The award-winning Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club.

Over the past thirty years golf rounds’ numbers, at most clubs have shown an inexorable decline.

The reasons for this are multi-layered, but the fact is that most courses have unused tee off times every day and these would be referred to as distressed inventory in most business sectors. This reference is especially true, if you consider that a tee-off time is in effect a perishable, with a shelf life that is limited to the time of the tee-off slot itself, after which any potential revenues that could have accrued from it being used are lost forever. A chilling scenario and one that is common at most golf clubs.

Golf Staycations has been designed to combine unused bed-nights in the hotel sector in combination with ‘off-peak’ tee off times, to form great value near-to-home vacation packages for golfers and their families.

As Chris Bentley the CEO of Royal Johannesburg and Kensington, which is the golf course brand partner involved in the opening Golf Staycation competition, commented: “Any initiative which can use up any unused rounds’ capacity is welcome news to us, and should be equally welcome to every golf club, especially if it helps avoid the curse of discounting green fees, a scenario in which ultimately there are no winners”.

As a golfer, imagine a golf break that has something for the whole family and which is just around the corner. Well now you can have the best of all of these worlds, because if you have been looking for a vacation that is close to home and can include the family, then a Golf Staycation could be just the answer.

To promote this new travel-much-less vacation option, the Business of Golf has teamed up with the iconic Sandton Sun Hotel, Royal Johannesburg & Kensington, Ilios Travel and the tour operator Rhino Africa, in a competition in which one lucky Gauteng golfer and three partners will be drawn to win a two-night, 5 star stay-near-home experience.

Click here to enter the competition.

The one lucky winner and three friends will enjoy the luxury and comfort of staying in two suites for two nights at the Sandton Sun Hotel, which is part of the Sandton City Centre.

The iconic Sandton Sun.

The Sandton Sun is an award winning 5-star hotel that is both distinguished and stylish.

Whether you want to dine in the hotel’s San Restaurant or just relax by the pool area, this hotel is an oasis of sophistication in Sandton City. The Sandton Sun hotel is also a gateway to one of Africa’s busiest and most eclectic shopping experiences. From the major global brands in Diamond Walk, to familiar favourites such as the Mugg & Bean, this really is a shopping centre, which has something for everybody.

Sandton Sun in a combination with Sandton City and Nelson Mandela Square is a heady mix about which it would be fair to say – never has so much choice and entertainment been so close at hand.

Robert Jasper the GM of the Sandton Sun and Sandton Towers hotels said: "Tourism has been under unprecedented pressure since the onset of the pandemic. The need to be creative and innovative has become extremely important, so any product which addresses valuable niche markets and which has the potential to offer value to our customers and fill bed-nights is good news."

The award-winning Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club will need no introduction to local golfers, as it has been at the heart of golf in this region for over 100 years. Two magnificent world-class golf courses, an expert golf operations team and sumptuous clubhouse await the golfers in this super prize.

Rhino Africa Safaris has been at the heart of travel since its inception in 2004 and has since looked after thousands of vacationers throughout South Africa.

Prize-winners’ Itinerary:

Day 1:

Arrive at Sandton Sun and check into your suite.
Rest of the day at leisure to spend just chilling out at the Sandton Sun’s pool deck, dining in the San Restaurant and or exploring the shopping experiences at Sandton City and Nelson Mandela Square.

Day 2:

Full English or continental breakfast served either on the Sandton Sun’s deck or by the hotel’s room service in the comfort of your suite.
PM: Golfers enjoy return transfers, provided by Rhino Africa’s tourism partner Ilios Travel, to Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club for 18 holes of golf on either the West or East courses.
Evening at leisure

Day 3:

Full English or continental breakfast on the Sandton Sun’s deck or served by the hotel’s room service in the comfort of your suite.
Departure.

The next few months' regional competitions, which will be held as the promotion rolls around South Africa, will include both Fancourt and Pearl Valley. Peter Dros, Fancourt’s marketing and sales director, commented, “This promotion, and the attendant competitions, fit perfectly with our philosophy of always looking to add value to our packages and extending the customer experience wherever possible”.

Damian Wrigley the GM of Pearl Valley said, “Our marketing ethos has always been to package in added value, so any product such as Golf Staycations, which allows us to combine golf with our Pearl Valley Hotel by Mantis and other offerings here at Val de Vie, is a perfect strategic fit.”

To experience a golf staycation first-hand, I spent two nights and played RJ&K for the first time in many years. The experience was seamless from the check-in to our suite, through breakfast and the personal transfer from the Sandton Sun to the golf course.

After hosting SA’s most important amateur championships in recent weeks, RJ&K’s East Course was a pleasure to play. It was a tad long for my ‘old swing’ (including my old set of tour blade irons, which I dug out of a corner in the garage as my normal set are in lockdown in France), but the changes made in the layout and the general conditioning were superb.

I took my Mother, who came along to sample the non-golfer elements of the Golf Staycation, and she thoroughly enjoyed the suite, the shopping and time spent with a bottle of bubbly, while chilling on the San restaurant’s hugely popular and delightful rooftop garden area.

For more information about this promotion and Golf Staycations and how they can work for your golf club, please contact John Cockayne on 073 896 7931 or via email at [email protected] or to find the answer to this great competition please visit www.golfvistasa.com.

We want to make everyone a winner, so irrespective of the results of the draw we shall also be promoting great value Golf Staycations’ packages, which you can book through our tour operator partner - Rhino Africa Safaris.