Golf is often considered a technical sport and mastering skills can be the focus for many keen golfers. Unfortunately, focusing on skill development can deter some beginners who are looking for a more social environment where they can learn the basics. Golf Australia knew clubs were out there helping adults learn golf, but they still found it hard answering the question, 'Where can I get started?'. There was no clear entry point into golf, which inspired Golf Australia to develop a new national product to encourage and promote adult participation in golf.
Golf had a ready-made delivery workforce, with many clubs having a professional ready to deliver a national product. The challenge however, was to ensure deliverers were on board with a participant-first approach that would put the needs of the participant at the core of the product. The new product needed to have a balance of technical content preferred by deliverers and more fun, relaxed activities and games to engage beginners.
Golf Australia Products Manager, Jayden Zeinstra said, 'Golf needed a national product to form the foundation for clubs to grow their membership and spread the word that there is more to golf than technical skills.'
The timing was fortunate in that Sport Australia had just released the Australian Physical Literacy Framework and physical literacy experts from Sport Australia conducted a stakeholder workshop for Golf Australia. Participation managers from around Australia and representatives from the Professional Golfers Association of Australia and Australian Ladies Professional Golf explored how physical literacy could be applied in golf.
Workshop participants were surprised that elements from the psychological and social domains were considered the most important in a range of different golf scenarios – even more than the physical domain. Participants also saw great value in physical literacy creating a well-rounded experience for a new player. Armed with insights from the workshop, Golf Australia decided to develop a new product with physical literacy and the participant at the core of the product design.
Golf Australia launched Get Into Golf, an introductory product for adults, with physical literacy at the core of the design. The focus was on building beginners’ skills through a game-based approach and getting participants out playing the game as soon as possible.
'Choosing to embed physical literacy at the core of our product required more work, but the hard work paid off as we developed a much better product in the end,' Jayden said.
The approach needed to be simple and easy for deliverers to understand, giving them the flexibility to modify sessions to meet the needs of participants.
Golf Australia produced a comprehensive Get Into Golf Centre Manual, including a suite of game cards for deliverers. The cards step through how to play the games and provide simple ways to modify them in order to develop skills in all four domains: physical, psychological, social and cognitive. This flexibility in product design enables deliverers to align their approach for each session with the individual needs of participants.
Golf Australia has also created a new consumer facing Get Into Golf portal where clubs can upload their product offerings, so participants have one place where they can learn more and find out how to get started.
- Make sessions more social by mixing up groups and encouraging them to share strategies
- Engage participants on a psychological level, by encouraging them to challenge themselves and set their own, more difficult starting positions when putting.
- Add obstacles in an activity and encourage participants to consider different ways to avoid them.
- Having physical literacy at the core of the product design was well worth the time and effort. The final product is well-rounded and designed to meets the needs of adult beginners.
- Conducting a workshop for key delivery channels and stakeholders was crucial in understanding how to best embed a physical literacy approach and ensure everyone embraced the opportunity.
- Flexibility is key to ensuring sessions can be tailored to participant needs. Creating a manual and game cards provided clear guidance for deliverers on how best to modify activities and sessions for different groups.
The next phase of Get Into Golf will focus on educating deliverers by embedding physical literacy messaging in community coaching courses and coaching traineeships. Developing a participant physical literacy profile is also on the horizon. The profile will capture where a participant is at and where they want to be with their physical capabilities, attitudes and behaviours towards golf, social interactions and understanding how, why and when they should participate. This will help deliverers tailor sessions to meet the individual needs of each participant.
Ultimately, improving deliverer to club relationships will be key to helping participants transition from Get Into Golf to other opportunities the club offers.
For further information, contact the Participation Design team at firstname.lastname@example.org