Inside Golf : Inside Golf Dec 14
from the ceo www.insidegolf.com.au | December 2014 19 Stephen Pitt CEO – Golf Australia Building for the future WHeN talking modern golf in Australia, conversation invariably drifts to names such as Greg Norman, Karrie Webb, Geoff Ogilvy and Adam scott – our major champions. they move the needle in terms of public interest, involvement and perception. Golf Australia recently chose its national squads with a specific aim in mind – to find the next superstar to add to that list. About five years ago we changed selection criteria to reflect that goal. From being a program geared around short-term results, we consciously implemented a program aimed at developing world No.1s, major champions and Olympic medallists. Rather than purely achieve short-term goals such as the World Amateur teams championship – which we still covet –we needed to take a longer-term focus on producing players who can achieve those things. the reason for that is that those players put the most back into golf in terms of driving membership and participation; they’re fantastic role models for golf and importantly help it generate more funding. We still want to see a range of players reach their potential, but ultimately we are looking for that highest level of success because that has the greatest impact on the game. Because we are making estimates on which players are the best ones into whom we can invest, it means the criteria aren’t as firm and fast as they once were. We’ve deliberately put ourselves in a position where we can have bigger queries on selection. But we’ve already established a track record of success that we think encourages people to have faith in the program. We were criticised a few years ago for putting Oliver Goss and Minjee Lee in before their results kicked in. some players had achieved better results, but that’s the decision we make – and stand by. these are players who we really believe can make it at the pointy end of golf. sometimes that’s a subjective decision that can’t be quantified by short-term results and how players have performed up until that point. You can’t necessarily look at those people in terms of the results they might be having at a specific time and extrapolate them into high- level success 15 years later. It’s an art more than a science and it’s partly based on physical and technical attributes, but also mental aptitude – the psychological makeup to get on tour, persevere and ultimately succeed. Golf is littered with people with great talent who didn’t make it because they weren’t prepared to make the sacrifices they needed. We’re looking for players who will set up the right training environment, support services framework and take every step they can towards being successful. And we’re unapologetic about that. We have a very capable high performance staff within GA and in support positions – we have a really strong network of national coaches – who are doing an outstanding job and giving a high level of feedback around the selection process. If they have scope to do that job, the list of Aussie golfing greats will grow more rapidly – and that’s what we’re all in it for. and support the crucial work the Foundation carries out. It was exciting to see the world’s leading trainee PGA Professionals converge on Ballarat recently for the PGA National Futures Championship. this unique event provides trainee Professionals with the opportunity to showcase their talent and gain experience in a full field, 72-hole Championship event. As the richest trainee event in the world, the Championship attracts the most talented trainees from across Australia and around the globe and provides a platform for those seeking to pursue a career as a tour Professional, Club Professional or coach. Further to this, I was honoured to be appointed to the role of Chairman of the Australian Golf Industry Council (AGIC) last month. the AGIC brings together representatives from the major Golf Industry bodies, including the PGA, Golf Australia, Australian Ladies Professional Golf, Golf Management Australia, and the Golf Course superintendents and Architects. the AGIC will continue to work as one to promote golf and industry wide initiatives, particularly to the Federal Government and the benefits golf provides to the economy and to the community. Lastly, the remarkable Daniel (Dan) Cullen, a Life Member of the PGA, turned 100 in November. Considered a golfing legend Dan, winner of the WA Open in 1937 and 1938, is proof that golf can contribute to longevity. Holding a well earned reputation as both a club pro and capable golfer, I congratulate Dan on this milestone and the significant contribution he has made to Australian golf since entering the industry at the age of 14. • Oliver Goss (Photo: USGA) 12 De Havilland Rd, Mordialloc 3195 03 9580 2622 firstname.lastname@example.org *Rebate available when you trade-in your old buggy. 03 9580 7166 parmaker.com 100% AUSTRALIAN MADE 5YR WARRANTY DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE UP TO REBATE* $100 3 & 4 WhEEL RIDE-ONS ALSO AvAILABLE visit parmaker.com to find more about the complete range of Parmaker buggies, walkers and accessories. HANDY Box SToRAGE SEAT RESPoNSIVE HANDLING LIGHT, HIGH TEcH fRAmE PowERfUL & RELIABLE SoLID RUBBER wHEELS fRoNT wHEEL SUSPENSIoN free freight Parmaker Scout $695 Includes rebate* and freight anywhere in Australia. ExcLUDES battery and charger.
Inside Golf November 2014
Inside Golf January 2015