EXPANDING the Griffith Golf Club’s junior playing numbers is one of the main priorities for incoming pro Warwick Hazel as he settles into the job this week.
After taking over from the departed Neil Bye, Hazel has wasted no time getting to work to understand where the club is strong and where it can be improved.
Hazel said with just one underage player on the books, finding the next generation of players and officials at the club is one of his first jobs.
“Looking at the junior member base at the club we’ve only got the one player, so that really needs to change,” Hazel said.
“So we’re going to try and focus on trying to get kids playing the game, we’ll be looking to run coaching clinics on weekends and get into the schools and give talks and clinics for the kids there.
“Golf I think is a great opportunity for parents to play with their kids, there’s not many that allow you to do that now, they can play tennis or whatever, but golf is a great leveller with the handicap system.
“We need to encourage more rounds generally, it’s a great way to get some exercise and be social with friends of family.”
Born in Hornsby Sydney, the 37-year-old fell in love with the game from an early age and went to Adelaide chasing a dream and to try and find a quieter pace to life with his wife Tanya.
“I went to Adelaide for a rep’s position and decided to go there because Sydney was too much traffic and expense, and after three years I decided to relive the childhood dream of becoming a pro so I did my apprenticeship at Mount Osmund,” he said.
“After that time we passed the course with flying colours, and we decided to move back to Sydney and look for work in New South Wales and then after four months the job at Griffith came up, it normally takes five-to-10 years to get a job like this.”
Despite only being in the job for a short time, Hazel said he could see himself spending a long time in the city, saying it offers him many other opportunities other than building the club’s reputation.
“We’re loving it here so far, everybody we have met through the club and in the town have been really
receptive and nice, it’s a very welcoming place that I think we can call home for the years to come,” Hazel said.