Collis finds growth in All Abilities coaching at Curlewis - PGA of Australia

Collis finds growth in All Abilities coaching at Curlewis

When Jarryd Collis began exploring ways to bring new golfers into Curlewis Golf Club, his primary motivation was to expand his own coaching capabilities.

Graduating from the PGA of Australia’s Membership Pathway Program just before the COVID-19 pandemic, Collis had an unusual first few years in the industry.

Working at Yarra Yarra Golf Club in Melbourne, Collis was fostering his passion for coaching yet remained uncertain where his particular niche would be.

Starting a family, and a move to the Bellarine, landed Collis at Curlewis, which is where his career as a coach took an unexpected yet but endlessly rewarding turn.

“When I first landed at Curlewis, for me at the beginning it was ‘How can I get customers in the door so I can have a coaching business?’,” Collis explains.

“I had no real prior experience working with All Abilities players or multicultural youth programs, but I just thought, Why not?

“To be honest, it’s now my favourite part of my week.

“When I have my All Abilities players come through the door, it’s a very humbling and eye-opening experience.”

Under the guidance of Collis, Curlewis now boasts one of the most successful All Abilities golf programs in the country.

The progressive club near Geelong has upwards of 20 participants taking part in its All Abilities program every week where they not only learn about the game, but have dinner, interact with others around the club, and develop relationships. 

Curlewis is working with genU, a profit-for-purpose organisation who offer a diverse range of services that include disability support, senior services, training, and employment across Australia.

The partnership has blossomed and been able to thrive due largely to Curlewis’s willingness to open its doors with the aim to make golf as inclusive and welcoming as possible.

Collis explains that beyond just golf, this program has provided these All Abilities golfers with something that genU refer to as a “third place”.

A “third place” is an environment where the participants feel safe and isn’t their home or work. Unfortunately, many people living with a disability do not have a third place, but Collis and Curlewis have helped create one through this program.

“When they first walked in, they were very quiet and weren’t very familiar with the space they were in,” Collis adds.

“Now, fast-forward 20-odd weeks, seeing these participants walk up to a staff member and feel comfortable ordering their own dinner is awesome.”

The feedback from the participants has been humbling for Collis and is inspiring he and the team at Curlewis to do all they can to keep growing the program.

“For them to come to me and say, ‘We just want to part of a club’… It’s a good reminder that these little things can be such big things,” he adds.

“My motto now is, ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way’. If I want to do these programs, and these participants want to keep going with golf, we just keep finding ways to make it happen.”

Becoming an All Abilities-accredited coach has helped Collis to become a more well-rounded coach and made him think about swing mechanics and other facets of traditional golf in completely different ways.

It also highlighted that there is opportunity within the unknown; an opportunity to impact the lives of people purely through the game of golf.

“I’d be lying if I said it was any more difficult than it is to do any other program that golf clubs offer,” he said.

“For other PGA members, if you think you could be interested in jumping into this space, or doing an All Abilities program, it’s actually quite simple.”

Collis urges all PGA members to consider obtaining All Abilities coaching accreditation and for club boards and management to consider how their club can facilitate an All Abilities program.

For information on obtaining All Abilities coaching accreditation, visit

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