SAGA, WGSA and NGN formalise purchase of club agreements

The South African Golf Association (SAGA) and Womens Golf South Africa (WGSA) today announced that they had finalised the purchase of the handicap business of the company National Golf Network (Pty) Ltd (NGN).

This agreement provides for the SAGA to take over all the assets of the handicap business of NGN, including the terminals at all golf clubs as well as the contractual agreements with the clubs and the internet site

“This is the culmination of almost six months work,” explained Enver Hassen, President of the SAGA, speaking from Johannesburg. He said that the SAGA was the organisation responsible for the provision of handicaps in South Africa and the executives had decided to take over the business from the previous contractor NGN. “We felt the SAGA should be directly involved in the provision of this critical service to golf clubs and their members in the region” he said “ to achieve this we formed a joint venture company with a local company Super Brands Pty Ltd, to not only buy out the NGN business but also to contract with an internationally recognised handicap software company Albatros GMBH, to implement and run the system”

“This is an important step for amateur golf,” said Erica Lefson, President of WGSA. “We are working hand in glove with the SAGA on this project in order to ensure that all golfers get the same handicap services.”

NGN has been running the handicap service for a number of years under contract to the SAGA “We had in the order of 96% of all golf clubs in South Africa contracted to us,” said Marcel Smulders, managing director of NGN.

“In terms of the agreement, the assets and obligations of these agreements now pass over to the SAGA,” said Smulders. “Obviously this is not something that happens overnight. We are working with the SAGA and WGSA to ensure a smooth transition to the SAGA Handicap server which is expected to switch over at the end of May”

As part of the process the SAGA also entered into an agreement with a sports brand development and marketing company Super-Brands (Pty) Ltd, in terms of which Super Brands will provide funding and management assistance to the joint venture company trading as Handicaps Africa.

“We are not only excited by the opportunity to provide the clubs and their members with a new handicap service , but we are also committed to ensuring that the system is stable , accurate and easy to use” said Mike McGrath Chairman of Super Brands.

“ A German company Albatros GMBH have been contracted to provide the central handicap server and club terminal software. Albatros have extensive experience in running handicap systems and will also provide a support call centre with guaranteed service levels which will ensure that the system is available 24/7” he said.

Handicaps Africa will also take over the existing internet site which will then be further enhanced and developed to add additional interfaces and services to South African Golfers

“ We are looking forward to the new opportunities and services which the Handicaps Africa will bring to the clubs and their members” explained Enver Hassen “ We have purchased the existing club agreements from NGN and while we intend to approach the clubs with new services and new agreements in the near future, we urge all the clubs to honour the terms of the existing agreements with NGN.

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