The Buddy Club Programme is one of the most important initiatives within club golf in Western Australia, and in its third year of existence, plenty of organisations are being given the opportunity to explore and strengthen relationships all around the state.
The programme began in 2016 and has continued to build relationships between clubs over several years, with metropolitan clubs allocated a regional area that is classified as their Buddy Club zone. Those Metropolitan clubs have been, amongst a range of ideas, encouraged to form Buddy Club sub-committees, attend Open Days at their buddy clubs and promote the idea of country players coming to play their courses.
As part of the Buddy Club Programme, this year GolfWA established a Buddy Club Week at the end of July. Whilst recognising that the allocated week would not suit all clubs (either metropolitan or regional) quite a few clubs instigated contact with each other to discuss options for later in the year or early 2019. Additionally three metropolitan clubs took on activities with Cottesloe, Royal Perth and Lake Karrinyup all formulating different ideas to support their regions and ultimately “grow the game”
Cottesloe Golf Club took the opportunity to host their region during ‘Buddy Club Week’, organising an 18-hole Stableford competition on Sunday August 5th.
The day created opportunity to strengthen the links between Cottesloe’s designated region: The Great Southern. These clubs consisted of Albany, Denmark, Cranbrook, Mt Barker, Narpanup, Broomehill, Tambellup, Kojonup and Katanning.
The event involved ten players from Cottesloe and ten players from the Great Southern Buddy clubs.
Cottesloe Women’s Vice Captain Jan Grimoldby was instrumental in the organisation of the event, with all participants enjoying the lovely conditions and beautiful course.
“The Cottesloe Buddy Club Day was very successful, especially as the inaugural event,” Ms Grimoldby said.
“We had 10 guests from our buddy clubs but would have loved more from our smaller rural clubs.”
“Every person who played came to Perth especially for the event.”
The club believes they can only benefit from building their connections with the region, hoping that younger players will want to join the club in the future.
“For Cottesloe, the Buddy Club program is a great way to develop links between regional areas and Cottesloe Golf Club.”
The talented golfer encouraged several other clubs to get involved in the exciting concept, with the support only benefitting the game in the future.
“There are any number of things clubs can do to encourage and develop buddy clubs. While lending expertise and technical support is one avenue, engendering a sense of belonging, and fellowship is another,” she said.
“Some of the smaller rural clubs struggle with numbers but don’t lack enthusiasm. Finding ways to harness that for the better of the long term future of golf is an important component of the buddy club system.”
Royal Perth Golf Club is in the final planning stages of their Buddy Club Day which will take place on Sunday September 30, maximising exposure and participation levels.
Whilst the club decided not to host the event during Buddy Club Week (July 30-Aug 3) they did visit both Leinster and the Victoria District Golf Championships last week.
The club will hope to include players from the likes of; Carnamah, Coorow, Latham, Mingenew, Morawa, Perenjori, Goldfields, Kambalda, Leinster, Leonora and Norseman.
Male and female golfers will be invited to partake in a 4BBB Stableford format beginning at 12.45pm next month.
Presentations and canapes will follow in the clubhouse.
If you are part of those clubs and are interested – please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Earlier in July, representatives of Lake Karrinyup Country Club visited their regional area of the Mid West to meet key figures at their buddy clubs.
Their discussions centred on Lake Karrinyup’s ability to help each regional club and understand the issues that these small clubs face.
The representatives visited Chapman Valley, Northampton, Dongara, Kalbarri, Spalding Park and Geraldton Golf Clubs.
Lake Karrinyup have now put in place several ideas that will benefit their regional clubs in the near future, with constant communication a key area to further enhancing the partnership.
These three initiatives are, and will continue to, make a difference to our regional clubs all around Western Australia. The relationships created will only grow the game further, allowing more people to participate and we encourage all of our clubs to become actively involved in the Buddy Club Programme.
Please contact GolfWA if you have any questions or queries around the Buddy Club Programme.