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Next generation set to dream at Bairnsdale

Generation-to-generation more girl golfers are hitting the greens at Bairnsdale Golf Club in Victoria.

Female Engagement Coordinator at Golf Australia, Serrin Bertino is incredibly proud to witness the transformation from her time as a junior girl golfer at the club four hours east of Melbourne.

“20 to 30 years ago, I was usually the only girl golfer. To now see six girls enjoying golf together on a regular basis is wonderful,” she said.

“We know through research that 70% of girls prefer to learn and play with other girls. Our scholarship recipients have an opportunity to learn the game in a comfortable and supportive environment and make some life-long friends.”

This is what the Australian Golf Foundation Junior Girls Golf Scholarship program is all about – connecting girls and providing them with an opportunity to flourish. This is achieved by girl’s obtaining a year-long scholarship which provides them with 24 coaching sessions and club-membership.

Community Instructor, and past junior golfer at the club, Johanna Wyllie is also thrilled about how things are progressing.

“As a junior golfer at the club a decade ago, there were very few girls,” she said.

“The scholarship program has provided us with an opportunity to focus on attracting more girls to golf. I am enjoying working with our scholarship holders and inspiring them to continue with a game that has given me so much joy.”

Bairnsdale’s PGA Professional Matt Portelli sees a bright future for girls’ golf at the club and across the district.

“The scholarship program is a wonderful asset; it has been a catalyst for change, and this is only the beginning. From here, we are planning to grow girls golf through beginner clinics and channeling them into the scholarship program,” he said.

“The club is really getting behind the program with two generous members recently donating sets of clubs to those girls without a set.

“The girls have been progressing very well this year. Maddison has obtained her handicap from her and has competed in local and metropolitan events, whilst the other girls will continue to work hard to continue improving their on-course skills.

“The program provides a fantastic opportunity for girls to participate at Bairnsdale GC. I aim to keep the program running year-on-year, building a strong group of young female golfers at the club. Thank you to Bonnie for all her efforts in obtaining funding and getting this wonderful program off the ground. It has certainly put a big smile on the faces I see each week!

“I think we are set to dream.”

For more information and to see a list of funded centers, 2022 visit the Australian Golf Foundation website.

Australian Golf Foundation is thrilled to partner with NEXTGEN Group as the principal partner of the AGF Scholarship Program in 2022, with significant further support provided by Golf Australia, Golf Victoria, Victorian Golf Foundation, Golf Queensland, Golf South Australia, Golf Tasmania, Golf Western Australia, Western Australian Golf Foundation, Golf Northern Territory , Jack Newton Junior Golf, Golf Management Australia, WPGA Tour of Australasia and PGA of Australia, as well as a number of additional generous private benefactors.

Australian Golf Foundation is the national foundation for golf in Australia. The AGF supports Golf Australia’s vision to grow golf by investing in targeted initiatives to inspire all Australians to enjoy and play the game. visit australiangolffoundation.org.au for further information.

The scholarship program has come to fruition thanks to the foresight and generosity of Bonnie Boezeman AO, Director of the Australian Golf Foundation, who originally established the program at Killara Golf Club, NSW.

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