Collaboration between Aus PGA and ALPG

Geoff Ogilvy and Karrie Webb of Australia pose prior to the ISPS Handa Vic Open at 13th Beach Golf Club on February 06, 2019 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

The men’s and women’s amateur organisations joined forces some years ago and now the Aus PGA and the ALPG are looking to following suit.

A press release has been sent out by both organisations saying they have entered into a cooperation agreement that proposes to analyse the operations, assets and services of the two governing bodies.

This follows on from the successful ISPS Handa Vic Open which was a combined men’s and women’s event held in February with David Law from Scotland winning the men’s event and Celine Boutier from France winning the women’s event.

As the bodies responsible for the administration and governance of professional golf in Australia mutual respect has always existed but a formalised intent to build commercial opportunities is anticipated to strengthen the industry and provide new leadership for professional golf in Australia.

“The PGA of Australia and ALPG have always enjoyed a strong and close working relationship. This formal agreement is our way of demonstrating our firm commitment to collaborate on real opportunities together,” said Gavin Kirkman, CEO of the PGA of Australia which also owns the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.

“This is a natural progression for golf in Australia but also represents an exciting time as both the male and female professional games flourish. We are charged with leading our own halves of professional golf, but together we can be far more influential advocates for professional golf both here in Australia and overseas.”

Karen Lunn, CEO of the ALPG added, “Our two organisations worked together back in 2015 to develop a dual ALPG/PGA membership category and bridging course which now enables ALPG members to attain full vocational membership of the PGA.

“As a result of further discussions over the past six months, we are delighted to be in a position to announce this next level collaboration which can only have a positive effect on our game in Australia.”
 
As part of the collaboration process, nine areas of opportunity have been identified for the PGA and ALPG to work together more effectively for the benefit of the game. Some of these priorities include:

  • Joint government relations and commercial initiatives.
  • Production of world-class tournaments to enhance the player and fan experience resulting in increased playing opportunities.
  • A more holistic approach to high-performance golf in Australia with a focus on the athletes.
  • Jointly promote and market both memberships to increase the profile and success of individuals.

However, at the forefront of this arrangement is the ALPG and PGA professional’s interests.

“The PGA of Australia and ALPG are both member organisations and Tours, the best interests of both our members have been at the forefront of these discussions,” added Kirkman.

“Australia consistently produces some of the most talented male and female professional golfers in the world and we believe by working closer together we can ensure this continues well into the future.

“However, it isn’t just about producing the next Karrie Webb or Greg Norman; it is also about opening

up other pathways for a career in golf. We want to identify and nurture the best coaching talent in Australia and specifically increase the number of female coaches.”

As female sport in Australia has come to the forefront thanks to AFLW and Women’s Big Bash League, golf still has a large amount of work to do to better recognise the female golfing population.

“A career in professional golf should be an aspiration of all young golfers, male or female, and equal representation of male and female golfers is a challenge we are inspired to achieve together.,“ added Kirkman.

This agreement between the ALPG and PGA is the result of months of discussion and intended to provide the platform for both entities to lead the way in better commercialising the existing assets, but also developing new opportunities for professional golf and golfers alike.

Both parties anticipate the results to include better gender equality in golf, improved career opportunities and a more attractive participation sport for females.    

“This is an exciting time for women’s sport in Australia, and ALPG’s ongoing collaboration with the PGA across a number of areas will ensure that women’s professional golf in Australia continues to thrive,” added Lunn.

Just the start of the journey, the ALPG and PGA intend to bring true progress to this intent to strengthen professional golf in Australia and have appointed an independent consultant, Evolve Sports Group to help pave the future path.

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