13th August 2018 | Sunshine Tour
Top SA courses ready to host Vodacom Origins of Golf
By Michael Vlismas
The six-tournament Vodacom Origins of Golf series, the Sunshine Tour’s most successful continuous series of tournaments in its history, will tee off its 15th season this week with an array of South Africa’s leading golf courses on its schedule and a new overall prize for the professionals.
This year the popular pro-am series, which offers total prize money worth R4.8 million and which has grown its sponsorship footprint to also include African Bank, Celcom, Apexon and Titleist as partners, will be played on some of the most spectacular golf courses in the country, with two of the six ranked within the top 10 in South Africa.
St Francis Links and Arabella Country Club are the highest ranked on the 2018 series which will tee off at Zebula Country Club from 16-18 August and will also travel to Selborne Park Golf Club in KwaZulu-Natal, Parys Golf and Country Estate in the Free State and Pinnacle Point on the Garden Route.
The 2018 series will also have its own Order of Merit and a new incentive for the professionals. The Heritage Resorts Order of Merit will reward the leading professional at the end of the series with a seven-night stay at Heritage Le Telfair in Mauritius, including flights. The professionals will need to play at least four of the six Vodacom Origins of Golf tournaments to qualify.
This year’s series plays a key role in the build-up to the Sunshine Tour’s international season at the end of the year. The AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open – tri-sanctioned by the European Tour, Sunshine Tour and Asian Tour – will be the first tournament played after the Vodacom Origins of Golf Final in November. Since its debut on the Sunshine Tour in 2004, the Vodacom Origins of Golf series has grown to become the backbone of the winter leg of the Tour.
This was the series that launched the professional career of Major winner Louis Oosthuizen, who won his first professional tournament on the Vodacom Origins of Golf in 2004. And when Branden Grace won five times during his breakthrough season in 2012, one of those titles came on the Vodacom Origins of Golf series.