GOLF NSW, in conjunction with Jack Newton Junior Golf (JNJG), has appointed eight regional managers, including South Coast/Canberra's Luke Grinham, to deliver participation programs and club support services throughout NSW and the Australian Capital Territory.
South Coast/Canberra regional manager Luke Grinham, who was appointed last month, began playing golf at Coffs Harbour in 1998 following a knee injury playing rugby.
His approach to the sport soon became serious, joining JNJG and playing in as many tournaments as possible.
After victory in the 2001 Bonville Club Championship, Grinham accepted an offer to head to Campbell University in North Carolina to play college golf and complete a Bachelor of Business, Majoring in Professional Golf Management.
Following his studies in 2005, he remained in the United States, eventually becoming Director of Golf at two large facilities.
Grinham returned to Australia in 2008 and completed a PGA traineeship at Coffs Harbour Golf Club under Matthew Allen.
After some success on the Pro-Am Circuit, he accepted a role at Mollymook Golf Club, before joining JNJG in 2013.
"I plan to continue to make a difference in golf for the rest of my life," Grinham said.
"I always remember my time as a junior with JNJG, and I hope I can help others gain some amazing lifelong memories form this sport."
Golf NSW CEO Stuart Fraser said the appointments are a first for the two closely-aligned organisations and a significant commitment to not only golf but sport in general across the state.
"This is an exciting development for golf and sport in general across regional New South Wales," Fraser said.
"The appointments will not only assist Golf NSW and JNJG grow the game across the state, but also ensure all of our affiliated clubs and districts can access the raft of benefits our organisations do provide.
"With participation levels on the increase and the sport being an ideal iso-friendly pastime, it's the perfect time to convert this uptick in numbers into memberships and long-term golfers."
Peter Van Wegen, chief executive of JNJG, said the appointments, which include Illawarra manager Nicole Bessant (who will look after golf clubs from Sussex Inlet north), would streamline the delivery of many of the organisations' programs, and assist in opening pathways for many of the State's talented juniors.
"Having staff on the ground equipped with the combined resources of Golf NSW and JNJG will provide juniors across the state with the best opportunities available," Van Wegen said.
The managers will be responsible for the delivery of development initiatives and support programs including:
- Juniors on the move and the national MyGolf program.
- School liaison and teacher training.
- Membership initiatives and in-house programs for clubs.
- Talent Identification and performance pathways between regional academies of sport, clubs, and the Golf NSW high-performance program.
- Development of adult beginner programs including get into golf for seniors, and get into golf for women.
- Promotion of tournaments including Golf NSW Amateur and Open Championships, the Keno Ambrose and the JNJG tournament calendar.
- Delivery of club support services including operations, marketing, strategic planning and agronomy expertise.
- District Golf Association support, including regional championships and inter-club event management.