Pieterse takes helm of South African Golf Association

Andre Pieterse was appointed as the new president of the South African Golf Association (SAGA) at the Association’s Annual General Meeting held in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.

Pieterse will take over from the current incumbent, Colin Burger, and in terms of the SAGA’s constitution, will serve a two year term commencing Saturday, 22 September 2012.

Outgoing president Colin Burger said he leaves the SAGA in competent hands.

“Andre has been on the SAGA Executive Committee for six years and, having served two years as the second vice president and two as senior vice president, has proven himself as an experienced and competent administrator with a unwavering passion for the organisation,” said Burger. “I wish him well for the term of his presidency.”

Speaking from the 52nd South African Inter Provincial tournament, sponsored by Tempest Car Hire, at Port Elizabeth Golf Club, Pieterse said it was an honour to be elected.

“I’m looking forward to the taking over the mantle of the SAGA,” he said. “I have played the game for many years and in this time I have moved through the ranks and served at various levels and my passion for the game and the administration thereof is as strong now as when I first became club captain at Harrismith Golf Club.”

In addition to having been involved in the administration of the sport at national level since his selection as second vice president to the SAGA executive in 2008, Pieterse has served time at provincial level as well, including his presidency of Eastern Free State and six years as the president of the Free State and Northern Cape Union.

In terms of challenges that lie ahead, Pieterse intends to focus on improving communication with stakeholders in the sport, focussing on the players and growing the game.

“We have progressed a long way in bringing all the facets of amateur golf under the auspices of the, including incorporating junior golf in January,” he said.

“I would like to see us work more closely with clubs and the provincial unions to grow the number of participants, particularly amongst the younger players.

“As a small golf population, South Africa has produced an extra-ordinary amount of stars and major winners. We need to sustain and improve the way we manage our juniors for this trend to continue. Therefore golf development will be a major focus in my term.”

The other positions filled at the SAGA’s Annual General meeting was that of the senior vice president and second vice president.

Gerhard Conradie, who has served as second vice president, will step into the role of senior vice president, while Geoff Taylor, the president of Western Province Golf Union, was elected as second vice president.

Pieterse and Conradie will accompany the South African team, including Haydn Porteous, Brandon Stone and Zander Lombard to the World Amateur Team Championships in Turkey this October and in November, the new president will travel to Harrismith Golf Club. “Harrismith is celebrating their 125th anniversary on 10 November and I have been asked to deliver a speech to mark this incredible milestone,” said Pieterse. “Both events are equally important to me.

“While it is going to be wonderful to watch our country’s rising stars debut at the Eisenhower Trophy, it is as important to me to honour the tradition and history of the golf club where I enjoyed my first introduction to the game I love so much, and has given me so much over the years.”

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