By Michael Davis
THE PGA of Australia has established a new Golf Learning Hub at Sandhurst, south of Melbourne.
The completion of the Australian Golf Centre at Sandringham and the relocation of PGA administrative staff to the heart of the Melbourne Sandbelt has paved the way for an expansion of the PGA’s education centre at the Sandhurst Club alongside its two championship golf courses.
The expanded learning centre will operate in conjunction with the existing PGA Membership Pathway Program, Accreditation and Continuing Education Program and the PGA’s Registered Training Organisation – the PGA International Golf Institute.
The PGA Golf Learning Hub will provide either an entry point to a career in golf or a place where the existing workforce can advance its skills and education.
PGA of Australia CEO Gavin Kirkman said the hub will be a world-first golf industry education centre and will serve the workforce development needs of both the Australian and global golf industries.
“The PGA Golf Learning Hub will provide training and education programs and qualifications to all pillars of the golf industry including the areas of coaching, small-business, facility-management, turf-grass management, tourism, events and hospitality.
“The hub aims to provide career pathways for the current and future golf industry workforce by enhancing relevant industry knowledge, skills and competencies.”
Working in partnership with Holmesglen Institute and with financial support from the Victorian Government and the Frankston City Council, the initial intake of students will be welcomed in the first semester of 2022. New students will have the flexibility to explore a range of subjects relating to a future career in golf.
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Martin Pakula said the Victorian Government’s investment would support the growth of jobs in the state.
“The hub will be a real asset for the game and will establish Victoria as a key destination for people seeking world-class education and training in the golf industry,” Mr Pakula said.
“Golf is a major employer in Victoria and initiatives like this will ensure the next generation comes through well trained and ready to hit the ground running.”
Kirkman said Holmesglen Institute has demonstrated over the past 40 years its capacity to deliver a wide range of vocational and higher education learning programs.
“We’re delighted to have their capability complement the expertise of the PGA Education team,” Kirkman said.
“We’re also grateful to the Frankston City Council for their support in refurbishing our existing facility at Sandhurst into one fit-for-purpose to deliver highly skilled individuals into the Australian golf industry.”
Frankston City Council will contribute $60,000 towards the project with Mayor Kris Bolam highlighting the benefits that the golf industry offers to all Australians.
“Frankston City Council boasts eight golf courses and we’re looking forward to the great opportunities that the PGA Golf Learning Hub will provide for residents and visitors,” Cr Bolam said.
“Staying fit, healthy and active has a beneficial effect on our sense of physical and mental wellbeing.”
Deputy mayor Nathan Conroy said the exciting initiative will make Frankston a key destination for golf industry training and education programs both domestically and internationally.
“In addition to bringing new people and students to the area, the PGA Golf Learning Hub will be accessible to Frankston municipality locals for enrolment in golf industry-based training and education programs,” Cr Conroy said.
There are more than 24,000 people employed throughout the golf industry in Australia.
The 2017 Community Impact Study commissioned by the Australian Golf Industry Council estimated golf contributes $3.6 billion to the Australian economy annually.