GOLF tragic Ricky Ponting heads a list of celebrities spearheading a new campaign aimed at getting more Australians playing and enjoying golf.
The former Aussie cricket captain is joining the likes of fellow golf lovers Livina Nixon and Brendon Goddard heading a PGA ambassador initiative called “The Club” which was launched this week.
In the process, Ponting let slip just how deeply the golfing hooks are set, revealing if he can’t get on a course or practice range every day he at least practices putting in his hotel rooms wherever he is around the world.
The Club is a PGA of Australia promotion that intends for some of that sort of passion to rub off on other Australians and encourage them not only pick up a golf club and have a go but also to increase their enjoyment of the game.
It is the first of a series of marketing measures foreshadowed by the Australian PGA this week.
“We approached The Club Members based on their love of golf and desire to get more out of their game from both a skill and enjoyment perspective. While they are all at different levels from beginners to single markers each of The Club members love to get out on the golf course and have a go – and that’s what The Club is all about,” said Brian Thorburn, CEO of the PGA.
The high profile golf lovers delighted to sign up for the venture include St Kilda footballer Sam Fisher, TV presenters Brodie Harper, Shura Taft, James Tobin and Scott McGregor and socialite Lili Romano.
As part of the program The Club members have been making the most of their opportunity to work with the PGA and its Professionals, taking lessons primarily in the PGA’s state of the art Learning Centre under the guidance of PGA Director of Coaching Stuart Leong at the Sandhurst Club in Melbourne.
PGA Professional Lorien Scott from Bonnie Doon Golf Club will also take part in the The Club assisting the development of Sydneysiders Ponting and Tobin.
“Apart from my family and cricket, golf is my passion. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t try to get out on a course, driving range, practice green or even set up putting practice at home or in my hotel room wherever I am in the world,” said Ponting.
“I’m really looking forward to be involved in The Club and taking full advantage of what it has to offer. I love the fact that golf can be played by people of all walks of life and abilities and the PGA has come up with a great initiative here that will drive golf participation and enjoyment.”
Speaking about his involvement with the program, PGA Professional Stuart Leong says he hopes The Club will help illustrate the benefits of seeking advice and tuition from PGA Professionals, at the same time promoting the sport he loves so much.
“It’s not about being the best but it is about getting out there and enjoying the game, hopefully more and more every time you pick up the club,” said Leong.
“That’s really what golf’s all about- and if I or any other PGA Professional can help these guys or anyone else have more fun on the golf course, we’re doing a good job.”
While The Club members will be out and about at PGA events and tournaments throughout the year, you can also stay up to date with how they are working on their game at The Club webpage here.
The Club site feature profiles, blogs, photo galleries and video content from The Club members showcasing their individual journeys to improve their game and love for the sport.
The launch of The Club precedes the arrival of the PGA’s new marketing campaign which is set to hit Australian TV screens in coming months.
“Last September the PGA turned 100 and we celebrated with one of the most successful seasons of Australian golf on record, so this year our focus is on showing everyone just why we’ve been around for so long and why our Professionals really are the best in the business,” added Thorburn.
“The Club is an integral component of this process and we hope golfers and non-golfers alike will be able to identify with our ambassadors and hopefully begin on their own personal journey to get more out of the game of golf.”
While still in its infancy, the PGA has big plans for The Club in 2012 with a further announcement expected in the coming weeks.