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ELCOME to the October edition
of Australian Golf Digest,
celebrating Golf Month and
everything the sport has given us and, more
importantly, can give others if they try it.
Inside this issue you’ll learn the many
wonderful things you and your club can
do to help grow the game and increase
In our search to solve the single biggest
problem in our game today, we asked our
three most recent Major champions – Jason
Day, Adam Scott and Geoff Ogilvy – how
they got started in golf and how they’d run
the sport today [see page 48].
You’ll also learn the secrets to raising a
golfer [page 74] and the many benefits of
playing like a kid again [page 64]. And we
get an everyday Millennial to go undercover
in our special investigation to see just how
easy it is to join a club in Australia [page 58].
The responses may surprise you!
But before we get there, here’s a quick
guide on what NOT to do this month.
At a state golf industry summit a while
ago, a staff member here asked a friend with
a seven-year-old son to find out how her boy
could get started in golf, soccer and tennis.
Both she and her husband were not golfers
and not really sportspeople, for that matter.
To kick off the experiment she rang a local
soccer club, calling a number she saw on a
promotional sign stuck on the fence of her
local sportsground. They had no vacancies but
immediately put her onto another club in the
area that was looking for players. She rang this
club and they told her there was no problem in
registering her son, and once the registration
fee of $95 was paid he would receive socks,
shorts and a soccer ball. Wow, she thought.
Next she rang a tennis coach after seeing
their name at the local tennis courts. Again,
no issue about learning to play tennis
because they just happened to have junior
beginner classes, starting at $100 for 10
lessons and her son would receive a tennis
racquet. Great value, she thought.
Finally, she rang a private golf club and
was met with laughter from the person on the
other end, who informed her the minimum
age to join was 12 and to try ringing back
then! She then called a public course where
the local pro answered the phone, only to tell
her he was too busy to talk and suggested she
call back later, which she did, THREE times,
before being told the club was unable to offer
anything. Not wanting to give up, she rang a
driving range that said it ran junior programs
costing $120 for eight group lessons. Beauty,
we’re finally getting somewhere, she thought.
When she inquired if that included a golf club
for her son, the answer was, “No, but we have
some available for purchase.”
In the end she was very unimpressed
with the service she received from the golf
facilities compared to the other sports, and
made it clear golf would have clearly been
her third choice based on the experience.
Another story reached our office recently
regarding a former elite hockey player who
was giving golf a try for the first time. After
getting a tee-time with a local club member,
long after the daily competition had teed off,
she plotted her way around the course under
his tutelage, quickly getting a grasp for the
sport. When they putted out on the 18th, late
in the day and not another group in sight, the
member decided to give her a quick putting
lesson when stupidity struck. A nosy member,
who happened to be watching on from the
clubhouse, marched over and informed the
newcomer in no uncertain terms that the 18th
green wasn’t a practice green a nd that she
would be best advised to find another area to
work on golf’s fundamentals.
What was a fun day full of highlights and
laughs quickly turned sour because of the
actions of this gentleman. The talented young
lady hasn’t set foot on a golf course since.
Thankfully, incidents like this are
becoming few and far between because of
initiatives like Golf Month. But to all those
out there in club land, remember this as
you welcome someone new to your course
this month: You never get a second chance to
make a first impression.
12 australiangolfdigest.com.au | october 2017
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