Hundreds give golf a go during Esperance Festival of Golf

16th May 2023

By Neal Maidment

GolfWA’s first ‘Festival of Golf’ has been deemed “a massive success”, with more than 800 children and adults introduced to golf during the week-long event in Esperance.

Taking place from May 1-7, the Festival incorporated the Crunch&Sip Roadshow for juniors, school visits and multiple coaching clinics for children and adults at Esperance Golf Club. In addition, 14 local golfers attended a Community Instructor Program to become accredited instructors.

GolfWA’s Junior Development Officer Jordan McSkimming spearheaded the school visits, introducing 690 pupils at four schools to the MyGolf program. He also hosted a special event for the home-schooling community at Esperance GC that featured an introduction to golf, as well as education for parents and children about the importance of healthy eating and drinking.

McSkimming was joined by PGA professional Rob Farley to deliver two further Crunch&Sip ‘Come & Try’ MyGolf sessions for junior golfers at Esperance GC that attracted more than 50 additional participants.

“It was an absolute pleasure to showcase golf to the students and juniors of Esperance,” said McSkimming. “I look forward to seeing the Esperance GC team work together to build a range of programs that make sure men’s, women’s and junior golf has a healthy future at the club and in the town.”

McSkimming believes that the effort put in by Esperance GC’s volunteers, led by Shelley Chatley and Dianne Rawlinson, was integral to the success of the roadshow.

“Dianne and Shelley have been fantastic,” McSkimming added. “Their level of engagement with the community and with GolfWA throughout the preparation for the roadshow laid the foundation for a very successful week.”

Creating sustainable pathways

The good work didn’t end there. Funded by a Regional Servicing Grant from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC), Rob Farley went on to oversee two ‘Get Into Golf‘ clinics over the weekend – including one solely for women and girls – that drew in a further 22 participants with no prior golf experience.

The funding also enabled Farley to lead 14 golfers from Esperance, Pink Lake and Munglinup Golf Clubs through the Community Instructors Program, to provide participants with accreditation to instruct future MyGolf and Get Into Golf programs.

Community Instructors earning their accreditation


“The Community Instructor Program is particularly important in regional towns like Esperance,” said Farley. “With no local golf professionals in Esperance, having accredited Community Instructors (CIs) available creates a sustainable environment to develop grassroots golf in the town and surrounding areas.”

The Regional Servicing Grant also covered the costs for a MyGolf in Schools kit to be left at Esperance Golf Club for the CIs to access in order to run future programs to further grow junior participation in the town.

WA Golf Foundation chips in

An additional tranche of funding was made available through the WA Golf Foundation (WAGF). This facilitated Rob Farley in delivering 23 hours of free coaching for prospective and existing golf club members. More than 100 participants joined in these sessions throughout the duration of the festival.

WAGF also provided $1600 for eight sets of junior clubs (both right and lefthanded) to provide aspiring juniors to access quality equipment without any financial outlay, while the costs for the Community Instructors to complete their accreditation was also covered.

All in all, it was a highly satisfactory week on many levels, according to GolfWA’s Game Development and High Performance Manager, Marc Pike.

“The festival was a massive success and one that we hope will have a lasting impact in Esperance and the surrounding area,” he said.

“It ran almost seamlessly and sets a benchmark for how effective the festival can be in terms of community engagement. The volunteer base at Esperance Golf Club was extremely energetic in raising awareness of the roadshow in the local community. In tandem with a GolfWA radio advertising campaign, this ensured that pretty much every session was fully booked, maximising the value we were able to provide.

“Our thanks to Healthway Crunch&Sip, the team at Esperance Golf Club, the DLGSC and WA Golf Foundation for enabling us to conduct this year’s roadshow. We’re very excited to see how this helps grow the game of golf in and around Esperance.”

Esperance Regional Roadshow

More than 800 children and adults were introduced to golf over the course of the week


Esperance GC is already capitalising on the new-found interest in golf the roadshow brought about, says club representative Shelley Chatley.

“The club has approved a four-week MyGolf program to start as soon as possible, which will cost just $2 per session and allow participants four weeks of free access to the course,” she explained.

“We’ll also be staging an equivalent program for adults at a cost of $10 per session and once the courses are complete we’ll be inviting the participants to apply for membership.”

Chatley is in no doubt that clubs that commit to hosting events at future Festivals of Golf have much to gain. “Running all these programs, and having representatives from GolfWA at Esperance Golf Club, has created excitement and interest around golf, both at the club and in the community,” she added.

“I recommend the experience to other regional golf clubs. There is so much to gain.”

GolfWA has made a commitment to drive the Esperance Festival of Golf until 2025 to support in building capacity, growing participation and nurturing junior development in the Goldfields region. This will incorporate activations in Kalgoorlie for the first time in 2024.

Meanwhile, the next leg of the Crunch&Sip Regional Roadshow will take place in Geraldton from June 12-18 and a second Festival of Golf is scheduled to take place in Karratha from July 17-23.

Clubs and individuals can contribute to the WA Golf Foundation, with all proceeds going back into the game to fund grassroots initiatives. All donations above $2 are tax deductible. Donate here!