By Golf Australia
In a groundbreaking move of support, the entire golf industry has come together, and so too have golf facilities across the nation, to support Australian Golf Foundation’s Junior Girls Golf Scholarship programme in 2022.
The Australian Golf Foundation, in collaboration with Golf Australia along with support from state bodies around the country including GolfWA and the WA Golf Foundation, received a tremendous response from well over 100 golf facilities across Australia eager to be involved in the programme next year.
“We have been delighted with the response,” said Bonnie Boezeman AO, scholarship programme founder and board member of the AGF. “To have such a huge number of applications from across Australia really shows there is a need and hunger to support young girls from learning the game to obtaining club membership, handicaps and playing competitive golf.”
Following the outstanding success of the programme’s inaugural year in 2021 where 37 clubs piloted the concept, the programme has rapidly expanded to involve 134 funded centres for 2022.
The WA clubs being supported by this programme are Albany, Bunbury, Cottesloe, Gosnells, Joondalup, Mandurah, Melville Glades, Pinjarra, Rockingham, Royal Fremantle, Royal Perth, Sun City, Wembley and the West Australian Golf Club.
“We have quickly grown from 226 scholarship holders in 2021 to as high as 800 girls in 2022 and pleasingly 50% of these girls will be coming from regional and rural clubs! This would not be possible if it wasn’t for the inaugural principal sponsor, state golfing associations, GA/WPGA/PGA/JNJG/GMA and many other generous donors” Boezeman said.
“Each of these girls will hold a scholarship at their local club that includes group tuition and membership for the year, along with a branded shirt and cap for the girls to wear with pride.”
This rapid expansion would not have been possible without support from the entire golf industry and some generous donors. In a first, the golf industry has come together to support the programme financially.
Karen Lunn, CEO of the WPGA and scholarship steering group member is excited for the future of women’s golf.
“We have been overwhelmed at the incredible response we have had to the girls scholarship programme. I would like to say a huge thank you to all of the organisations and donors who have supported the programme, illustrating the power of what can be achieved when we all work together for the benefit of our sport,” she said.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the scholarship programme will transform the future golfing landscape here in Australia. In addition to vastly increasing our pool of talent for future generations of female players, coaches and industry employees, we will no doubt eventually reap the rewards generated from having more women and girls participating in our sport.
“We look forward to watching the progress of these girls who will be mentored and coached under the watchful eyes of talented PGA coaches, or in some more remote areas our dedicated community instructors.”
Clubs and resident PGA professionals are now busy recruiting girls to their programmes and setting up their group tuition to start term 1 next year. Each club is expected to conduct an induction ceremony where girls and families are welcomed to the club and receive their scholarship uniforms.
Boezeman, who founded the concept at Killara Golf Club four years prior, believes having girls’ interviews and inductions are part of the ethos of the programme.
“These nuances create a sense of self-significance and importance of the programme. We hope that holding a scholarship not only helps girls improve their golf, but by exposing girls to an interview process will help to develop confidence, interpersonal skills and create future leaders of our sport.”
For more information and to see a list of funded centres, 2022 visit the Australian Golf Foundation website.
Australian Golf Foundation is thrilled to partner with NEXTGEN Group as the principal partner of the AGF Scholarship Programme in 2022, with significant further support provided by Golf Australia, Golf Victoria, Victorian Golf Foundation, Golf Queensland, Golf South Australia, Golf Tasmania, Golf Western Australia, Western Australian Golf Foundation, Golf Northern Territory, Jack Newton Junior Golf, Golf Management Australia, WPGA Tour of Australasia and PGA of Australia, as well as a number of additional generous private benefactors.
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.