Legacy Project leaners revel in BMW SA Open Golf Clinic

Enthusiastic young golfers from Ekurhuleni enjoyed the chance to show off their blossoming skills in a golf development clinic before catching some of the action at this year’s BMW SA Open hosted by The City of Ekurhuleni.

The clinic – organised by The City of Ekurhuleni Sports, Recreation, Arts & Culture Department and the Ekurhuleni Golf Union – drew 40 aspirant professionals from the Daveyton, Thembisa and Vosloorus Golf Clubs. T

The youngsters attended the clinic with their coaches and mentors, who were invited to observe so they can feed this information back to other players. The clinic was facilitated by former European Tour campaigner and past SA Open champion Gavan Levenson and Tim Abbott, CEO of BMW South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Folowing the clinic, the young golf enthusiasts were treated to lunch before they took to the fairways to watch their favourite players in action.

Since 2011, The City of Ekurhuleni has committed a portion of funds derived from the gate takings at the BMW SA Open hosted by the City of Ekurhuleni to uplift and promote golf in developing areas as a means of giving back to the community and supporting golf development in South Africa.

Given the success of this initiative over the last six years on, the City decided to take their support to the next level with a more sustainable program to create a legacy of the City’s participation in the world’s oldest national championship.

The Legacy Project will see the City of Ekurhuleni launch a number of projects that will actively promote golf development in the region in collaboration with the country’s premier golf development foundation – the South African Golf Development Board (SAGDB).

“We partnered with The City of Ekurhuleni and engaged with golf clubs to host monthly competitions, which culminated in a final tournament which determined the top three players that competed in the 106th SA Open Pro Am ahead of the main event,” said SAGDB CEO Grant Hepburn.

“We further nominated five young members to working experience at a major international during the SA Open Championship. These members were given the opportunity to earn a small stipend while taking a first-hand view of what it takes to put on a production of this magnitude and gain invaluable working experience. This is part of the City and the SAGDB’s efforts to earmark the players with outstanding potential for further development and it was a fantastic learning curve for them.”

City of Ekurhuleni Acting Executive Mayor Councillor Lesiba Mpya explained some of the other facets of The Legay Project.

“In addition to our partnership with the SAGDB, Glendower Golf Club joined the initiative by offering 10 children junior golf membership and participation in the Glendower Golf Club Development Program, run by Gavan Levenson,” Mpya said.

“These 10 learners, between the ages of eight and 10, will be nominated on an annual basis by the Ekurhuleni Golf Union and the SAGDB. In addition to coaching, they will also participate in the various club competitions and league tournaments.

“One caddy at Glendower Golf Club, who has completed the level one rules program, will also be joining the SAGDB level one PGA coaching program. This person will be developed to coach and mentor the children, together with Gavan Levenson. This is a vital part of our skills transfer program.

“In our efforts to ensure a holistic approach to this development program, the city’s Sports Department will be taking care of logistical concerns and the gate takings of the tournament will be used for other expenses incurred by the children, supporting them in their efforts.”

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