AN ambitious junior development program will be rolled out in the Upper Murray next month.
The program started at Howlong golf club two years ago and now has more than 100 juniors from across the region.
The first 10 of those players are now playing in regular competitions.
Ken Walton, who has driven the program at Howlong, will take on the role of junior promotions officer for the Murray District Golf Association.
He said the plan was to start a program at Corryong, train three community coaches and recruit juniors.
“The program will be rolled out across the region, perhaps Rand would be next,” he said.
“There is scope for larger centres to get on board with this, too.
“Thurgoona has a strong junior set-up, Corowa is only small and there is nothing at Albury.
“In a similar vein to Auskick, small sided soccer and NetSetGo (netball) this is as much about fun as learning to play golf.”
The Howlong program runs over two 10-week semesters for kids as young as 5 and as old as 15.
Murray District Golf Association president Kelvin Gilder said a steady decline in those taking up golf put financial pressure on many clubs and the district was “not immune”.
“As the body responsible for promoting golf in the district, we are keenly aware of this problem,” he said.
“We recognise that the future of the game largely rests with getting more young people involved and, as a consequence, the district is instigating a junior development program to be rolled out to every district club.”