Golf Industry Central May 2012 - Page 12

Signs Abound On Golf Courses Across The Country. By David Newbery Other signs are less serious, carrying such instructional notes as “golf balls on this course may not be found until they have stopped rolling”. Jack Newton says some signs send the wrong message because they tell golfers what they can’t do – or wear. “There is no sign saying ‘welcome, come and have a good time and have some fun’,” he said. Of course, there have been telltale signs around for years warning of declining membership, the shortage of juniors, especially girls, and the difficulty capturing the 25-45 demographic. In recent years, the game’s ruling bodies have been reading the signs with the hope of returning golf to the boom period of the 1980s and 1990s. In an effort to grow, or should that be regrow, the game agreement for combined meetings of administrators has been welcomed. Golf Australia’s MYGolf program and some of its other initiatives are now gaining traction and so is the PGA of Australia’s Pump Golf junior program. In NSW and Queensland, Jack Newton Junior Golf and the Greg Norman Golf Foundation have been operational for more than two decades and willingly share ideas with other states and bodies. 10 PGA of Australia general manager (member services) Gavin Kirkman said the PGA and Golf Australia were working together to develop specific pathways for juniors. The consensus is that GA’s MYGolf program will be positioned as a golf development program through schools and clubs while the PGA Pump Golf program will be the events program with PGA club professionals running the shootout. “We are trying to ensure the market is not overly confused about these junior programs,” Kirkman said. “ “ At Sea Temple Resort at Port Douglas in Tropical North Queensland golfers are warned that crocodiles inhabit a dam on the ninth and “attacks may cause injury or death”. “There is no sign saying ‘welcome, come and have a good time and have some fun’,” he said. program was starting to make an impact. “We are delighted with the cooperation of the states,” she said. “The collaboration and the sharing between the states is fantastic and that’s very important.” Crampton said more than 3000 children had already enrolled in the MYGolf program. “That encouraging,” she said. “We have 400 golf clubs signed up as MYGolf centres, which proves they are seriously interested in juniors.” The Australian Sport Commission has seen the benefit of the program and has injected enough funds to allow the state bodies to employ enough people to take the program to schools. “The feedback in the junior area has been positive, but we need more budget to promote the program,” Crampton said. “If we had a major sponsor like NAB with the AFL or Milo Cricket, then we might be able to do more. “The Pump Golf program has consistent growth with more than 130 clubs involved. “We need a promotional budget so we can get on to kids’ television program. “A lot of the professionals have their own junior programs and they bring the juniors into the Pump Golf program as the event part of golf outside the ot