Australian Golf Media – representing the shared media interests of the PGA of Australia, the WPGA Tour and Golf Australia – this week celebrates a milestone edition of Inside The Ropes.
Inside the ropes
The podcast, regularly co-hosted by Andy Maher, Mark Hayes, Alison Whitaker and Martin Blake, notched its 200th episode with some special guests, including former world No.1 Karrie Webb.
Webb, who explains her design company’s work for Queensland’s Indooroopilly Golf Club and her insights on better course set-up for all clubs, was warm in her appreciation of the 200th show.
“Congratulations on the milestone – it’s a great effort,” the World Golf Hall of Fame member said.
The other key guests on the podcast were PGA of Australia chief executive Gavin Kirkman and his Golf Australia counterpart, James Sutherland.
Both acknowledged the significance of Inside The Ropes and that it had become a shared asset of vastly improved industry collaboration.
“Congratulations on 200 shows – I’ve been lucky enough to be on a couple,” Kirkman joked.
“Inside The Ropes will play a big part in where we’re heading with the game in Australia – you always cover all aspects of the game and we want to be more inclusive, tell great golf stories and promote all the benefits of the game.
“This podcast allows us do it from the world stage down to grass roots – and for all vitally important aspects of the industry including women, juniors and club sustainability.
“You’ve covered it all in 200 episodes and we want to continue that.”
In offering his congratulations, Sutherland also said it would continue to be an important driver for the messages that will help shape Australian golf.
He said Inside The Ropes was a great example of how united resources could provide increased benefits to all who love the sport.
Benefit the sport
“We’re all here to help more people play more golf. In coming together as the podcast has for and within the industry, it highlights how we can go about it,” Sutherland said.
“Rather than a fragmented approach where everyone is competing, if we can bring our assets and our people together, it will not only improve the quality, but serve the golf community better.
“We (Golf Australia) are moving into an office together (with the PGA) very soon, but it’s far more than just symbolic, including with the WPGA Tour.
“The direct benefits will flow through and enable us to serve clubs better, allowing them to be more sustainable.
“The best sports are doing it really well and they’re aligned. That hasn’t happened in golf until now and that’s to our detriment. We need to find a way to come together and have a sustainable future.”
Kirkman concurred: “This is the biggest opportunity we’ve had as an industry.
“Coming out of a resurgence to our game in the past year with increased numbers, to sit here with James and talk as we are and our collaboration agreement with Karen Lunn and the WPGA …
“I’ve been in golf for 35 years and seen the peaks and troughs … but this is the biggest opportunity for our sport and it’s great to be having these discussions and with our boards very aligned as well.”