ACT Forum Drives Junior Golf

Golf NSW
July 4, 2024

The ACT Monaro District Golf Association and Central Southern Golf Association recently organised a Junior Golf Forum at Royal Canberra Golf Club.

Key figures at the forum included Golf NSW Regional Managers Andrew Welsford and Luke Grinham, Peter Gilbert discussing a mentoring program, touring professional golfer Brendan Jones, and local talent Harry Whitelock.

President of the ACT Monaro DGA, Garry Heald outlined the association’s role in local golf development, emphasising grassroots initiatives like the ACT Junior Development Squad. He also highlighted collaborations alongside the CSGA and Janine Gould to enhance junior golf across clubs and districts, supporting programs and tournaments.

Janine Gould elaborated on CSGA’s mission within the golf community, underscoring their commitment to grassroots development.

Andrew Welsford shared insights from his international golfing journey, stressing the importance of creating safe and inclusive environments for junior golfers.

Mr Welsford advocated for mentorship programs, shorter courses, and inter-club leagues to foster youth participation.

Luke Grinham, leveraging his extensive coaching background with JNJG and Golf NSW, discussed effective program structures to bolster youth engagement and participation in golf.

His focus included breaking down barriers to entry and promoting club growth through strategic initiatives to achieve growth in the junior age brackets.

Peter Gilbert introduced a mentoring pilot program to nurture young golfers’ skills and life lessons through club-based mentorship.

The program managed under Golf NSW and ACTGA oversight, targets junior golfers aged 14-17, emphasising personal development alongside golf skills.

Brendan Jones, a 15-time Japan Golf Association Tour winner, recounted his journey from a junior golfer in Canberra to a successful professional.

Jones highlighted the pivotal role of supportive club environments and developmental programs like JNJG in his career, advocating for thoughtful career planning and gradual professional progression.

Harry Whitelock, a rising star from Royal Canberra and ACT’s top junior player, shared his recent successes and experiences in the Australian Junior Interstate series.

He, too, emphasised the impact of supportive club environments, echoing sentiments about fostering a welcoming atmosphere for young golfers.

Overall, the forum showcased a comprehensive approach to junior golf development, encompassing mentorship, grassroots initiatives, and the nurturing of local talent to sustain and expand youth participation in golf across the ACT Monaro and Central Southern regions.

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