State golf acts to rebrand its image

GOLF Tasmania will hand down results of a review into its operations next month as it looks to rebrand an image damaged in the eyes of some of its members.

Several years of discontent has prompted accusations of lack of communication between the state body and clubs, no regional focus, lack of clarity of state team selections and coaching.

A review was promised at Golf Tasmania's annual meeting on June 30, which was attended by Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt.

New president Tony Bush, who joined the board at that meeting and was elected president on November 21 after Helen Langenberg stood down, did not deny any of the accusations, especially a lack of communication, but felt the sport would soon be back on the right track.

"We promised the membership a review then, and to that extent we are spending tens of thousands of dollars, and Golf Australia is tipping in," he said.

"We're doing it with a legal company (Lander and Rogers, from Melbourne) who specialise in sport reviews, who have run forums all across the state and run an online survey, which had hundreds of responses, which is great as people are talking about it.

"Those results will be released to the board at the end of January with recommendations into how we solve the issues of the membership.

"They will be given due consideration, which we promised to hold in March-April, where we will ask members to vote on them and we will have a new constitution.

"This new constitution will have to be based on what the Australian Sports Commission and Golf Australia pretty much want, as they fund us.

"With golf now being an Olympic sport, there will be more funds coming in and we need to align ourselves with their expectations of good governance and good constitution."

Bush said he understood golf was "dying" at club level, with more social golfers than club golfers, so there will be new focus on attracting people to clubs.

This focus has seen a development coach appointed in each region, with PGA members Bryce Goreham (who is based at Country Club Tasmania) in the North and Zac Rollins (based at Seabrook) in the North- West, under the guidance of national high performance coach Alex Head.

Golf Tasmania has already introduced a state team selection policy and a state selection panel.

However, Bush said boards had to be independent and could not be "region-based" as dictated by Golf Australia.

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