Date: July 12, 2017
Author: Emma Phillips

Golf learns its lesson from AFLW

The resounding success of the AFLW’s inaugural season has provided golf with an insight into what’s required to attract and develop a new female audience.

Golf Australia game development manager Cameron Wade said the insights of the AFLW’s head of female football and junior development Josh Vanderloo was an eye-opener at the recent GA Golf Development Forum.

As guest speaker, Vanderloo told delegates of the AFLW’s methods that enabled the fledgling competition to promote and develop so strongly in 2017.

“Josh really opened our eyes about ways to promote to a female audience,” Wade said.

“But further to that, he gave us information about how to promote female involvement across all aspects of a sport, in our case potentially how clubs and facilities can become more attractive to women and girls of all ages.”

Other hot topics at the Melbourne conference included key plans to forge the game’s future.

MyGolf, Swing Fit, club support and Get Me Started were among topics presented to delegates on 15-16 May, along with key development initiatives on inclusion and nine-hole golf.

Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt began with an industry update focusing primarily on the One Golf project that aims to align the national body with the state associations.

The Australian Sports Commission’s AusPlay survey results were then presented, explaining the demographics of a range of sports.

The developing Get Me Started segment highlighted the taster and introductory program framework, with pilot programs to be conducted nationally throughout the remainder of the year.

The brainstorming sessions among delegates ignited vital discussions on driving female participation numbers during the next financial year and the subsequent strategy workshop provided insights on marketing and strategic plans to attract new women and girls.

A clubs and facilities support workshop promoted discussion around the main struggles faced at a grass-roots level, along with developments across all the sport’s venues.

“The 2017 forum was a great success in providing key state and national golfing bodies with vital knowledge of golfing developments moving forward,” Wade said.

“Overall feedback was very positive and we look forward to greater improvements in these areas over the coming financial year.”