Tshwane Open supports community | Golf Course Architecture

Tshwane Open, Copperleaf Golf & Country Estate

Tshwane Open, Copperleaf Golf & Country Estate

See on Scoop.itUK Golf

This week’s European Tour event, the Tshwane Open in South Africa, will leave a golfing legacy for local communities.

Zebedeerox‘s insight:

One of the greatest aspects of the game of golf compared with other sports is what the players themselves put back into their sport at grass roots level.

In the UK, many of the current PGA and European stars – and we’re taking multi-millionaires, here – can very often be found at centres of excellence they’ve founded, academies for Junior Golf or getting behind the sport at Open Days to get in and amongst the fans in a manner few other professionals do.

But is UK golf participating enough to make golf accessible to all?

Let’s look at what’s going on in South Africa, by comparison.

Nowhere is the practise of contributing to grass roots golf more apparent than in South Africa.

That in itself is perhaps a contradiction in terms, due to an astonishing lack of grass roots one could physically mow into a green capable of putting anything on.

Okay, we’ll settle on savannah roots level, then.

As the European Tour makes its final appearance in South Africa this year at the Tshwane Open, we get a chance to see this savannah roots level of input in action.

The Copperleaf Golf and Country Estate is home to Els Club Copperleaf, our hosts for the last tour event in the Africas this year.

Beyond all the glitz, glamour and €1.5M purse, the Tshwane Open is actively pushing local authorities to provide golfing facilities for the under-privileged in Tshwane, Centurion and the surrounding areas.

Indeed, 50 children from the vicinity were present at the Els Copperleaf Club on the eve of Thursday’s European Tour event, getting to grips with the facilities on offer through this initiiative.

The pushing has worked, not just on potential South African golfers of the future, but their right-hand (wo)men, the caddies, too.

The municipality’s spokewoman has already been in touch with local media to confirm that the city of Centurion is committing to golf clinics to cement this golf drive [sorry].

These facilities will help develop the game for 6-16 year olds who would otherwise be unavailed of golf or any of its amenities.

It would be easy to underestimate this achievement, so let’s not.

As Ndlovu confirmed in her statement, Tshwane’s schools will be the first in the country to benefit from the introduction of golf into its sports curriculum.

Whereas the golf tuition will take place initially at the Els Foundation, the caddies’ program will be spread around the municipalty’s golf courses, meaning a potential broader catchment area for disadvantaged youngsters with an interest in golf.

It would be wonderful if some of UK golf’s stars would push as hard to bring the sport to schools in towns and cities across the country that are not as upper class as your Wentworths, Royal Lythams and Sutton Coldfield‘s Belfry.

English: Golfer Ernie Els walks up the fairway...

RSA Golfer & Els Copperleaf Club Founder, Ernie Els
(Credit: Wikipedia)

Perhaps they could get their heads together with Ernie Els whilst they’re sunning it up Stateside and get a few hands-on tips from the man himself.

We’ll see, when any of our UK stars deign to visit Europe, rather than spend the majority of the season, as has been the case so far, on the PGA Tour of America.

For an update of play at this weekend’s Tshwane Open, here’s a round-up of day 2 at the top of the leaderboard before the threat of lightning caused a third of the field to be called back to the clubhouse before they could finish their rounds: Storm threat halts play, day 2, Tshwane Open

Play is due to recommence at 6:45am (8:45am GMT) tomorrow (Saturday 2nd March) to conclude the second rounds of golf, make the cut and then get cracking with day 3.

Coverage in the UK starts at 10:30am on SKY Sports 3, where they should just about be getting into third round action, given that there’s a good few holes yet to play out to decide who makes the weekend’s golf and whose African golf safari is over for the 2013 season.

If you’d like to see more interaction from UK golf stars at grass roots level, share this article with anyone you think may be in a position to at least prick their Stateside consciences, would you?

Thanks a million, Thet Watson. xxx

See original article on www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Advertisements

Storm threat halts play, day 2, Tshwane Open

We were hoping to bring you definitive news of who’s made the European Tour weekend action at the Copperleaf Golf & Country Estate, this evening.

