Date: April 20, 2016
Author: Golf Australia

Australian golf appoints national inclusion manager

Australian golf has taken an important stride with the appointment of a national inclusion manager.

Long-serving PGA of Australia professional Christian Hamilton will take up the role from July 1 in a ground-breaking shared services arrangement between Golf Australia and Golf Victoria.

Hamilton has been the golf services manager at the Sandhurst Club for the past nine years and has established himself as a leader in providing coaching, club-fitting, mobility solutions and playing opportunities for people living with a physical or neurological disability.

Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt said the newly created position represented two key breakthroughs in Australian golf.

“We are very fortunate to have someone with Christian’s passion and skill set for such an important role that can make a real difference to people’s lives through what our great game has to offer,” Pitt said.

“It also is an example of how we can harness the resources and expertise of the industry and the advantages of a unified approach that delivers clear efficiency gains.”

Golf Victoria chief executive Simon Brookhouse said that collaborative approach was critical in such a vital position for those who’ve previously been unable to share in the game.

“We are pleased to have been able to assist Golf Australia in establishing this role through a shared services agreement which clearly demonstrates how we can work together for the benefit of the game as a whole,” Brookhouse said.

“It will open up the game to many who’ve wanted to take part and haven’t known how to go about it – it’s a great initiative.”

The inclusion focus of Hamilton’s role is on golf for people with a disability with the goal to increase sustainable participation in all aspects of the game.

It includes the following key responsibilities:

• implement the national inclusion strategy for golf
• pilot in Victoria the development and implementation of a sustainable inclusion model for golf that can be rolled out nationally
• deliver the ISPS Handa coaching program in collaboration with the PGA, with the objective to increase the number of accredited golf coaches for people with a disability
• develop high-quality inclusion and disability resources, tools and programs
• collaborate and work closely with state/territory golf associations, the PGA and various disability organisations
• build awareness to facilitate engagement and recognition of golfers with a disability

Hamilton said he was excited to start the new role.

“I’m really passionate about the area and the direction it is heading,” he said.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be given the chance to expand its reach around the country with such great scope to reach those people who can really benefit.”

Gavin Kirkman, the PGA’s chief membership officer, said Hamilton was the perfect person to achieve those targets.

“We are delighted that Christian, who is a very highly regarded PGA member, has been appointed to this position and we look forward to continuing to support this important area through our coach education program,” Kirkman said.