Date: November 25, 2013
Author: Jack Newton Junior Golf

Schools get behind Junior Golf at Lithgow

Garry Nightingale, Golf Professional at Lithgow Golf Club, and his team run a Thursday junior program and have seen numbers dwindling down to a handful over the past six months. Max, his father who helps out in the shop, is a very keen golfer himself and was prepared to approach the schools personally to see if they were interested in having a MyGolf School visit by JNJG Territory Manager, Sharon Nott, in an effort to generate interest in golf amongst the students.

The follow up was flyers being handed out at the schools with the Junior Program details as well as discounted adult rates for games till the end of January. Both Gary and Max made themselves available during the school visits so students had a contact and for Gary it was the first time he had actually seen the MyGolf program being delivered in a school situation.

The Golf Club purchased a MyGolf kit and a number of schools have now followed up with purchasing their own kits, committing to do three years of golf. Garry will continue to liaise with the schools so that if any further assistance is required he will make himself available to deliver the program or, if the schools want to come out to Lithgow Golf club for Coaching or Gala day’s the invitation is open.

During November Sharon visited seven schools; Lithgow PS, Cooerwull PS, St Patricks PS, La Salle Academy, Zig Zag PS, Walleranwang PS and Lithgow High.

Close to 900 students had the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of the golf swing as well as play plenty of golf games within the school grounds. There has been a good response to the junior program at the club with numbers growing each week.

The first week saw an extra 20 kids turn up for further coaching and some of the older juniors are now helping Garry with the program. With the club located out of town parent support is vital. The local Lithgow Mercury paper also came out and gave more publicity to junior golf.

David Cam, schoolteacher at La Salle, organised the Bathurst Diocese School Golf Day in early February and with the support of the local catholic schools there should be added student interest when the event is held at Lithgow GC in 2014. All schools were receptive to seeing the MyGolf in action.

Even though two of the schools did not have an oval, the way the MyGolf is run allows schools to do both indoor activities as well as using synthetic surfaces for outdoor activities. We only lost one soft PVC ball to the Great Western Highway as it rolled under the fence!!

A special thanks to Max and Garry Nightingale, the teachers and all the students who showed a real ‘buzz’ with wanting to play golf. JNJG looks forward to hearing how the junior program progresses and is always open to lending assistance where it can.

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