Case Study - Headland
Headland Golf Club
Located on the Sunshine Coast, the Headland Golf Club has a rich history dating back to the 1950’s. This traditional course is recognised for its natural beauty and wildlife as it runs just inland from the Mooloolaba coastline. As such the clubhouse has fantastic views of the golf course and the Pacific Ocean. Long standing Head Professional John Victorsen has been awarded numerous prestigious awards including being chosen as a top 100 Professional over the past 100 years.
JUNIOR GOLF PROGRAM
A successful junior golf program was virtually non-existent but desired by the club. The parties involved in the solution were the Secretary Manager, Board of Directors, Junior Committee and PGA Professional – Matt Victorsen. Through a series of email correspondence, one on one meeting and finally a group meeting with all parties involved the project of creating a junior golf program was given to Matt and would be supported by the club.
We didn’t have a structured Junior Program that engaged kids. We needed something that would be new and interesting that would create a positive learning environment.
In our area, there are a large number of sports available to kids; it was evident that golf was not a primary sport for most. The challenge would be to develop a program that turned the interested kids into avid golfers who played often.
We needed a way to retain the students, ensuring that the players that enrolled in the junior program continued developing their skills to the point of competence on the course.
Course access was a challenge with limited availability for our students to play due to member play, competitions, and corporate days.
The first thing we realised is that the course was rarely used after 4.30pm, particularly the first few holes of each nine. With an agreement with the management of the club, it allowed us to have students play a few holes after school which fueled the desire to play more.
We hosted ‘Come and Try Days’ every term to attract new juniors to our program. We offered an inexpensive fee structure Monday - Thursday and Saturday to give a wide range of options for busy families.
We offered a free logoed shirt with registration. Although a cost to the club, it was well worth it to help ensure the student felt part of the 'Headland Family'.
We offered ‘Parent and Child Days’ to get the whole families involved and active in the program.
Every three weeks, we reserved some tee times at 4pm so that we could take students onto the course to conduct playing lessons or have an on course competition. This has resulted in many of our students getting excited about playing and joining the club as a member.
We embraced the MYGolf Program which is the National Junior Golf Program. This program has given my staff the structure needed and we use it to some degree every session. The club contributes financially by covering the cost of MYGolf registration of all participating kids.
ADVICE & RECOMMENDATIONS
Sharing your vision with others is a key to getting support from your club. You must expect a push back from members as they see more kids around their club. Making this a positive can be done by sharing great stories and involving key club members and staff in the exciting progress your students are making.
Our recommendation to other clubs is to embrace the National MYGolf Program, it has been specifically designed to create a structure in teaching kids golf and you will get resources from the state body. It will also allow you to connect with community golf coaches in your area which will help attract new students to your program.
The expertise and support offered at Golf Queensland is an incredible resource in helping any club create and build a junior golf program from scratch. The developmental officers are promoters who love the game and will give you all the support they can to help your club succeed. Our advice is to engage them from day one to guide and support you through the process.
The Club Professional and the Secretary Manager are the key players in getting a junior program up and running. With a commitment toward growing the game from both parties, great things can be achieved when the club professional has support.