Date: June 21, 2017
Author: Tony Durkin

Brisbane Golf Club generously �Pitches In�

A decision by The Brisbane Golf Club committee just on 12 months ago has resulted in a windfall for aspiring golfers in Central Western Queensland and the possibility that another Karrie Webb or Jason Day may be unearthed.

In July last year TBGC board became the first in Queensland to approve member participation in the Queensland Golf Foundation’s ‘Pitch In’ program where golfers were invited to contribute $20 annually to assist three specific areas of the game – juniors, ladies and golf clubs themselves.

Brisbane Golf Club members responded magnificently and as a result $19,520 was recently donated to the Queensland Golf Foundation to kick start its primary focus of introducing and engaging school students and golf club juniors to the national junior program MYGolf.

The first series of school clinics and club visits in Queensland will be to the Central Western areas of Longreach, Barcaldine, Alpha, Tambo, Muttaburra, Isisford and Blackall, locations which have experienced recent hardship through severe weather conditions.

Participants in the program will be a mix of non-golfers and those who have had little or some experience in playing. The visits, and the delivery of clinics through games-based learning, are designed to help give these juniors the opportunity to experience golf and provide them with a break from the daily stresses currently being experienced.

Brisbane Golf Club president John Kelly said he was delighted, and proud, that his club members had supported the concept so generously.

“As a club we are firmly focused on getting more people playing golf, in particular youngsters,” he said.

“We have a really strong junior program at Brisbane and we are now the home of the Queensland Academy of Sport Golf Program. As well, our club has reduced fees for golfers aged between 18 and 35 and as a result our membership numbers in that age group have increased to 180.

“But our major focus has been to encourage young kids to play golf. After all, they are the future of our wonderful game.

“And, to ensure a healthy and sustainable future for our clubs, we need to have more people playing more golf. The Pitch In program is aimed specifically at that target.”

Australia’s 29th ranked amateur, Lawry Flynn, who next week plays in his second successive Japan Amateur, is a perfect example of country kids developing under the MYGolf program.

The 19-year-old left hander, who joined Brisbane Golf Club in 2012, was first introduced to golf through the MYGolf program in his hometown of Dalby and has since gone to represent Queensland at both junior and senior level. In his time as a BGC member he reduced his handicap from two to plus two.

Golf Queensland’s Chief Executive Officer, Lindsay Ellis, said that without the support of Brisbane Golf Club members Golf Queensland would have been stretched to provide the upcoming network of camps throughout Central West Queensland.

“Their generosity has given kids in the district the chance to learn to play golf, an opportunity that they may not have otherwise had,” Me Ellis said.

“It is important to Golf Queensland that we extend our programs to regional areas and we are extremely grateful to TBGC members for their support of the Pitch In program. And who knows, we may just uncover the next Jason Day, Karrie Webb or Lawry Flynn?

“But, most importantly, we are making golf more accessible to more kids in Queensland and hopefully helping them learn important life skills along the way.”

Me Ellis said that while Brisbane was the first club to ‘Pitch In’, Golf Queensland is currently in negotiations with other clubs to become involved and support the program.

“By aligning with the Pitch In program clubs will help create a healthy and sustainable future for golf in Queensland,” he said.

“Funds raised through Pitch In clubs will also go to providing programs such as MYGolf and Ladies Let’s Golf, to more areas in Queensland. The more people playing golf, the stronger the golf industry is in Queensland.

“And a strong golf industry is something that will only benefit golfers and golf clubs everywhere.”

Through the three key focus areas of juniors, ladies and golf clubs, the Foundation will actively raise funds to build new programs and pathways while also enhancing existing programs and ensuring the sustainability of clubs by assisting them to manage and grow their operations.

Donations to these areas means Golf Queensland can deliver more learn-to-play programs for juniors and ladies across the state. The funds will also help to deliver programs that will help clubs increase their membership bases and ensure the viability of the club network in Queensland.

The Queensland Golf Foundation’s fundraising partner is the Australia Sports Foundation. Donations are tax deductible and can be made either directly to the Queensland Golf Foundation page on the Australian Sports Foundation website ( or via the donate now button on the Queensland Golf Foundation website