Joburg Open Pro-Am goes to Soweto

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Gallery - By Michael Vlis­mas

It was a mo­ment of im­mense pride for mem­bers of Soweto Coun­try Club when the Joburg Open held its of­fi­cial pro-am in this iconic town­ship for the first time. The can­cel­la­tion of the pro-am days at Fe­bru­ary’s Joburg Open, be­cause of heavy rain at Royal Jo­han­nes­burg & Kens­ing­ton GC, af­forded the City of Joburg the op­por­tu­nity to make the co-sanc­tioned tour­na­ment as inclusive as pos­si­ble by mov­ing the pro-am to Soweto. Sun­shine Tour and Ladies Tour pro­fes­sion­als joined Soweto mem­bers and var­i­ous busi­ness lead­ers and gov­ern­ment dig­ni­taries in a two-day pro-am.

And Her­man Mashaba, Ex­ec­u­tive Mayor of the City of Jo­han­nes­burg, an­nounced that in fu­ture the Joburg Open pro-am will be played at Soweto CC .“When I first heard of the plan it was mu­sic to my ears. What a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity. It is our de­sire to work with the Sun­shine Tour and Joburg Open to make Soweto CC one of the great­est (golf clubs) in our city.”

The club is un­der­go­ing its most ex­ten­sive up­grade in his­tory, the club­house re­cently re­fur­bished as part of a three­p­hase plan to also erect a fence around the course and then up­grade the course it­self.

“This is about the whole com­mu­nity of Soweto and them be­ing proud of this fa­cil­ity. Our role as gov­ern­ment is to help cre­ate that en­abling en­vi­ron­ment, and we need the pri­vate sec­tor to play its part as has been the case here,” said Mashaba.

Sel­wyn Nathan, Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor of the Sun­shine Tour, ex­pressed his de­light at the Joburg Open mak­ing such a com­mit­ment to the devel­op­ment of Soweto CC. “When Bongi Mok­aba, the city’s Event Man­age­ment Direc­tor, and I spoke about the idea of host­ing the pro-am in Soweto, it was with the goal of con­tin­u­ing to en­sure that the Joburg Open truly ben­e­fits the res­i­dents of this city. A pleas­ing as­pect was that we cre­ated about 120 jobs for the two days of this pro-am by us­ing only lo­cal sup­pli­ers in Soweto, from the cater­ing to cad­dies.”

Play­ers and cad­dies at the Joburg Open Pro-Am. From left, Sun­shine Tour pro Mer­rick Brem­ner, Joburg Mayor Her­man Mashaba, Lud­wig Manyama (Sun­shine Tour), Larry Nes­tadt and Sel­wyn Nathan (Sun­shine Tour Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor). Be­low: The re­fur­bished Soweto CC club­house. WIN­NING LET­TER PRIZE

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