Country Districts & Challenge Cup playing this week

A busy week lies ahead for the South African Golf Association (SAGA).

Commencing on Monday , and running until Friday, are both the South African Country Districts and the South African Challenge Cup. The former is being played a Devonvale Golf and Wine Estate, outside Stellenbosch , and the latter at Metropolitan Golf Club in Cape Town.

Both these are team events which show case the up and coming talent in the outlying areas of South Africa and players of colour who are coming through the sport’s development programmes.

The tournament that has undergone the most change since last year, which was held at Maccauvlei Country Club in 2010, is the South African Challenge Cup. As the SAGA moves to a position of incorporating different structures within the sport into its administratral strusture, it was decided to include a junior and a university team for the first time.

Playing alongside these teams, at the 9 hole golf club which needed to be redesigned when many of its old holes were detsroyed and the land used to build the new Cape Town Stadium for the 2011 FIFA World Cup, are teams from Central Gauteng, Gauteng North, Western Province and a President’s Team.

The President’s Team comprises the players of colour who performed best at the South African Under 23 Inter Provincial which was played at Goose Valley Golf Club in Plettenberg Bay last month.

Teams from Central Gauteng, Gauteng North and Western Province may only pick players who have not represented their Union at either of the last played South African Inter Provincial Tournament or the South African Under 23 Inter Provincial Tournament.

With some of the country’s top juniors and a strong team representing South African Universities the tournament has a new dimension which will inject new life into the Challenge Cup.

The format of the competition is the same as it is for the South African Country Districts, with all six teams playing against each other once.

The South African Country Districts is made up of two divisions. The A Division has five teams participating, they are Boland, Eastern Province, Free State & Northern Cape, Kwazulu Natal and Mpumalanga. The B Division comprises Border, Ekurhuleni, Karoo, Limpopo, North West Province and Southern Cape.

Defending A Division champions are Free State & Northern Cape. Eastern Province won the B Division in that event and were promoted to the A Division for 2011. Limpopo were demoted from the A Division after finishing last in 2010 and will participate in the B Division this year.

Last year’s tournament was played at Katberg Country Club located near the Eastern Cape town of Seymour.

Free State are the team to watch again this year. They are likely to be given a hard time by Kwazulu Natal and hosts Boland.

In the B Division Ekurhuleni make their first appearance in the tournament. The team to watch this year are last year’s runners up, in this Division, and Limpopo.

All teams in this competition are selected according to criteria prescribed by the SAGA. All Unions whose member clubs have less than a total 10,000 golfers as members can select their best players. All other Unions participating may not select a player who played in either the last played South African Inter Provincial Tournament or the South African Under 23 Inter Provincial Tournament. Furthermore, Kwazulu-Natal selects players from clubs outside the Durban area. Ekurhuleni will similarly select players outside the industrial and commercial towns of East Gauteng.

For the latest SA Country Districts Results click here

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