The Central Southern Golf Association (CSGA) continues to focus attention to the participation of girls in the game of golf. Over recent years opportunities have been provided for young girls to make a start in the game. This has mainly been achieved through running annual girl specific golf days, and facilitating the provision of coaching, competition and mentoring for non-affiliated girls (those without Golf Australia handicaps). We also financially support affiliated junior girls by contributing to girls’ prizes in local junior tournaments, and providing funding for representative teams, travel expenses and tournament entry.
In 2015, the CSGA have expanded their commitment to girls’ participation in golf by facilitating and funding a girls only golf program. The strategy for the development of this program was directed by recent research into participation of girls in sport and the Jack Newton Junior Golf, Girls in Golf Pilot reported on in 2014.
The formula for a successful program was based on the following underlying principals:
- Girls only, with groups of 5-8 participants
- Participants have a pre-existing common interest and/or friendship
- Participants have sporting ability and/or commitment to self development
- A focus on participation not competition
- Participation is fun
- Participation is social
- Provides physical activity in a non-threatening environment
- Provides opportunity to increase self impression
- Activities are achievable/provide success as well as challenging, and
- Consistency of coaching staff who provide a mentoring capability.
The program commenced on 24 April 2015 and was delivered by Mr Damon Welsford, PGA Professional and Junior Coach at Federal Golf Club, ACT. Mr Welsford incorporated into the nine sessions a variety of activities including fundamental movement skills, physical fitness, golf specific skills, on course play, mentoring from established girl golfers and ALPG Professional, Joanne Mills, and social activity. The participants included five girls between the ages of six and ten.
The program also incorporated opportunity for participation in the ACT Monaro Junior Week of Golf sub-junior event to be held in the July school holidays. Several of the girls have registered to play.
Plans for the Future
Given the success and positive feedback to the recent program the CSGA intends to facilitate and fund further programs into the future. Preparations are being made for Term-4 programs at Federal Golf Club, Canberra International Pitch n Putt and Queanbeyan Golf Club.
The benefits of running such a program are displayed in the participants' desire to attend sessions and continue with their golf after the completion of the program. Parental support is also a vital factor in any program’s success. Thank you to all parents, Federal Golf Club, Mr Welsford, Ms Mills and the CSGA for their commitment to girls golf.
Parent and participant feedback included:
"This was a great opportunity for my daughter to learn the game in a fun and supportive environment."
"It was a great introduction to golf and helped my daughter with her concentration and focus."
"There was a very positive attitude about having fun. My daughters enjoyed every aspect of the program."
"Not only did my daughter’s skills improve, her like of the game increased."
"It is great for my daughter to not only develop golfing skills, but also her sportsmanship and attitude."
"I loved it! I liked asking questions to the older girls."
To find out how to "Get Girls into Golf" visit: www.jnjg.com.au