Georgia McSkimming: 'I want to get more girls into golf'

Posted on December 14, 2022

If you haven’t already heard the exciting news about our very own Georgia McSkimming, you’ve come to the right place. 

We recently sat down with Georgia to get to know more about her role, her experience in golf, and what the future looks like now she has been accepted into the PGA Membership Pathway Program!

Collier Park: I thought we’d start off with a very simple intro, so tell us a little bit about yourself?

Georgia McSkimming: Okay, so my name is Georgia and I’m a full-time golf Operations Assistant at Collier Park. And yeah, I play golf (laughs) – that’s basically what I do. Work, golf, and then gym, and that’s pretty much my schedule. Then when I have free time, I just hang out with friends and family mostly, and that’s pretty much it.

And youre Perth raised, correct?

Yeah, Perth born and raised. I went to school at John Curtin College of the Arts in Fremantle, and I was there for the dance program. Not many people know  once upon a time I was a dancer. I can’t say a really good dancer, but yeah that’s what I used to do. 

So how long have you been playing golf for?  

I reckon at about age 5 I started picking up a club and going to the driving range with my family. I think I was around 12 or 13 when I joined Melville Glades and then I started playing the Sunday comps and it all sort of started there.

Golf is clearly in the McSkimming blood; with your dad being a pro here and a bit of a legend around these parts. Plus your brother Jordan works for Golf WA. Is it just you two or do you have any other siblings? 

Yeah I have a younger brother as well and he’s just graduated high school at Como Secondary College – he did the golf program there. So, he’s also a golfer. But yeah, all golfers in our family – even mom comes down for a hit from time to time.

So tricky question…who is the best McSkimming sibling golfer? I think Jordan said to me once that you would beat him..

Yeah, but I think Tommy would beat me! So yeah, let’s go Tommy, Me, then Jordan…sorry, Jordan!

What is your best golfing memory?

My biggest and best golfing memory is probably my hole in one.

Now that it is pretty cool! Walk us through it..

It was in a pennant practice round with my brother and he was singing behind me. So obviously we were really not in the zone and just having fun. And it was a shocking shot, like it just rolled. At first I thought it had rolled off the green. We looked everywhere with no luck and then we looked in the hole and there it was, in the hole!

Wow too modest. How was the reaction?

I couldn’t believe it, I was in shock. Even my brother couldn’t believe it. My younger brother was like there’s no way you’ve just done that because I got one before him.

You’ll always have that over him then. So a Par 3 I assume?

I definitely do! Yeah, Par 3 around 160 metres, I think. So, it landed short and then sort of just kept going. It’s a feeling I’ll never forget.

That’s pretty cool! So as a golfer, what do you think about the Collier Park Golf Course? 

I love this golf course. Especially for a public golf course, it’s in such good condition that it could pass as private. It’s truly stunning.  

Do you have a favourite nine at the course? And a favourite hole? 

I think I’ve converted to the Pines recently. It was originally Island, but I think Pines is my new favourite. I don’t know why, but it’s just underrated. Then my favourite hole is the one over the lake.

How long have you been working here at Collier and how did you start? 

Its coming up to two years now and I started in the Pro Shop. I was originally going for a job at Wembley, but Patch had just moved here and told dad there was a position available at Collier Park. So, I had an interview and then got the job which was exciting.

What’s your favourite part about working here at Collier Park?

Everyone that works here makes it so fun. I absolutely love coming to work and just hanging out with everyone. I also love seeing all of the customers that walk through and trying to make their experience fun. So that’s always enjoyable making it fun for them, but the people that I work with make the job 10 times better than it already is.

Working with those Irish boys must be fun? 

So fun! Honestly, you can see that in the dancing videos it’s just a fun environment to be involved in.

I hear you’ve got a bit of a training plan with the help of your dad? It must be pretty handy having your old man as a pro and helping set up a program and guiding you through this experience?

Yeah definitely. So, my dad and I have made a training plan for the rest of the year because I’m working mostly mornings. I finish around 1:30-2pm so then I have practice from 2pm to 6pm and then the days that I have off from golf are Friday mornings and Sunday. It’s huge. He’s very supportive and never forces me to do anything but is always there to help when I need it.

How often would you say that you play?

Currently I play every Thursday but other than that I haven’t been playing a whole lot. I think I’m just trying to practice as much as I can before I start my PGA Pathway Program to make sure that when I do start, my playing assessments go well in the first year so that I don’t have to make up for them in a second or third year.

Well, that’s a good segue into talking about the pathway! So, we all heard the great news that you’ve got accepted into the PGA Membership Pathway Program. Firstly, congratulations! Would you mind taking us through a little bit about that experience? Was it something you always wanted to do? And what did that interview process look like?

Thank you! Well, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do in the back of my mind, but never thought I could actually do it. Especially when I stopped playing golf for a bit, I thought I’d fallen too far behind.

The interview process was quite fun, but obviously nerve racking at the same time. I’m the only girl that went for it and there’s only one other girl in the program already, so that was obviously scary. Especially when playing rounds, it was just me and then a group of guys that all knew each other. But dad came along with me so that made it a little bit easier.

The leadup to the interview was scary and I was definitely nervous, but then once it started, it was fine because the people running it were so lovely and it reassured me that this is what I wanted to do. They’re people I want to be surrounded by.

Do you know at what point you can start helping to teach others or take programs?

Yeah, so I’ll do it under Mark Patriarca (Patches), then all of the business side of it will be an online course that I’ll do over the three years. And then the coaching side I believe I will go with Patches when he gives his lessons and learn off him and then when I start to give my own lessons he will be there with me. I think it’s the second year that you start to do the coaching side.

Do you have any thoughts on what that might look like for you?

I want to do a lot of female-based programs because obviously there’s not a lot of women coaches in Perth, especially here at Collier Park. I mean, we’ve got amazing coaches, but having that option for females to pick a female coach is what I want to be a part of. I know when I chose my PT for the gym I went to the female options first, just because it feels comfortable.

Being that option for the golfing world is what I want to be to get more girls into golf. I think I’d probably start with group clinics and then move onto a mixture. I’d like to work with juniors and the junior girls in particular as well.

You’ve obviously pushed through the limitations around the sport, and you’ve decided to do it no matter how difficult it is. Do you have any advice that you might give to a young girl that is at Como or any school and likes golf that has nerves or apprehensions? Is there anything that you can share that might help? 

The main advice I’d give is that it’s not as scary as it may seem. A lot of the time even though it’s a male dominated sport the males in the sport are lovely and supportive. So just give it a go! And if any girls are at Collier Park anytime, I’m always around and happy to give them a hand. I’m definitely approachable so come talk to me for any advice and I’ll definitely try my best to help!