On Monday the Sunshine Tour and Titleist Africa, a subsidiary of Acushnet South Africa, donated 16,000 golf balls to the South African Golf Development Board, continuing its long-standing tradition of giving back to the sport.
“The Sunshine Tour and Acushnet SA have always felt the need to give something back to golf. We want to nurture golfing talent in South Africa, and this donation of 16,000 balls will help young golfers in need of support,” said Ludwick Manyama, Tournament Co-Ordinator for the Sunshine Tour.
A collection of young hopefuls from the SAGDB were treated to lessons from Sunshine Tour professionals Neil Schietekat, Allan Versveld and Matthew Carvell at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club as part of the initiative. The aspiring youngsters used the range balls that were donated to hone their skill under the watchful eye of the pros.
“We have range balls that need to be replaced periodically and decided to give the replaced balls to golf development. Some of the professionals have volunteered to give tips to the young players, and today is all about growing the game,” Manyama explained.
Players like Schietekat are fully aware of what it means to receive support from the professional golfing community, and he was keen to get involved.
“Without development you have nowhere to start, and it’s awesome to see these guys out here and they’ve got some real talent! Handing over these balls will be a huge help, and it’s nice that we can give something back,” he said.
Andy Ostle, Regional Manager for the South African Golf Development Board, was excited to see the fruits of this charity, and added: “We’re in dire need of golf balls and it’s really great to receive such a huge donation. If we didn’t have these initiatives then we would really be struggling, because we have 200 youngsters in the Johannesburg programme alone. And it’s so fantastic for the tournament professionals to be helping.”
Titleist Africa provided the balls in partnership with the Sunshine Tour, and the ball manufacturer was proud to assist in growing the game.
“We highly value our partnership with the Sunshine Tour and it’s great to know that our premium golf balls from the top professionals are getting passed on to the grass roots level. South Africa produces more champions per capita than anywhere else outside of America, and it’s great to have the young talent using Titleist balls,” said Leonard Loxton, Manager of Leadership Promotions for Acushnet South Africa.
The value of the balls is far outweighed by the use that development players will get out of them, and several of the youngsters chattered with excitement as they took turns with the pros. The donation was a great success for golf development in South Africa.