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Hole in one for golf development

By unknown | Dec 22, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

To strengthen the growth of golf in Western Province, the region's two development initiatives have announced they will merge from the start of 2009.

To strengthen the growth of golf in Western Province, the region's two development initiatives have announced they will merge from the start of 2009.

Western Province Golf Development and the SA Golf Development Board in the province will merge into a single programme that will fall under the Development Board umbrella.

The merger is an important step as it offers an opportunity for coaches and players to benefit from the best of both programmes. It also does away with duplication of resources.

"There will now be one body responsible and accountable for the development and growth of the game," says Development Board managing executive Ken Viljoen. "This will eliminate the confusion that has been created over the years at club level and among sponsors and donors."

Golf Development's coordinator, Rodney Hess, will become the Board's development manager responsible for the whole region.

All coaches in both programmes will fall under the Board and be used according to their coaching skills and experience.

"All coaches will also now receive advice and training through the SAGDB-PGA mentoring programme," Viljoen said.

The PGA initiative sees a top PGA professional spending time with the development coaches every month to offer advice and insights into coaching.

Golf clubs in Western Province will be collecting funds to provide the financial support required for operational expenses. In addition, the players and coaches will benefit from professional instruction through Logical Golf, Grant Hepburn and Wayne Bradley.

"The merger is expected to achieve a number of positive outcomes," says WP Golf Association president Ivan Palframan. "It is likely to achieve more efficient and cost-effective use of resources such as coaches and the use of the WPGU vehicle for transport and administration."

The new programme will also have a greater reach as it looks to offer opportunities to more young golfers. The primary focus of the Golf Development programme has been the emerging middle class areas, whereas the Board has been primarily represented in underprivileged areas like Khayelitsha and Gugulethu.

"Although one of the objectives is to produce some quality golfers who become good enough to play at provincial and perhaps international level, the primary purpose of the programme is really to grow the game of golf by increasing the number of people who play it," Palframan says.

There are 85 learners in the Golf Development programme, and 200 in the Board's regional chapters. The merged programme will reach Athlone, Khayelitsha, Mitchell's Plain, Gugulethu, Retreat, Grassy Park, Somerset West and Belhar. - Sapa


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