Ballarat District Golf – Girls Development Squad

Background
One of the key aims of Ballarat District Golf Incorporated (BDGI) is to grow female participation. With this in mind, BDGI in conjunction with Golf Victoria, Sports Central and other key partners has established a Girls Development Squad program.

It has been identified that girls who participate in introductory golf programs often do not transition into junior club membership, maintain a junior club membership and/or progress along Golf Victoria’s junior participation pathway.

Barriers for girls to participate in golf often include:
– Family (parent) support – Logistics, transport, organisation, on-course supervision, etc.
– Very few or no peers to practice and play with, and to offer support and encouragement
– Time constraints due to academic activities, social activities and paid employment
– Other sporting commitments
– Very few or no role models to look up to

Girls are often motivated to participate in golf when:
– Having fun with friends
– Improving their skills

In developing the program, BDGI has endeavoured to address the participation barriers and motivation factors identified.

Participants
Girls predominantly aged 11 to 17 who:
– Have been introduced to golf through Golf Victoria school-based programs and/or the MyGolf program
and/or
– Are a junior member at a BDGI affiliated club

Outline
The BDGI Girls Development Squad will be delivered between November and June, providing squad members with:
– The opportunity to play regularly together
– Access to expert coaching
– Playing uniforms
– The opportunity to compete in Golf Victoria junior events
– A pathway to the WestVic Academy of Sport and Golf Victoria elite programs

Key Partners
– BDGI
– BDGI affiliated clubs
– Ballarat Junior Golf Academy
– Golf Victoria
– Sports Central
– VicHealth
– Victorian Golf Foundation
– WestVic Academy of Sport

Program Launch
21 participants accepted an invitation to join the inaugural BDGI Girls Development Squad.  The first squad activity was a coaching clinic held at the Ballarat Golf Club on Saturday 11th November. The clinic was delivered by PGA teaching professionals Angela Tatt (Ballarat Golf Club), Andrew Cartledge (Ballarat Junior Golf Academy) and Tony Collier (Golf Victoria).