The PGA of Australia has ramped up its push to attract more women as golf professionals.
Applications are now open for the PGA Women in Golf Scholarship Fund (WiGSF), launched in 2021 with the goal of increasing the number of Vocational female Professionals.
Whilst primarily established to provide scholarships to women undertaking the PGA Membership Pathway Program (previously known as the Trainee Program), the scope of the fund has been expanded to encompass all programs leading to Vocational Membership of the PGA. In addition to providing support for current female golf professionals to continue their education via industry-relevant higher education opportunities.
The scholarships encompass two key funding areas.
The first relates to the next generation of members, providing assistance to new or currently-enrolled women to meet the financial obligations associated with undertaking the relevant program requirements. Scholarship funding is available for programs leading to PGA membership including the PGA Membership Pathway Program, the PGA Performance Program and the Diploma of Golf Management.
“The PGA is committed to increasing the not only the number of female PGA Professionals but helping to elevate our current women members into leadership roles within the industry; and we are very optimistic these scholarships will facilitate that." - Gavin Kirkman.
The second is under the banner of creating new leaders, with funding available to current Full Vocational female Members with the aim of lifting current female professionals into leadership roles within the industry. Funding can be used to access relevant higher education opportunities via the Advanced Diploma of Leadership and Management or other relevant courses.
There are a total of 15 scholarship opportunities under the WiGSF.
Alongside the PGA, support and investment into the WiGSF has been provided by ISPS Handa, Acushnet, Callaway and TaylorMade. As partners of the PGA they have continued to demonstrate their shared commitment to developing further female professional pathways, and we anticipate further support from existing and new PGA Partners or organisations who are keen to support this initiative into the future.
To be eligible, applicants need to be a female Australian citizen or permanent resident and meet the eligibility criteria to undertake the program of their choice.
Applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis with priority of scholarships awarded to individuals who have had to overcome or are overcoming disadvantage in pursuit of their studies. Disadvantages may include but are not limited to the following:
•Financial difficulty or low-income earner
•Geographical isolation/significant distance from major capital city
•English as a second language
•Disability or medical condition
•Family crisis or difficult family environment
•Career/ study disruption
•Other difficult circumstances
Currently only six percent of Vocational Golf Professionals in Australia are women.
PGA of Australia Chief Executive Gavin Kirkman said he was delighted to see the WiGSF coming to fruition in Australia.
“This is a very important project for us going forward,” said Kirkman.
“The PGA is committed to increasing the not only the number of female PGA Professionals but helping to elevate our current women members into leadership roles within the industry; and we are very optimistic these scholarships will facilitate that.
“It’s an exciting time in golf with the boom in participation and more women coming to the game as we improve some of the barriers that have been there in the past, recognised all formats and make our sport more fun and accessible. This is an initiative that we are very proud of at the PGA, and we hope that there is a strong take-up of what’s on offer.”