19 July 2023 – The first African Amateur Championship will be played at Leopard Creek, South Africa from 21-24 February 2024.
The championship will feature 72 men from the African region competing in a 72-hole stroke play format with the winner receiving an exemption in The 152nd Open at Royal Troon.
An invitational event for 20 elite women from the region will also be held at the venue during the week of the championship.
CLICK HERE FOR THE ENTRY FORM
The introduction of the new championship complements existing amateur championships jointly organised by The R&A in Asia-Pacific and Latin America and will enable players from Africa to play at the highest level, as well as creating a pathway for African golfers to develop and become an inspiration for others to follow.
The championship will also build on an Africa High Performance Programme established last year by The R&A and delivered to players and coaches in African countries as part of a wider effort to develop golf and provide support to players aspiring to reach elite levels of the sport.
Martin Slumbers, CEO of The R&A, said, “We are creating a world-class platform for the most talented amateur golfers in Africa to compete against each other and realise their ambitions in the sport.
“We have already seen talented players emerge from the continent with three recent winners of The Amateur Championship, including Christo Lamprecht at Hillside last month, and hope that in the years to come we will see golfers follow in the footsteps of Bobby Locke, Gary Player, Nick Price, Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuizen and Ashleigh Buhai who have won The Open and AIG Women’s Open.
“We would also like to acknowledge the tremendous support received from Mr Johann Rupert, who is a committed and passionate partner in this new championship. We will be working closely with the Africa Golf Confederation, Golf RSA and the Sunshine Tour as well as the national associations in the continent to make this a success alongside our amateur championships in Asia-Pacific and Latin America.”
Johann Rupert said, “We are delighted to welcome the addition of the African Amateur Championship organised by The R&A. It is a truly positive sign for the future of African golf. To have a pathway to The Open for the winner is going to be an enormous encouragement for all of Africa’s amateurs. We are also thrilled to host the inaugural Championship at Leopard Creek.”
Leopard Creek has hosted the Alfred Dunhill Championship since 2004 and winners there include major champions such as Ernie Els and Charl Schwartzel, who has won the event three times at the venue.