19/12/11 We have started a series of FREE 1 hour Junior Golf Clinics on the Sundays of School Holidays in January. This is an evolution of 3 years of unrelated Junior Golf events at the club in that there was no set plan. The beginning was a “come and try golf day” each year on a long weekend also the running of a Junior Golf Tournament in a season. Each of these had varying success in getting kids playing. Come and Try Golf first was a winner every time with 12-20 kids having a hit.
The Tournaments were harder as they clash with other regional and state events and being country based that makes it difficult by location alone. That said in 2011 two juniors came from the SA Riverland to the Limestone coast to play. A long trip to play golf but country golfers are used to that.
This was done purely as a must do activity initiated by the club captain, what it did was give the club a base to develop more from. Next came the regional Golf SE school coaching clinics which another golfer has volunteered to do after getting involved at his home club and seeing the number of juniors who do want to play golf coming out on the course. Hence we have the Primary School students doing golf activities at the school and then have a class trip to the course to do the same activities on a golf course plus play a few modified holes.
Hence at our club which has 2-4 junior golfers who occaisionally have a hit with parents, and play a few rounds of club golf and no junior golf competition at the club we were aware that there was an interest in golf among the juniors in the town and region. The next step was for another club member to see this interest and see the “market” which was there and develop an action plan. Then put the information to another member (Club Captain) who then contacted the regional golf assoc. who supplied a junior golfing kit. Then two members who are parents volunteered to help out and a letter was sent to the local school to be sent to parents before the end of year and on Sunday we have 10 kids turn up for an hour on a Sunday morning to hit golf balls for fun. Following the easy golf exercises supplied with the kit, starting inside with putting and the rubber balls. Then outside with the 7 irons, the kids had fun several were very good at basic golf skills in fact.
The result is that by the end of January when school returns from 1 hour on Sundays I expect the club to have a core of 10 (at least) junior golfers who we can organise a comp for when before there was nothing. It was from a combination of Golf Assoc. support, club committee support and members doing things that they are good at, besides playing golf that is. IE Organisation, Networking, Coaching, Marketing, Promotion.
It did not happen overnight, it was three years in the making from a disparate group of individuals who all “Did Stuff” off their own back in club activity. The key word is “activity” it is a task that for volunteers relies upon good spirit and generosity as well as Association support. Volunteers are not employees, they do not have to do anything unless they want too. There is a “market” for want of a better word, out there for junior golf. All of the statistics, analysis, data correlation is good reading and valuable knowledge. Like all information it does nothing except feed minds and sit there being available. For clubs it has nothing to do with a money focus, that is for businesses. By encouraging the Junior Golf activity the flow on of new golfers, new members all can benefit the club professional and the general club environment. Importantly it has given the club a future. We want to develop and encourage golf, that is in our club constitution.
Any club can start to do it as well. All you have to do is stand up and say “I will do this…”
Thankyou for your time and attention, Geoff