Six months on from hosting GolfWA’s inaugural ‘Festival of Golf’, take-up of the game in and around Esperance is booming.
The festival took place in May and encompassed the Crunch&Sip Regional Roadshow, several school visits and multiple coaching clinics for children and adults at Esperance Golf Club.
In total, more than 800 children and adults were introduced to golf during the week-long event, with 14 golfers from Esperance, Pink Lake, Salmon Gums and Munglinup Golf Clubs completing their Community Instructor accreditation under the guidance of PGA pro Rob Farley.
The knock-on effect of the festival has been considerable, with Esperance Golf Club gaining 30 new members, while field sizes for its club events have also grown significantly and more social golfers are playing casual rounds.
The increased membership levels and green fees have assisted in generating sufficient funds for the club to replace its main reticulation pump, lease new golf carts and set money aside for future maintenance and development works.
Looking ahead with confidence
“The Festival of Golf and ongoing support from GolfWA has provided a fantastic boost for Esperance Golf Club,” said club Chairman Neil Brindley.
“Our junior program is fully booked out and, thanks to the WA Golf Foundation, every child has access to good clubs. Participation in the adult beginner sessions and fun Ambrose days have helped us create pathways into golf that we previously hadn’t had.
“Golf WA has guided us with professional online management training, planning assistance, marketing and funding options, and insights into how golf is changing and what we need to do to capture the next generation of golfers.
“This, combined with comprehensive member support and the amazing job all our Staff, Committees, and greenkeeping teams are doing makes for an exciting future for our club.”
It’s not only Esperance GC that is feeling the love. Neighbouring Pink Lake Golf Club has also reported a membership uplift and is moving ahead with plans to build a new cart shed and increase the course’s water allocation.
Scott Ballantyne, GolfWA’s Regional Club Support Officer for Wheatbelt/Goldfields, believes the impact of the Festival of Golf has been more beneficial than anyone could have expected.
“The whole event really delivered a shot in the arm for the sport in Esperance,” he said. “Club membership levels are up, junior programs are vibrant and there’s a feel-good factor across the golfing community.
“With more than a dozen new Community Instructors earning their accreditation, the benefits of the festival will also be felt in the long-term with more opportunities for golf programs to be delivered in the surrounding areas.
“It’s important to recognise the importance of the funding we receive from Healthway and the DLGSC in making these events possible. With their support, we’re able to create a lasting legacy for golf in WA.”