Date: August 30, 2012
Author: Sarah Kennedy / Golf Australia

Hetherington gives back to the kids

Rachel Hetherington is regarded as one of the most successful female golf professionals Australia has produced. Achieving two wins on the Ladies European Tour and eight on the LPGA, Rachel is now using her experience to develop the next generation of golfers. The Rachel Hetherington Golf Range is located in Cobaki Lakes, just west of Tweed Heads, and has been a registered MYGolf Centre since January this year. The program is currently made up of 21 eager participants who are just getting started in golf. In light of being named the August Centre of the Month, MYGolf asked Rachel the following questions about her centre to find out why the program has been so successful. Why do you run a junior program? We run a junior program primarily because we love to introduce young people to this great game. Children introduced to golf at our facility improve their co-ordination skills, maths skills, social etiquette skills and golf etiquette skills. Our mission at the Rachel Hetherington Golf Range is to provide a first class facility to people wanting to learn the game and golfers wanting to improve their games. Who runs the program? Our golf professionals – PGA and LPGA Member Rachel Hetherington and AAA PGA Member Neil Ulmer. How have you found the MYGolf program and the benefits? Promoting a recognised national program has given our programs additional credibility. The Skills Challenges also provide the juniors with attainable goals, and an opportunity to measure their improvement. Many of our golfers do not have handicaps, so the Skills Challenges and Bronze, Silver and Gold Levels are the only way they measure their improvement. They get a real buzz once they know that golf is now an Olympic sport and they can achieve the same bronze, silver and gold levels that Olympians do! Any tips and ideas you can give to run the program successfully? We find that a high percentage of our junior golfers do not have a traditional golfing background i.e. their parents or grandparents are not members of golf clubs. It is for this reason that we have had to take some extra time to explain the program and the benefits of it. It is also a great way for parents to see that their children are improving, and are working towards goals. Juniors love competitions and they improve far more quickly when they play games that involve points. It&aposs great to see their faces light up when they Rip It or Roll It within the designated areas!