Around 60 indigenous students on the NSW Central Coast got their first taste of the sport late last week, through a Come And Try Golf Day at Mangrove Mountain Golf Club, run by the NSW Aboriginal Golf Initiative (NAGI).
Lake Munmorah High, North Lakes High, Gorokan High, and Brooke Avenue Primary School students participated in the one-day program.
The NAGI Come and Try Day focussed on several areas of the sport and its connection to the wider community across the State. Students explored the sport’s fundamentals through self-discovery, including hitting the ball, scoring, playing strategies, teamwork, and, of course, how to hit it farther.
After the traditional Welcome to Country, students were divided into two groups. Sandy Jamieson of 1Club Golf introduced them to the Smart Club equipment and gave them an overview of the skills challenges before allowing them to embark on a series of activities.
“All the students wanted to hit the ball as far as they could. However, after learning the steps, they quickly understood why they started with hit as many as you can,” David Oakley, Golf NSW Regional Manager – Hunter, said.
“Once the students had played nine holes, we couldn’t get them off the course.”
Working as teams, the students were communicating with each other sharing their thoughts with one another on how best to approach the task, quickly picking up the essentials like safety, strategy, contours, scoring, swing length, and competition.
The enjoyment of the participants throughout the day amazed many of the local elders present.
“They couldn’t believe the rapid development of each student, they were so impressed by the 1Club initiative and want more programs to follow.” Matt Sonter, Community Liaison Officer and NAGI Committee Member, added.
“We don’t need hand-outs; we need access; we need opportunity. We need to feel welcomed.”
“Mangrove Mountain provided all of this in just two hours. Our kids will benefit from today; this is so exciting for us,” he grinned.
What is 1Club Golf?
1Club Golf is, as it says, golf with only one club used from start to finish. 1Club Golf does away with buying clubs, bags, and trolleys, making learning cheaper and more accessible.
The Smart Club (nine-iron length, four-iron loft & a putter grip) has been specially designed to make learning intuitive rather than taking on lots of new information.
The New South Wales Aboriginal Golf Initiative (NAGI)
Supported by Golf NSW, NAGI aims to foster the sport, increase engagement, and develop talented athlete pathways for Aboriginal participants across the State.