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Soweto Country Club to host Joburg Open's Pro-AM Print E-mail
16 March 2017
sowetocountryclub

Johannesburg’s golfing fraternity is expected to grace the Soweto Country Club in Pimville on Monday March 20 and Tuesday March 21 for the City’s 2017 Pro-Am tournament.

The tournament was initially scheduled to be staged as a precursor to the 11th edition of the Joburg Open at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Course on February 21.

It could not take place after the playing field was waterlogged and declared unplayable following heavy rains that pelted Johannesburg earlier that week, to the disappointment of Johannesburg Executive Mayor Cllr Herman Mashaba, who had also been scheduled to play.

A Pro-Am tournament features teams of three amateur players, each alongside a professional golfer.

Mashaba, an avid golfer himself, would have been joined by Selwyn Nathan and Refiloe Mokoena, assisted by professional golfer Haydn Porteous.

Among those billed to play were former Robben Island political prisoner Andrew Mlangeni, retired Radio 702 talkshow host John Robbie, former Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa board chairman Popo Molefe, former Premier Soccer League Public Relations Officer Andrew Dipela, former South African National Defence Force Chief of Staff General Siphiwe Nyanda and top businesswomen Louisa Mojela and Dr Thandi Ndlovu.

City of Johannesburg Events Director Bongi Mokaba said when the Pro-Am was called off, Mayor Mashaba made it “loud and clear that the event will be staged at a later stage”.

“As a City we made a commitment to the sponsors of the event, international and local golfers and all stakeholders that this Pro-Am will take place at a later date,” she said.

Explaining the relocation of the event to the newly revamped Soweto Golf Country Club, Mokaba said the township’s venue had come of age and was ready to host events of international magnitude.

“The Soweto venue needs exposure and showcasing. The sponsors and the international community need to sample the venue so it can be considered for future golfing events,” Mokaba said.

The Soweto clubhouse was refurbished in 2015 after a decision was taken during golfing legend Gary Player’s 80th birthday.

According to Mokaba, the venue compares favourably with some of its counterparts in Johannesburg’s more affluent suburbs. “The venue now boasts world-class offices, conference hall, kitchen, change rooms and shower and toilet facilities,” she said.

She said more improvements were in the pipeline. “Soon we will be redesigning and fencing off the course,” she said.

Mokaba urged Soweto residents to use the venue. “While we’ll be encouraging more golfing tournaments to take place at the venue, we appeal to the local communities – especially those around Pimville, Eldorado Park and Kliptown – to make use of the venue.

“It’s their pride. Golf alone will never generate enough revenue for the venue. Other activities can take place there. It can be used for wedding receptions, meetings and conferences. Some of its facilities are of multi-purpose nature,” she said.

Mayor Mashaba will tee-off on Monday morning and host the prize-giving dinner the following evening.

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Last Updated on 16 March 2017