Golf Industry Central Autumn 2013 - Page 18

By Kerry McDuling The Australian Ladies Professional Golf (ALPG) has recently appointed a new board, and all are focused on exciting new initiatives to grow the game among women in Australia. Formed in 1972, ALPG is the sanctioning body for women’s professional golf in Australia and New Zealand and is recognised globally, as one of the six major women’s professional tours. Over the years, membership has grown to over 160 members and the organisation runs the annual Pro-Am series known as Club Car Series, along with major events which typically attract leading players from around the world. Our major events are The Women’s Victorian Open; New South Wales Women’s Open; Women’s Australian Open; Australian Ladies Masters and Women’s New Zealand Open. These events boast honour rolls which include the likes of ALPG members Karrie Webb, Katherine Hull, Kristie Smith and Lindsey Wright along with international players such as current and former world No-1 players Yani Tseng, Annika Sorenstam and Laura Davies. Other stars appearing regularly on the ALPG Tour include Lydia Ko, Jiyai Shin, Stacy Lewis, Melissa Reid, Gwladys Nocera and Christina Kim. President Shani Waugh is particularly excited about the Next Generation Club, of which Cobra Puma Golf is the main sponsor. “The idea behind the Next Gen Club is effectively for female current and ex pro golfers to act as mentors for those women that are up and coming pros in our national industry,” she explained. “We identified a real information gap for female golfers new to the circuit, on topics such as career advice, pitfalls and advantages of the industry, what it’s like to be on tour and managing the challenges on tour. These questions were answered quite coincidentally when I was sitting on a plane beside a female pro when I was just starting out, and what I learned proved invaluable to my career.” Shani said that so far, twelve pro female golfers the ALPG had approached had all reacted enthusiastically, and this was an encouraging start to the program. The Next Generation Club encourages membership to female amateur golfers that aspire to be or are considering a career as a professional golfer. The Club provides education, professional golf pathway advice and mentoring offered throu