Club President Clarifies Junior Golf Ban at Coffs Harbour

The golf community is reacting strongly to news of a junior golfer being banned from competitive play at Coffs Harbour Golf Club. However, it appears to be a more complex situation than is being reported.

Reports have surfaced this week in some of Australia’s mainstream press about cadet golfers being banned from Saturday club competitions, prompting widespread condemnation. This development comes at a time when the sport is keen to attract younger players, making the situation seem counterproductive.

In fact, one young golfer and her mother were interviewed on Channel Nine’s Today Show last week to shed some light on the situation although it seems no one was quite sure of the explanation.

However, the story appears more complex.

Club President Mark Dodd addressed the issue in a recent memo, clarifying that the $105 cadet membership for golfers under 14 years old never included competition playing rights. In contrast, junior members aged 14-16, who pay an annual fee of $335, do have these privileges.

Last year, the club introduced a by-law to create a pathway for talented cadets to gain additional competition playing rights.

However, this by-law faced legal challenges and allegations of discrimination. After seeking legal advice, the club rescinded the by-law, eliminating the provision for cadets to be recommended for competition play by the club professional.

This move has brought the club’s membership policies into the spotlight, highlighting the need for clear and inclusive pathways for young golfers.

One wonders if reducing the minimum age for junior membership may be a step forward and a good way to resolve the sitatuation.

It’s all explained in a lot more detail in the President’s Memo including a response to a few recent allegations.

“The Board did not create or change any other rule in regard to Cadets or Juniors, which it has been falsely accused of.

There has been a lot of misinformation received by some members on social media about the email that was sent out on Friday regarding junior and cadet playing rights and the Board would like to provide some clarification in relation to some of those statements.

Some of the allegations are simply not true and have only been stated to incite support for a misconception of expected rights pertaining to Cadets playing in member competitions.

Excerpts of a few of the allegations:

“The Club have now banned all kids from playing any competition at all (no matter their handicap).”

“This Board has decided they no longer want kids playing.”

“They (the Board) made the choice to ban kids for no reason”

These statements are simply not true, they are sensational statements without any basis of truth.

Cadets have lost only the additional playing opportunities provided to them within what was By-law 3.1.5.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *