With golf now an Olympic sport, the honour of officially opening this yearÂs Africa Open fell to Gideon Sam, the President of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).
Sam, who as a child used to caddie at the Strand Golf Club in Somerset West, hit the opening drive off the first tee at the East London Golf Club on Thursday.
ÂItÂs a great honour. We are always here to support events of this nature. The Africa Open is an important tournament, especially for the people of the Eastern Cape,Â Sam said.
ÂAt the welcome function I was speaking to Retief Goosen and asked him his thoughts on golf being in the Olympics. He was very excited and said he was really looking forward to it. And so are we at SASCOC. With golf we can easily say there is an opportunity for us to get a medal or two. ThatÂs very exciting at a time when we have some of the best golfers in the world.Â
But Sam admitted that his own golf game did not exactly measure up to the Olympic motto of ÂSwifter, Higher, StrongerÂ.
ÂI have clubs at home, but my family always wants to put them in the garage because they never see me using them. But one day that bug will really bite me and IÂll get out on the golf course more.Â