Spring­boks prove lu­cra­tive for Royal Port Al­fred

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - The Golf Life -

Royal Port Al­fred Golf Club in the East­ern Cape had a unique R4.5-mil­lion wind­fall in 2014 through the sale of 27 of their res­i­dent spring­bok at dif­fer­ent game auc­tions. A rare cof­fee-coloured ram ( pic­tured) sold for R3 mil­lion at the sec­ond auc­tion.

“Royal Port Al­fred have had spring­bok roam­ing the course for about 15 years,” said man­ager Cor­rie van Zyl. “We’re al­ways re­duc­ing their num­bers – farm­ers come in and take them away – but this year we were told they would fetch good prices. We put five batches (four ewes and a ram in a batch) on auc­tion at Sid­bury. The buy­ers looked at photographs of our spring­bok, and were no­tice­ably in­ter­ested when they learned we had re­ceived ewes from a herd at Nanaga which was known for hav­ing the cof­fee­colour gene. That in­for­ma­tion sub­stan­tially in­creased the price we re­ceived for the five batches, plus we sold a cof­fee­coloured ewe for R340 000. Word got around about our spring­bok, and months later there was another game sale, at Hartswa­ter in the North­ern Cape, where a farmer paid us R3 mil­lion for the ram.”

To get the spring­bok, the buy­ers had to come to Royal Port Al­fred, dart their an­i­mals (us­ing a he­li­copter), and then trans­port them away. The ram is still to be fetched.

“Royal Port Al­fred had a prof­itable year even with­out the sale of the spring­bok, but this money will al­low us to com­plete all our im­me­di­ate projects and most of it will be in­vested for the fu­ture.”

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