However, all golf was suspended midway through the afternoon session of day 2 as thunderheads gathered in the South African skies.

The very real threat of lightning saw those who’d not completed their day 2 round retire prematurely to the clubhouse alongside those who had.

It leaves a very uncertain picture as to who’s going to make the cut, many golfers who topped the leaderboard after day 1 still to complete today’s round, now scheduled to resume at 6:45am in Centurion (8:45 GMT) in the morning.

Charl Coetzee takes clubhouse lead after (most of) day 2

Certainly, Charl Coetzee has booked his place for Saturday and Sunday golf.  He holds the prestigious overnight lead after birdieing 7 holes and making his eleventh par on the 18th just before the claxons recalled the field.

The South African’s -7 round of 65 sees him move to -12 for the 36 holes, a shot ahead of Chile’s Mark Tullo, who clawed a shot back on the 18th to finish the day on 66, -11 for the 2 days.

David Howell

David Howell, c/o Keith Allen, Flickr

Tshwane leaderboard offers few clues; who’ll make Centurion cut?

The leaderboard then gets very intriguing indeed.  Joining Tullo on -11 is Dawie Van Der Walt who only managed to card 14 holes before play was suspended.

The interesting thing here – other than the fact that he birdied half and parred the other half of those 14 holes – is that Dawie started on the back 9.

Given that both Coetzee and Tullo picked up birdies on holes 6-9, those Van der Walt has left to play, the lead could well change hands at the halfway point yet.

US golf’s Peter Ulhein sits alone on -10, having completed his 36 holes.

Romain Wattel is a further shot behind on -9 having completed all but the 18th on round 2, a spectacular eagle on the 15th helping him stay a shot ahead of a whole host of golfers on -8.

UK golfers Willett and Howell see lead disappear

Included in this chasing pack are UK golf’s David Howell, Danny Willett and Richard Finch.

At one point, Howell and Willett shared the lead before Coetzee’s run of 4 birdies from the last 7 holes saw Charl enter the clubhouse with his nose in front.

Danny Willet at KLM Open 2009

Danny Willett saw lead slip at Centurion
(Wikipedia)

Also in the chasing -8 pack is on fire golfer Darren Fichardt, who did our 10-Tee-20-Vision Fantasy team so proud a fortnight ago at the African Open, picking up his first win of the season.

He held the lead after the first day’s play and still has the 17th and 18th to go at tomorrow morning to complete his pre-cut golf.

All but two of the golfers who lie in front of Darren have birdied either 17 or 18, but strangely no one both.

Expect to see the in-form South African knock at least another one shot of his -8, maybe even two, to really put pressure on Coetzee as they go into day three.

Louis De Jager and Joel Sjöholm conclude the pack of golfers on -8.

They have one and five holes to play in round 2 respectively; Louie hole 9, Joel, holes 14-18 inclusive.

Third of field yet to complete 2nd round of golf in Centurion

There’s certainly nothing decided at the almost halfway point, with perhaps a third of the golfers yet to finish their second round.

At this point, -3 is looking good for the cut, but what will the storm do to the golf course in Centurion if it breaks?

It could be a very different lie those with holes left to play face in the morning, coverage beginning on SKY Sports 3 at 10:30am GMT.

By that time you’d hope the day three action to be under way, that’s allowing an hour and a half for the unplayed holes from day 2 to be completed.

So long, South Africa! from the 2013 European Tour

Enjoy the last of the golf from South Africa for this year’s European Tour.

Haven’t the UAE and South Africa provided us with a great start to this year’s Race to Dubai?

Thunder notwithstanding, there’s only two days to go beneath the equator before the Tour ups sticks and moves to the US for the WGC Cadillac Championship, next week.

See you on Sunday to watch the sun set on some amazing golf from Africa this year…

Joburg Open – 4-under/T55 makes the cut for weekend golf action

The Joburg Open is at the halfway point and, as has been the case in the majority of years since its inception in 2007, is dominated by South African golfers.

