Tshwane Open supports community | Golf Course Architecture

Tshwane Open, Copperleaf Golf & Country Estate

Tshwane Open, Copperleaf Golf & Country Estate

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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

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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…