GolfRSA’s Coastal Inland Challenge heading North

The magnificent Ernie Els-designed championship course at Highland Gate Golf and Trout Estate will provide a stunning backdrop to the second GolfRSA Coastal/Inland Challenge from 13-14 November; credit GolfRSA.

30 August 2023 – Sixteen of the country’s leading Senior and Mid-Amateur golfers will be heading north this year to duel it out for team glory in the GolfRSA Coastal Inland Challenge at Highland Gate Golf and Trout Estate from 13-14 November.

The two-day competition features two eight-man teams from the Coastal and Inland regions who go head-to-head in the Ryder Cup-style format over two days. The teams are comprised of the top four leading and available Senior and Mid-Amateur golfers from each region.

“Our launch edition was a roaring success, and we look forward to a repeat of the exciting golf we witnessed at St Francis Links two years ago,” said South African Golf Association President Henk Smith.

“The Jack Nicklaus signature championship course at St Francis Links proved a brilliant venue for this type of competition. The challenging layout, combined with the competitive nature of the format, really brought out the best in our Senior and Mid-Amateur golfers.

Celebrating an exciting & tightly-contested inaugural Coastal Inland Challenge at St Francis Links; credit GolfRSA

“We had a fantastic contest between the two teams that went right down to the wire. The Coastal Team dominated the fourballs and foursomes to lead to 12 – 4, but the Inland Team made a huge comeback in the Singles on the final day. In the end, the resolute Coastal Team prevailed for a narrow 13 – 11 victory to lift the inaugural title.

“We are excited to take the competition to Highland Gate this year. This is another fantastic championship course designed by Ernie Els, and the cool grasses, epic views and demanding holes is certain to serve up another tightly-fought contest between the teams.”

This year there will be a total of 24 points up for grabs and the format will be Betterball and Singles on day one, and Foursomes and Singles on the final day, followed by a closing dinner and prize giving. First team to 12.5 points will be crowned the 2023 champions.

The Coastal Team will be managed by Eastern Province Golf President Joseph Matiwana and Thinus Labuschagne, the President of Limpopo Golf Union, will once again take charge of the Inland Team.

“This event was created to recognise the individual achievements of our top Senior and Mid-Amateur golfers over the last 12 months and to give these players an added incentive to keep the competitive fires burning,” said GolfRSA CEO Grant Hepburn.

“The first GolfRSA Coastal Inland Challenge generated a lot of excitement and healthy rivalry as players looked to play their way into their respective teams. It is a unique platform to promote and encourage competition, great shot-making, camaraderie, fair play and friendship. We wish both teams and their managers a wonderful week at one of the finest courses in the country.”

Highland Gate Golf and Trout Estate General Manager Graeme Viljoen said the estate looks forward to rolling out the red carpet for this unique event.

“We have hosted a number of top tournaments in the past, including the SA Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, but to play host to this Ryder-Cup style competition featuring the country’s top-ranked Seniors and Mid-Amateurs will be very special,” Viljoen said.

“Our Ernie Els signature course layout is so suited to tournament golf and match play in particular. Every hole is a challenge, and the course rewards great shot-making. We look forward to highly contested and very entertaining tournament.”

The final team selections will be made off the 2023 GolfRSA Senior and Mid-Amateur rankings on 9 October 2023.

Inland Unions: Central Gauteng, Gauteng North, Ekurhuleni, North West, Limpopo, Free State, Mpumalanga
Coastal Unions: Western Province, KwaZulu-Natal, Boland, Southern Cape, Eastern Province, Border, Northern Cape