Edge reveals key targets for AGF program at Eastlake - PGA of Australia

Edge reveals key targets for AGF program at Eastlake

When the eight girls taking part in the Australian Golf Foundation Junior Girls Scholarship program at Eastlake Golf Club get home on Tuesday evening, James Edge wants them to tell their parents two things.

“I had fun and I learned something new.”

After returning to Eastlake in Sydney’s eastern suburbs at the start of last year, Edge pushed strongly for the club to introduce the program that provides the opportunity for girls aged 9-16 to develop a love of golf in a nurturing environment.

And, as Edge is quickly discovering, it is as much about who they learn with as it is what they learn.

“In our second lesson, we split into two groups for a short period,” Edge says.

“When I left one group to their own they started their own conversations about whatever’s happening at school and what happened on the weekend.

“That’s a good thing and is important in building those social connections that are so valuable but then, from a coaching perspective, eventually you have to get them back on task.”

With an older brother, Alex, who plays on the Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia, James grew up playing with his brother, his friends and his own friend group.

It was a ready-made golf group that he is aware is not available to all girls who play golf from a young age.

It is a big reason that Edge sees such value in providing a way not only for girls to get started in golf, but to establish their own cohort within the golf club.

“There doesn’t tend to be many girls of a similar age at golf clubs so they’re kind of just going it alone and it can become lonely for them,” Edge adds.

“With the way the AGF program is set up, you have girls pushing each other, they’re chatting to each other, asking each other for help on certain shots.

“That’s the best thing about it, they feel like they belong at the club with girls of a similar age. Golf is the vehicle for them to have that social connection.”

But it is not simply a way to bring girls together.

Edge believes that from a coaching perspective, the emotional attachment that comes from a fun experience with friends makes them much more likely to continue to play golf and to seek to improve even further.

“The way you deliver information is critical because there will be an emotion attached to it,” he explains.

“You might receive the best information available but if the way it is delivered is not great, then you will attach a somewhat negative emotion to it. And then when you consider having another lesson, you remember how it made you feel and are less likely to go back.

“If you can relay the information in a way that energises people and makes them feel good about themselves, they’re much more likely to want to do it again.

“It’s about sharing your passion with someone and giving them the space to share that with others.”

For more information on the Australian Golf Foundation Junior Girls Scholarship Program visit australiangolffoundation.org.au/women-and-girls

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