The MYGolf program at Charters Towers Golf Club in Queensland has grown significantly since their registration as a Centre in early 2012. With the support and dedication of club manager Vin Ainsworth, the club has managed to introduce 31 new junior golfers into the MYGolf program and are worthy recipients of the March MYGolf Centre of the Month award. The club last ran a successful junior program more than a decade ago and now as part of their strategic plan they are committed to redeveloping their junior program which would attract and include families to the club. According to Ainsworth, the club believes it is important to invest in a junior program to ensure potential members receive the correct training. We consider a strong junior program essential to any progressive golf club Ainsworth said. Charters Towers has also recognized that one of their greatest difficulties was the ability to find a core group of volunteers to champion the junior program on a consistent basis. They found it difficult because most involved didn t feel competent enough in their own skills to teach the game, even to children. The club approached Golf Queensland to discuss resources and training opportunities for their volunteers. As a result of the discussions the club had nominees attend the Community Golf 1 Coaching course while on a trip to the Gold Coast. Golf Queensland s Manager of Participation Development Adrian Hewat says the Charters Towers program has greatly benefitted from this training. The newly accredited coaches now have the skills and confidence to introduce juniors to the club s MYGolf program and as a result have attracted 31 new juniors to their club Hewat said. Ainsworth said that the success of the program is very much dependent on getting a proper ratio of instructors to participants. We try for one coach to every three participants when we are playing on the course and no more than one coach to every five participants when we are doing skills training Ainsworth said. Our thanks go to our instructors as without them the program would be impossible to run. One such instructor is Dave Ekert. In addition to heading a committee of three to oversee the program, Ekert has also taken the time and effort to map out a junior six hole course as well as internally handicap all of the MYGolfers at the centre. The MYGolfers at Charters Towers get quality access to the modified holes as part of the program, with the club making the decision to train juniors on the days when member play is quiet. Ainsworth also believes that making the program financially accessible for everyone has been important to their success as has ensuring parents play an active role in their child s golf development. We keep our charges to a minimum ($2.00) and our sessions short (one hour) and encourage parents to take their children for a couple of holes after training if they wish Ainsworth said. This kind of thinking is what lead to Charters Towers being nominated by Golf Queensland for the March MYGolf Centre of the Month award. Golf Queensland is proud to recognise Charters Towers for their commitment to growing the game and getting juniors involved at their club Hewat said.
Author: Golf Australia