By Michael Vlismas
As the single biggest series of tournaments on the Sunshine Tour, the Vodacom Origins of Golf series is also one of the bedrocks of the Tour’s corporate social investment initiatives.
The 2016 Birdies for Babies campaign teed off on a solid note with R64,400 raised in the opening pro-am ahead of this week’s Vodacom Origins of Golf at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club.
The pro-am had to be reduced to 18 holes because of the severe weather in KwaZulu-Natal. The professionals and invited amateurs raised R32,200 as part of the campaign, which sees Vodacom donate R200 for every birdie made by a golfer in the pro-am.
The beneficiaries this year include the Smile Foundation, New Beginningz and the Walter Sisulu Paediatric Cardiac Foundation.
As a result of losing a day of golf to the weather, Vodacom agreed to double the amount raised.
“The Vodacom Origins of Golf series is a fantastic platform to showcase the Vodacom brand and it positions Vodacom as a company that supports and develops golf at all levels, from charity support to business client executive participation,” said Steven Barnwell, Vodacom Managing Executive KwaZulu-Natal Region.
One of the strengths of the Vodacom Origins of Golf series is its regional focus, with the six-tournament series traveling to the top golf courses throughout the country, beginning with KwaZulu-Natal.
“There are three key objectives for the Vodacom KZN region. The first is to support sports and entertainment in the region and in so doing extend access to the game. This contributes to the development of players and creates a healthy pipeline of professional players. Some even go on to represent the South Africa overseas,” said Barnwell.
“The second is to use the platform to provide a unique experience and networking opportunity for our top business clients. The third is the corporate social responsibility element where Vodacom links golf to charity donations.
“This year’s Vodacom Origins of Golf in KZN has been very successful in positioning Vodacom as the partner of choice in the minds of the existing and prospective business customers.
“This year Vodacom showcased the Ready Business platform which assists companies in preparing for digital disruption of many business models across most industries. This created a very pertinent topic of discussion and engagement with our top clients. The pro-am golf day and the associated social functions allowed our key clients to network with senior Vodacom Executives, product specialists, sales teams, other captains of industry and the professional golfers. This made it a phenomenal success.”