Above: Now keen golfer, Emma Peard at Catalina Golf and Country Club.
“I never thought golf would be a sport for me, but…”
These are the words still whispered by too many girls who have preconceived ideas of what golf is.
The Australian Golf Foundation (AGF) Junior Girls Golf Scholarship program is helping overcome preconceptions by giving girls the chance to learn more about the sport in a supportive and fun environment.
Emma Peard, recently graduated from the scholarship program at Catalina Golf and Country Club in Batemans Bay, New South Wales, did not have any real thoughts or knowledge about golf two years ago.
However, after being invited by a member of the club to its Cadet Program; a volunteer run curriculum aimed at getting more juniors into golf, the now 12-year-old’s thoughts have changed.
“The only person I knew who played golf was my grandfather, I didn’t know children could play,” Emma admitted.
“But when I was invited to come and try it, it was ok and I thought why not continue, I might learn something new.”
Emma quickly took to the sport and one year on, was invited by the club’s PGA Professional to join the AGF Girls Scholarship Program.
Emma’s mother, Sascha Peard, explains the transformation of her daughter following the program.
“I am thankful to the club and the sport as it has helped Emma’s confidence immensely. She has learned how to build relationships with children of all ages plus older members,” she said.
“I now come to pick her up and often find her chatting to someone in the clubhouse.
It seems the scholarship program has not only encouraged Emma into golf, but also her mother.
“I have admittedly picked up my clubs again since Emma has started playing,” Sascha said.
“She is trying hard to get me back into it.”
Just two short years into her ‘golf career’, Emma is flourishing.
She recently was awarded ‘Cadet of the Year’ – a club-award that celebrates an outstanding junior at the club who demonstrates dedication, hard work and a positive personality.
“I was really happy to win this award,” Emma said. “The members who help with the Cadets are all lovely and I learn so much from them.”
Golf has also given Emma an outlet from the daily stress of school. She loves nothing more than hitting the golf course after a day at the school desk.
“Even if I have a bad day at school, I just love going to golf,” she said.
Starting a new year, Emma has continued her junior membership at the club and is working eagerly towards obtaining a handicap, plus getting her mum to play more!
From a timid ten-year-old who knew nothing about golf, the club’s Cadet program plus AGF Scholarship experience has catapulted Emma into a young and confident star.
“I never thought golf would be a sport for me, but I am loving it more and more. The best thing is meeting new people.”
Above: Emma receives ‘Cadet Award’ from Club President, Cathie Flynn.
Sascha and Emma would like to thank the Cadet Masters, Emma’s coach Rodney Booth, the club and the AGF for their support.
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. Find a local scholarship program near you. Visit australiangolffoundation.org.au for further information.
This article was first published as Emma proves golf is a sport for her by Golf Australia