15 November 2023

Gold Creek clinic aims to level the playing field and get more women into golf

| Morgan Kenyon
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gold cart driving through gold creek golf course landscape

Boasting Canberra’s largest grass driving range, the Gold Creek Golf Academy runs group golf clinics alongside one-on-one coaching. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Ever thought about trying your hand at golf? Picturesque Gold Creek Country Club in Nicholls could be just the place to give it a go.

Emily Pettett started her training journey back in May. After deciding with a friend to sign up at the academy for a women’s only clinic, she began to enjoy golf for the first time.

“I was brand new to golf and didn’t think it was for me at all,” Emily says.

“It frustrated me – I felt like I just couldn’t get the hang of it. But when my husband found the academy online and a friend mentioned she’d love to get back into golf, I decided to give it one more try.

“Fast forward five months, I’m confident enough to get on course by myself and have discovered a real love for the sport.”

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Emily enjoys the social opportunity that group sessions bring and says nothing compares to in-person coaching on the course.

“I’ve missed participating in outdoor sports since an injury forced me to quit cycling. Golf is a great way to get out in the sunshine and can really be as high or low intensity as you want to make it.

“We keep things lighthearted, listen to music and have a lot of fun together while improving our game. It’s a really supportive group of women, there’s a real sense of community and it’s a chance to build new friendships.

“You can watch a YouTube video and try to replicate the movements, but it can’t tell you exactly how to improve. We all play and learn differently, so having a golfer with decades of experience tailor coaching for you is invaluable.”

woman hits a golf ball off the tee

Emily Pettett has continued to participate in Craig’s group clinics to build her confidence and hone important foundational skills. Photo: Emily Pettett.

PGA-certified instructor Craig Cox has almost a decade of coaching experience and has played golf for more than 35 years. Emily has so far joined three rounds of his clinics at Gold Creek and is keen to participate in future clinics, held regularly at the club throughout the year.

“We run a four- to five-week course for women who are brand new to the game, play recreationally, or experienced golfers looking for a refresher on their skills,” Craig says.

“Each clinic introduces a new club and gives them a chance to practise, either at the driving range or on course. There’s a max of eight participants in a session, so I can spend time coaching them individually as well.”

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In 2021, less than a fifth of Australian golfers identified as female, compared to 34 per cent in the 1970s. With numbers continuing to fall despite industry efforts, Craig wants to encourage more women to try golf and provide equal opportunities for them to benefit from the sport.

“I set up these clinics because I want more women to participate in all levels of golf. It’s a skill you can learn for life,” he says.

“You can start golf at any age, play it with others or practise on your own, it’s good exercise and gets you outdoors, and it’s a chance to connect with like-minded people. The real enjoyment is challenging yourself to be the best you can be, no matter who you are.

“I’ve seen women go from thinking golf is a male retiree’s sport to enjoying clinics, playing on their own, getting more confident and joining a club, and even competing successfully… All through their own effort. I think we need to see more of that.”

To find out more about group golf clinics or book a one-on-one coaching session, visit Gold Creek Golf Academy


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