IN­SIDE THE ROPES

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Con­tents 2/ 15 -

South African busi­ness mag­nate Sol Kerzner is a sur­prise in­clu­sion in the lat­est list of in­ductees for the Southern African Golf Hall of Fame. The 79-year-old de­vel­oped the Sun City re­sort in the late 1970s, and in 1981 launched the Mil­lion Dol­lar Chal­lenge, which re­mains the big­gest golf tour­na­ment in Africa un­der its cur­rent guise as the Ned­bank Chal­lenge. Kerzner has gone on to es­tab­lish other iconic re­sorts around the globe.

One of the win­ners of those early Mil­lion Dol­lar tour­na­ments, for­mer PGA Tour player Ful­ton Allem (57), is among the other in­ductees fa­mil­iar to us, along with re­tired pro­fes­sional John Fourie (75) and Zim­babwe’s Lewis Chitengwa, who died in 2001 at the age of 26. Be­ing in­ducted from a pre­vi­ous era are for­mer SA Open cham­pion Ron­nie Glen­nie, SA ladies cham­pion Mrs A E Ver­non (be­tween the world wars), and ad­min­is­tra­tor Henry ( Wal­ter)

Cony­ers Kirby, who served as SA Golf Union sec­re­tary from 1922 to 1946. Kirby en­joyed the nick­name of “Mus­solini,” earned out of re­spect for his leadership rather than any ruth­less­ness.

Allem, from a wealthy Viljoen­skroon farm­ing fam­ily in the Free State, had a che­quered ca­reer on the Sun­shine Tour, where he was both a reg­u­lar winner and out­spo­ken char­ac­ter. Af­ter win­ning the Mil­lion Dol­lar in 1988, when it was an 8-man field, he went on to win three times on the PGA Tour in Amer­ica in the early 90s.

Fourie fol­lowed up an out­stand­ing am­a­teur ca­reer with a lengthy spell of suc­cess on both the Sun­shine and Euro­pean tours, while at the same time serv­ing as club pro­fes­sional at Pretoria Golf Club. In 1992 he won the Se­nior Bri­tish Open at Royal Lytham.

Chitengwa was the first black golfer to win the SA Am­a­teur, as an 18-year-old at East Lon­don GC in 1993. He was an ex­cep­tional tal­ent, and play­ing in Amer­ica when he died sud­denly from a rare form of menin­gi­tis at the age of 26.

Glen­nie, a mem­ber at Ron­de­bosch Golf Club in Cape Town, where his achieve­ments are on dis­play in the club­house, was one of the great post-war ama­teurs who won both the SA Open (1947) and SA Am­a­teur (1949). This year is the cen­te­nary of his birth.

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