunity to introduce children to golf at this early stage of their development.

In addition to our work on the junior program, Golf Australia is also developing a program around social golfers to increase their engagement in the game and provide additional options for them to develop their commitment to the sport.

Collectively, all this helps us to achieve our goal to grow participation in the game.

In the second week of October, the Australian men’s and women’s teams will arrive in Argentina to for the 2010 World Amateur Team Championships in Buenos Aires.

The championships, which I attended in 2008 in Adelaide, are highly prized by the more than 70 nations that participate and are real indication of the next international stars.

Good luck to both our Australian teams – I have no doubt they will represent the green and gold with pride.