Golf Australia High Performance Program Mission Statement
To create and implement elite athlete preparation environments and structures which provide the best possible coaching, support service, daily training environment, sports science services and competition opportunities for our Australian National Squad Members.
Golf Australia High Performance Program Vision
The overall vision of the Golf Australia High Performance Program is to identify as early as possible Australia’s most talented golfers and give them the best possible opportunities and world-class resources to fully develop their potential on and off the golf course.
Rationale underpinning the program
Australia producing golfers who are capable of winning Major Championships, Olympic medals and Top 100 World Ranking positions are the most effective means to boost participation in the game and attract funding to the sport of golf in Australia, due to the publicity such success attracts.
If our athletes can reach their full potential, we believe Australia will enjoy continued and sustained success on the world stage.
High Performance is the face of participation, the growth of the game from grassroots to the professional level and is the driving influence behind a national program.
Australia has some of the best resources in the world, from our sporting culture, coaches, sport science, sport medicine, weather, golf courses, competition, culture of success, and much more.
Direction of the National Program
The overall direction of the Golf Australia National High Performance Program going forward will be to change the overall vision and strategy from a short term results-orientated program to a long-term holistic direction to better prepare our athletes for the elite amateur and professional level.
The physical, technical, strategic and emotional processes will be evaluated at an earlier age so individual plans can be better established to better prepare our athletes for the long term.
The process of long term development needs to begin at a much younger age to ensure our players are better exposed to the skills and resources needed to not only be a professional golfer but to have success at the national and international professional level.
National and State tournaments such as the Interstate Series, club pennants, national ranking events and the World Amateur Team Championship play an important role in shaping our players’ futures.
As we enter into a new decade of elite golf development in Australia it is important to start looking at developing our elite athletes into potential Major and Olympic Championship winners, PGA and LPGA Tour players and to look at those previously mentioned events as tools and not benchmarks.
Having a Major or Olympic champion and a higher number of Top 100 players on the PGA or LPGA tour will have a bigger impact on the big picture of Australian golf in years to come.
High performance is the face of participation. Success at the highest level will help the growth of the game, sponsorship opportunities, player development and the “give back” culture. These will be better served through the long term success of our athletes.
Given the limited number of elite Australian golfers who have the talent, work ethic and desire to enjoy success at a world class level, it’s important that Golf Australia and the States run an integrated and coordinated HP program to maximize the potential of our most elite players. With limited resources across the country, and to mitigate against confusing our players, coaches, and key stakeholders, it’s critical that across the country we run one HP program, coordinated across Golf Australia, State Associations, ALPG, PGA, Institute and Academy programs.
Our best young golfers need to focus on their future. This can mean going through technical and physical improvements that, in the short term, can mean higher scores but long term will produce a more fundamentally sound player who will increase their potential to compete and have success at the Major championship and Olympic level.
While acknowledging the importance of representative golf at all levels, it is imperative if our goals are to produce World Top 10 players, Major and Olympic Champions that a long-term view be held by the player and all the key stake holders associated with the player.
Australian amateur golf has a strong record of producing players that go on to having great professional careers. Players such as Geoff Ogilvy, Adam Scott, Michael Sim, Aaron Baddeley, Katherine Hull and Karrie Webb have all been members of the Australian National Squad. The Australian Sports Commission and Golf Australia support our elite male and female amateurs through the Australian National Squad.
Golf Australia has had a High Performance program since 1984, expanding from training camps to full Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) status in 1992. The AIS program has gone through quite a metamorphosis, from a developmental elite residential program to a de-centralised program aimed at elite amateurs and rookie professionals. Golf Australia’s elite initiatives will benefit from a nationally coordinated/integrated underpinning talent identification and development program.
There is an excellent common will evident between Golf Australia, its Member Associations, the Junior Golf Foundations, Australian PGA, ALPG and SIS/SAS network to work together for the mutual benefit of Australian Golf. The efforts need to be better focused towards maintaining Australia’s place in world golf and producing Major and International Championship winners. We have always punched above our weight as a golfing nation.
Australia has produced more international standard players per head of population than the USA, UK, Japan, and many other internationally competitive countries. Over the last 5 years we have been overtaken in international tournament performances by nations who are now benefiting from well researched & resourced talent identification & development programs.
As Golf rejoins the summer Olympic program, Golf Australia is making a renewed and focused approach at initiatives to better support our players as they strive to become elite international amateur players and then transition into the professional game. Success at the international level is important for Golf Australia as the group that sets the standards of leadership and governance for the game in Australia:
Australian Junior and tiered National Squads
The introduction of two new Squads highlights the forthcoming selection of players in the Australian National Squads. A new structure has been put in place to assist Australia’s elite player development, with a greater emphasis on development rather than solely at the top of the pyramid. These are new initiatives that will assist players to become more aware of the tools needed to compete and have success at the International amateur level and professionally.
All four programs will not have a minimum or maximum number of participants. The program will look for the best individuals who are striving to reach their full potential on and off the golf course. The benefit of introducing Junior and Development Squads is that not only will players be sent to various camps and events Nationally and Internationally to gain elite competition experience; they will also have access to the full array of sports sciences that until now have generally been limited to the top amateurs and professionals. A wider application of our world-class programs/resources in sports psychology, strength and conditioning, biomechanics & technique analysis, muscular-skeletal assessment & movement patterning, practice structuring, statistical analysis, nutrition, sports vision and wider adoption of protocols in skill analysis equipment (e.g. Trackman, SAM Putting Lab) will allow Australian golf to streamline its pathway and give players exposure to a vast array of knowledge, resources and coaching well before they once did.
This is the structure that currently exists only from National Squad level and must be a process adopted from pre-elite, junior and national development squad level. Athletes will become familiar with the process immediately and follow this throughout their development. Physical, technical and psycho-physiological issues will be identified and addressed prior to an athlete reaching National Squad level. By using annual benchmark events Nationally and Internationally we can directly measure the ongoing performance of the National Junior and Development Program and our talent identification process.
The Australian National Squad consists of four levels:
Australian Rookie Squad (Professional Golfers)
Australian National Squad - Tier 1
Australian National Squad - Tier 2
Australian National Junior Squad (Age 13-17)
Players are selected based on the following four criteria:
• Ranking (National and International)
• Results (National and International)
• Participation (National and International)
• Commitment to process of reaching their full potential on and off the golf course.
Players are selected to the Golf Australia National Squad annually. National Squad players are given competition opportunities nationally and internationally, and access to sports medicine, sport science, strength & conditioning, psychology, physiotherapy, biomechanics, nutrition specialist and camp opportunities.
The National squad players are sent to all National Ranking Events in Australia as well as coming under consideration for International Team Representation. Some National Squad members are also based in the U.S.A under the NCAA/U.S College System. These members will have produced excellent results whilst competing under this system.
The National Squad program acts as the feeder to the Rookie Professional Program. The Rookie Program, whilst in its infancy has already proven to be a wonderful benefit to many young and extremely talented professionals. In 2010 six (6) of the eight (8) Rookie Squad members were former National Squad members demonstrating the direct link between the Squads. As time goes on it is anticipated that this figure will rise even further.