Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt has announced that the future of Australian golf will be partially funded by elite professionals under the body’s new innovative “Give Back” program.
“In essence, when graduates of our high performance squads reach a certain threshold in professional world rankings each year on the world’s top tours, they will put some of their earnings back into the GA high performance pot for the next generation,” Pitt told Golf Australia.
“We could not be prouder that our brightest young talent are effectively putting their hands into their pockets to say thanks to all those who’ve helped them achieve their professional goals.
“It says everything about them as people, not just athletes, that they’re prepared to help the next wave push through by giving them the same opportunities they received to reach their potential.”
Players who has been a Golf Australia national or rookie squads since 2015, has committed to be part of the ground breaking scheme.
Once men reach a world ranking of top 125 – and women top 50, a small percentage of their prize money will be donated to Australia’s high performance programs, and will in turn help develop new talents
Athletes will start giving back part of their winnings first after five years, and an equivalent sum to the funds they received through various programs as participants.
Players who won’t reach the ranking benchmark will not be obligated to contribute, and endorsement deals aren’t taken into account.
Australian PGA champion Nathan Holman turned professional in 2014, and is eligible to give back in 2019 and, at No.176 in the world rankings, is approaching the men’s threshold.
As part of the “Give Back” philosophy, Cameron Smith has shown his commitment by setting up a separate scholarship in his name and will give an annual $12,500 sponsorship to a player selected by him and Golf Australia’s high performance team.
The inaugural Cameron Smith Scholarship has been given to Golf Australia national squad junior member Louis Dobbelaar.