Charl Schwartzel at KLM Open in 2010

Charl Schwartzel circa 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Indeed, five of the top six are from the home nation, with only Chilean golfer Felipe Aguilar keeping pace with the South Africans, sitting T4 with Charl Schwartzel and Keith Horne.

Charl Schwartzel was amongst many bookies’ favourites for this, the seventh, Joburg Open at the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club.  And probably for good reason.

The South African is vying for his hat-trick at the event, winning previously in 2010 and 2011.  His compatriot Branden Grace picked up the title last year, robbing Schwartzel of a prestigious straight three-in-a-row.

joburg open leaderboard halfway

joburg open leaderboard halfway (European Tour Leaderboard)

However, he’s got some work to do over the weekend if he’s to make that dream a reality.

Sitting between himself, Horne and Aguilar and the leaders is George Coetzee, two shots ahead in solo third place  on -12.

But the gap to leaders Trevor Fisher Jnr and Richard Sterne is a further three shots.

They sit pretty atop the Joburg Leaderboard on -15 at the halfway stage.

Tommy Fleetwood best chance of UK Golf victory in Joburg Open

Tommy Fleetwood is UK Golf’s best chance of picking up the title on this Sunshine Tour event, sitting T7 with three other golfers a further shot behind Schwartzel and Co. on -9.

Considering most of our 10-Tee-20-Vision‘s points in the Fantasy Race to Dubai have come from British, predominantly English, golfers this season, there’s little evidence much of the €1,300,000 purse will be heading back to Europe Sunday afternoon.

The impetus felt by the injection of the European Tour at the Joburg Open, one of four South African golf events it sponsors, has certainly helped raise interest in the competition.

Even then, many of Europe’s biggest golfing names aren’t making the trip to South Africa, rather travelling west across the Atlantic this week.

This year’s Joburg Open coincides with the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, a huge draw every year, Stateside.

Pros and celebrities take on the stunning Californian golf course, as well as Spyglass Hill and Monterey Peninsula Country Club Shore Golf Courses due to large number of entrants.

Old Lefty, Phil Mickleson, looks in decent form to defend his 2012 title there after winning his 41st PGA Tour event in Phoenix last week.

The tee-times for tomorrow morning’s golf here in Johannesburg have been announced and the pairings are on the European Tour website.

Robert Jan Derksen kicks off day three of the Joburg Open at 6:54am on the East Course.  The top ten overnight will pair off at 11:44am, 11:53am, 12:02pm, 12:10pm and finally the overnight leaders, Fisher Jnr and Sterne, at 12:20.  All local times, which are GMT+2.

10-Tee-20-Vision Fantasy Race to Dubai @ Joburg

It’s doubtful whether my old Fantasy Race to Dubai team is going to win the weekly prize for biggest total prize pot this week, given that six out of our ten haven’t made the cut.

I’ll not name names (you can see for yourself), but the four golfers we do have remaining for the weekend’s golf action means we shouldn’t embarrass ourselves too much.

10-tee-20-vision team - 130207 - joburg open

10-Tee-20-Vision team – 130207 – Joburg Open

Don’t ask me how, but you’ll see the very last selection on the team sheet this week was Richard Sterne, who sits T1, as mentioned. Then we’ve got Charl Schwartzel and Felipe Aguilar who share T4.  Not bad, huh?

Making up our cut survivors is Italy’s Lorenzo Gagli, who sits just outside the top ten. At seven shots off the pace, he’s T11 with eight other golfers on -8.

That might sound like a fair way off the pace, seven shots behind the leaders.  When you consider that Fisher Jnr and Sterne have amassed -15 after the first two days’ golf, a win for Gagli is by no means out of the question.

I’m certain there’ll be many more team managers wishing they’d as many golfers left in the Fantasy Race To Dubai as we have.

Conversely, I’m sure there are a good few more rubbing their hands at the prospect of a South African whitewash if they’ve used their noggins and picked a team of indigenous golfers…now why didn’t I think of that?


Have your say:

Can Schwartzel claw back the two shots needed over the weekend to win his third Joburg Open?

And have you entered a team in this year’s Fantasy Race to Dubai?  If so, how are you doing and are you in a mini-league?