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Golf Australia: TeeMates is celebrating its first birthday

POSTED ON May 3, 2024 @ 10:52 am

TeeMates is celebrating its first birthday and what a year it has been for Australia’s newest virtual golf club for kids.

Golf Australia officially launched TeeMates, in conjunction with Youth on Course, with the aim of providing more opportunities for children to play golf socially for a reduced fee rate in their own time, or competitively in organised events with their peers.

The numbers speak for themselves, with just under 1400 current TeeMates members from across the country embracing the opportunity to go out and play.

Before TeeMates was launched, Golf Australia saw a gap in the membership numbers when it came to junior golfers. Despite more than 650,000 children playing golf in Australia in 2021-22, just 16,241 were club members.

The partnership with Youth on Course, an American-based organisation that enables kids across the country to play golf for $5 or less, is forever growing, and Golf Australia is excited to see more clubs and facilities come on board.

There are 40 registered Youth on Course facilities across Australia, with 880 rounds of golf played through this initiative in the past year. The number of facilities is set to grow significantly in July.

Golf Australia’s General Manager – Golf Participation, David Gallichio is pleased with how TeeMates has been received in its inaugural year, and even more excited to see the long-term growth into the future.

“It has been so encouraging to see how not only Australian children have embraced the TeeMates concept, but how eager our clubs and facilities across the country have been to encourage junior golfers,” he said.

“A year ago, we were so excited to launch the TeeMates initiative, and so to see this level of success has been incredibly encouraging.

“We wanted more kids playing golf, and to do that we needed to make golf affordable and accessible. Phase one of this has been achieved but this is just the beginning.

“In its second year, and indeed years to come, we are positive that TeeMates will continue to thrive, and we encourage more clubs and facilities to get involved and experience the benefits a thriving junior program can bring.”

There are currently 1388 members (70% boys, 30% girls) enjoying the many benefits associated with TeeMates.

As TeeMates continues to grow, Golf Australia is confident the membership gap between boys and girls will grow ever closer as more girls are able to take up the game through greater accessibility and opportunities.

Along with the enormous support of TeeMates membership, 74 TeeMates events were held in the past year, with 3650 participants taking part and getting a taste of competition golf.

“Golf is booming in Australia, and it is integral that juniors are afforded the opportunity to begin their journey with the sport in an affordable, accessible, and fun environment,” Gallichio said.

“As TeeMates continues to grow, so do these opportunities.”

The state-by-state numbers of TeeMates membership are as follows:
New South Wales/ ACT: 29
Queensland: 794
South Australia: 96
Tasmania: 55
Victoria: 254
Western Australia: 68

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