Young Aussie pros to give back to the game

The game has been craving it for years and, let’s face it, some of our elite professional golfers make so much money they almost run out of things to spend it on.

So the revelation that our next wave of champions will be giving back to the game that made them famous is fabulous news for the future of the game in this country.

Minjee Lee Minjee Lee will be amongst the first to “give back” after already reaching the earnings benchmark (Credit: LPGA)

All they have to do now is kick on and get to an elite level in the world rankings and the rest should take care of himself.

Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt has released details of an innovative program which should assure this country will continue to churn out a batch of youngsters that can mix it with the world’s best.

It’s called the Give Back program and basically it involves our elite youngsters who get the best of coaching and opportunities in our state and national teams also signing up to give back to the game when they reach a certain level.

Each player since 2015 to have been in the Golf Australia national or rookie squads has signed a commitment to be part of “Give Back”.

Once that athlete reaches a world rankings threshold – top 125 for men and top 50 for women – a small percentage of their prizemoney will be returned to high-performance programs throughout Australia.

This money will be reinvested into helping develop the future stars of the game.

No athlete will be asked to give back for more than five years, nor more than the funds they received through the program when they were participants.

There is no compulsion for players who don’t reach those benchmarks to contribute and endorsement deals aren’t taken into account.

Money will only be given back once an athlete reaches his or her sixth year as a professional. This allows athletes time to establish themselves before the commitment begins.

“In essence, when graduates of our high performance squads reach a certain threshold in professional world rankings each year on the world’s top tours, they will put some of their earnings back into the GA high performance pot for the next generation,” Pitt said.

“We could not be prouder that our brightest young talent are effectively putting their hands into their pockets to say thanks to all those who’ve helped them achieve their professional goals.”

“It says everything about them as people, not just athletes, that they’re prepared to help the next wave push through by giving them the same opportunities they received to reach their potential.”

Of those participants since 2015, Minjee Lee has already reached the benchmark, but she won’t return any money until 2020, her sixth year as a pro.