Date: October 04, 2007

Case Study: Introducing Beginners to Golf at Heidelberg

Heidelberg Golf Club in Victoria has taken an innovative approach to increasing golf participation in their local area. The club&aposs Professional and Director of Golf, Brendan Green, provides regular individual lessons to all golfers as well as offering junior and women&aposs clinics. Brendan and the club have also supported one of their members, Jan Wallis, to provide introductory clinics to beginners. Jan was the first amateur golfer in Australia to receive approval to provide instruction as a part of a Golf Australia compliant program. In 2006, The R & A amended the Amateur Status Rules to allow an amateur golfer to receive payment for giving golf instruction as part of a program that has been approved in advance by the governing body (Golf Australia). The intent of the change to the rule by The R&A is to encourage the greater delivery of programs aimed at introducing and/or engaging people in golf. Click here for more information. Having been a member at Heidelberg for 14 years, Jan wanted to spread her passion for the game and encourage more people into playing. With backing from the club and Brendan, she applied to Golf Australia to become an approved instructor. Jan now conducts introductory sessions that assist beginners in improving their skills and becoming comfortable with the golf club environment. Clinics with Jan consist of basic instruction, course management, etiquette, and information about the club. A series of sessions culminate in a lesson with one of the club s resident professionals. Robert Taylor, General Manager at Heidelberg, said: “Jan had significant hurdles to negotiate when we initially tried to develop this program. Jan s passion to teach however and the knowledge that the Private Golf Club Industry is struggling to attract new members meant we needed to see some change. “We are very thankful to all those involved for their vision in allowing the change and I&aposm happy to report that the Club is actually increasing our Membership against the trend largely from the proactive initiatives such as this program.” This case study provides an example of how PGA members and amateur golfers can work together to increase participation in golf and encourage the transition into the golf club atmosphere.