Golf Australia has announced the members of the Golf Australia Rookie Professional Squad for 2012.
The squad members are: Kieran Pratt, Matt Giles, Matt Jager, Jason Scrivener, Nick Cullen, Matt Griffin, Rick Kulacz, Kristie Smith, Stephanie Na, Rebecca Flood, Julia Boland, Alison Whitaker and Stacey Keating.
The program has increased to 13 players in 2012.
The Golf Australia Rookie Program offers a way of assisting professional golfers as they enter the most exciting yet challenging time of their professional careers; finding and establishing themselves on an international Tour and understanding the demands of travelling to different parts of the world whilst at the same time trying to compete against the best players in the world.
Successful applicants each receive a rookie scholarship that is offered for a period of one year with a review after six months. The scholarship holder can be part of the program until their fifth year of professional golf.
There are two streams of funding within the scholarship including Training and Preparation Funding and Competition and Travel Funding.
The Training and Preparation funding offers support to access to coaching, strength and conditioning, biomechanics, sports psychology, physiotherapy and advice from nutritionists.
The Competition and Travel Funding helps cover a range of player expenses including airfares, accommodation, entry fees and caddy fees.
Golf Australia High Performance Director Brad James said the squad represented a good mix of professionals who have played on various Tours already and those new professionals who have made the transition from the State High Performance programs to Golf Australia’s National Squad program.
“This is a key part of our overall athlete development for those who are making the move to the pro ranks or are still finding their feet on Tour,” James said.
“The rookies all speak highly of the program and know their play benefits from having peace of mind on things like the cost of travelling or opportunities to meet with service providers that they may not otherwise be able to consider.”