Perth PGA professional Claire Elvidge knew she had stumbled upon a fantastic opportunity when the Australian Golf Foundation (AGF) Junior Girls Golf Scholarship program was released late last year.
“I feel a large portion of new golfers go to the public courses to start and develop their golf,” the AAA accredited teaching pro at the progressive Cottesloe Golf Club said.
“But there is often not a clear pathway to transition from public to private clubs. The scholarship program has enabled us to partner with our neighbouring public facility Wembley Golf to recruit five girls to the program and support these girls to obtain handicaps and club membership.”
The end result? Cottesloe now has a group of eight teenage girls all thoroughly enjoying learning and playing golf together!
“I love to see the girls enjoying themselves during our practice time. Only two girls knew each other before the program began, but they are now all having a wonderful experience together.
“I feel the girls are starting to understand how the game is played and therefore what’s required to get a handicap. This is one of our initial aims, to help all the girls obtain handicaps.
“We have created a WhatsApp group so the girls can keep in touch off-course and these school holidays (just gone) I invited them to visit Wembley Golf Complex for some sessions, extra practice and just to hang out together.
“In Term 2, I am organising for a pilates teacher who is an ex-Cirque du Soleil performer to teach the girls golf-specific pilates strengthening programs and inspire them to look after their bodies.
“My goal for this program is to have a Cottesloe girls’ pennant team by 2022!
“I truly believe female participation is the future for our game. I signed up to the Vision 2025 initiative and since then I have dedicated 95% of my teaching time to women and girls. The AGF Scholarship is a brilliant opportunity to help build the all-important younger generation, especially teenagers.”
Learn more about the Australian Golf Foundation Junior Girls Golf Scholarship program via the Vision 2025 website.
The Australian Golf Foundation is the national foundation for golf in Australia. The AGF supports Golf Australia’s vision to grow golf by investing in targeted initiatives to inspire all Australians to enjoy and play the game. Visit australiangolffoundation.org.au for further information.
The scholarship program has come to fruition thanks to the foresight and generosity of Bonnie Boezeman AO, Director of the Australian Golf Foundation, who originally established the program at Killara Golf Club, NSW.