• Tim Vetter

Swing Into Golf This Month


Wide open fairways. Sunshine. Fresh air. The satisfying thud of a perfectly struck drive. The bragging rights that come with sinking a long putt.

If golf sounds appealing but you’re not sure how to get into it, you’re worried about your ability level, or joining fees are holding you back, then there’s never been a better time to pick up the clubs and get out and experience it.

Golf Month is an event held all over Australia during October, with activities for people of all ages that are new to the sport, or looking to get back into it after a break.

PGA Professional and coach, Nigel Lane, is encouraging people to head to the Golf Month website and find events in their area to get involved.

“This really is a fantastic initiative, supported by the PGA, Australian Ladies Professional Golf (ALPG), and all the state bodies,” he said. “The aim is to get people involved that have thought about playing golf, but are not sure what it involves or how to get started.

“Golf is hard, and it can take years before you realise your own potential. With so much information out there, it can be difficult to see the open fairways because of the trees, so the only way to find out is to start somewhere.

“Start with nine holes and don’t keep score. Have a beverage and a laugh at yourself and your mates – make it enjoyable. You can build on your game from there.”

Lane was awarded PGA membership in 1993, and started coaching soon after that. After launching a full-time playing career, he won consecutive Queensland Order of Merit titles in 1998 and 1999, before being forced to retire in 2000 due to a foot condition that still prevents him from standing for long periods of time.

After a stint in the US and spending 10 years in England learning the art of coaching, he returned to Queensland to live in Scarborough and ply his trade at North Lakes Resort Golf Club. Now specialising in junior development, Lane runs midweek and weekend coaching sessions at North Lakes.

“I incorporate a lot of games into it, so most of the juniors don’t even realise they’re learning,” he said. “Most of the kids can understand their strengths as players after about a year, and from then on it’s about developing that to help them get the best out of their game.

“Coaching is very rewarding. It’s like helping someone with a jigsaw puzzle. Most of the time the missing piece is right in front them, but a small piece of information prevents them from finding it.

“Very rarely does a player need a total overhaul. My role is to help people more fully understand their game, and suggest simple ways they can improve. I’m a golf junkie, and I always wanted to help (even to the annoyance of my friends) when I was growing up.”

Lane says that despite a slight drop in playing numbers, golf in Australia is in a healthy state.

“Aussies are by far the best golfers in the world when it comes to handicaps, with the average club golfer playing off a 15 – both men and women. I believe this is because Australian clubs organise multiple competitions each week, unlike many other countries. I think with a bit more sponsorship and some more televised tournaments the game here will grow substantially.”

For details on private lessons or group clinics with Lane, call 0449 541 616 or email nigellane@pgamember.org.au.

To get involved with Golf Month, head to https://www.golf.org.au/golfmonth.


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