Is golf in crisis?

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The sport of golf in the Penrith area is slowly on the rise but according to Terry Kim, Managing Director of Glenmore Heritage Valley Golf Club, more needs to be done to get kids to swap their computer games for golf clubs.

“To me I think we are losing teenagers to other forms of entertainment such as computer games,” Mr Kim said.

“I think nowadays people are ‘time poor’ and we are seeing less and less people coming including our younger generation.”

It’s safe to say golf isn’t the first word out of a child’s mouth when a parent asks what weekend sport they would like to play.

Golf has always been portrayed as a sport for the upper-class largely due to its high costs for equipment and membership plus all the time it can eat out of your day.

That’s why Mr Kim and his staff at Glenmore Heritage Valley are doing all they can to change people’s perceptions and make golf a sport for everyone.

Mr Kim said he is passionate about encouraging kids to take up the sport by offering weekly coaching clinics and affordable junior memberships, all part of a major effort to revive the sport in Penrith.

“We conduct golfing clinics for junior members every Friday afternoon,” he said.

“We are also maintaining our junior membership fee at a low price of $180 per year. We try and support junior golf as much as possible. I don’t know whether we are doing enough but we are looking at new ways to get the young ones involved.”

Mr Kim admits he’s been disappointed with the lack of involvement from local schools, but says students from St Dominic’s College come out on Thursdays and have so for years. “But we want more schools to be doing this as well,” Mr Kim said.

“Our junior development officer has been trying to contact local schools to get them involved but so far we haven’t had any success.”

Westley Rudel, Head Golf Professional at Glenmore Heritage Valley, said the course attracts so many tournaments because of its beauty and difficulty.

“We are number two behind the Lakes Golf Club in Sydney in terms of difficulty in playing,” he said.

“The quality of the course is very good and is the toughest course in the area to play on.”

One group not suffering from a lack of involvement and rapidly on the rise is Veterans Golf.

John Lovatt, President of Glenmore Veterans Golf Association, believes the sport is on the rise for the older generation because of its many lifestyle and fitness benefits.

“A couple of years ago we started Veterans Golf with only a handful of people, now we have more than 60 involved,” he said.

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