• Rumford backs new holistic development program for Tour players

A new program has been launched to help Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia and WPGA Tour players with progressing their careers on and off the golf course.

And it has found a willing ambassador in multiple tournament winner Brett Rumford, who has experienced just about every aspect of professional golf.

The Tournament Player Development Program has been established to offer professional development and educational resources for all current players on the men’s and women’s tours.

Aimed at enhancing players' long-term career success, whether that is on the golf course or not, the program includes a wide variety of webinars and practical sessions.

Along with the practical and online sessions, the program is designed to provide players pastoral care and guidance.

Rumford, a six-time winner on the DP World Tour, has come on as an ambassador for the program, and while participants will be treated to a short-game masterclass from one of golf’s best around the greens, he has a lot more off-course wisdom to impart as well.

Along with a decorated playing career, over the last few years Rumford has broadened his golf knowledge and qualifications by completing his bridging course to become a full PGA Member, as well as a Diploma of Golf Management at the PGA Institute.

"It was always in the back of my mind that I wanted to remain in the golf industry when I finished full-time tournament golf. One, because I love it. I'm passionate about it. Two, I want to give back to the game," said Rumford.

After a relatively smooth run through most of his playing days, a number of injury setbacks beginning in 2015 forced Rumford to think about life after professional golf.

“It was like ‘wow, what's going on here’,” he said.

“Right in the thick of my prime of my career, you know, I've just had these two major surgeries that have just completely derailed my momentum.”

While Rumford looked towards study and future-proofing his career at a point when his playing days were winding down, this new program is specifically catered for players at all stages of their journeys.

"Golf is a marathon. It's not a sprint. I think a lot of kids get caught up with the mentality that if you haven't made it by the time you're 20 these days, it's over," he said.

"Continuing your education is a fantastic avenue to learn the industry, to get some qualifications, to get some backing.

"It can free up the mind to sort of just go play too, knowing that you've got a bit of a fallback."

PGA of Australia CEO Gavin Kirkman is excited for the program and the support it will offer Australian players.

“Golf is a game for life and we want our tournament players to have the best possible career opportunities to succeed whether it’s when they’re playing professionally full time or when they’re focussing on life away from the tour,” he said.

"The Tournament Player Development Program is specially designed with a healthy mix of on-course and off-course sessions, making it a fantastic resource for all players on our home tours.

"From our rookies looking to soak up as much wisdom and learning as possible, to players beginning to think about the transition in their career, this program caters to everyone."

As well as Rumford’s short-game masterclass, other sessions range from financial tips to mental health strategies, to playing at the highest level.

The first session is on Tuesday the 26th March with Dr Alison Curdt. Titled The performance of people - reach your potential , this session will focus on harnessing golf psychology.

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