Virtual golf community for under-18s

Growing Golf
Junior golfers in Australia can now join TeeMates

A virtual golf community has been launched for Australians aged 18 and under, offering flexible and affordable opportunities to play. 

TeeMates is a new initiative from Golf Australia, giving young players the chance to join and play for $5 at a selection of courses across the country, take part in events with friends and gain an official GA handicap. 

It was set up in partnership with American non-profit Youth on Course after research found that less than four percent of Australian children who play golf are members of a club.

The National Golf Foundation’s study into Australian golf participation revealed that more than 650,000 children played a form of golf in 2021-22, but only 16,241 (3.8%) of Australia’s total club membership of 426,384 were juniors.

David Gallichio, General Manager of Golf Participation at Golf Australia, said: “TeeMates will play an important role in engaging Australia’s youth in a highly competitive sports participation landscape.

“We want kids across the country playing golf. Our goal is to create hundreds of thousands of life-long golfers – but in order to achieve this, we’ve identified the need to deliver a tailored product that allows kids to access the benefits of golf flexibly and at an affordable price point.”

A second phase is planned to include access to play at mini golf facilities, driving ranges and golf simulators.

Adam Heieck, Chief Executive Officer of Youth on Course, said: “Providing the opportunity for young people in Australia to play golf for $5 or less is something that is tremendously exciting to us, and I thank the team at GA for sharing our vision to provide access to the sport for the next generation of golfers.”

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Initially, there will be 30 Youth on Course facilities spread over each Australian state and territory, and a calendar of events for TeeMates members to access.

TeeMates memberships will start from $49 annually and subscriptions will be shared with host clubs and PGA Professionals supporting the initiative.

Equipment manufacturer US Kids Golf has agreed to provide a $30 (USD) voucher to all TeeMates when joining their local US Kids Golf Tour or when participating at a US Kids Golf event.