16th December 2018 | Sunshine Tour
Development in focus at Alfred Dunhill Championship
(Photo: Heinrich Hembold)
The Malelane chapter of the South African Golf Development Board was the latest to benefit from a golf clinic held at Leopard Creek during the third round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship on Saturday.
Selwyn Nathan, the Commissioner of the Sunshine Tour, said this is a good foundation for children to master the game and gave credit to all those who ensure that such a foundation is maintained.
“Without the South African Development Board, we would not have kids coming through,” he said. “You can see that the kids are coming through each year that are qualifying through the Vusi Ngubeni Qualifying School and Sunshine Tour Qualifying School. The kids are coming from all different chapters all across the country and that is something that was started by Mr (Johann) Rupert and implemented by Grant Hepburn (Chief Executive Officer for GolfRSA) over the last few years.
“You can see we have got kids coming through that are becoming professionals. They have got certain life skills. Here is the perfect example to see there are young players starting in good place. What a spectacular place to start. Thanks to Mr Rupert, Gaynor Rupert, friends and everyone around the country who have adopted this chapter and raised money to give these kids an amazing chance to develop this particular academy.”
Nathan also thanked professional players for investing their time throughout the year to coach children. “That’s what they should be doing,” he said. “They have a networking opportunity to work with businessmen and they also have got a responsibility to give back to the game and give back to community by helping kids with a great start. The children have an opportunity to mix with their professionals and learn something. We are delighted and so thankful that we can be part of this process.”
One of the kids, Dinewo Mashaba said the coaching clinic was an eye-opener for her. “I am very happy to get an opportunity like this to meet professional players and to be part of the coaching clinic. They taught me good ways of playing golf and corrected my mistakes. I started playing golf in 2013. I developed a love for the sport after I watched my uncle, Sam Lukhele. I want to be a professional golfer in future and play good.”
Samuel Lukhele, the coach at the South African Golf Development Board Malelane Chapter, also gave it a thumbs-up. “I am so grateful for such opportunities for children to get to learn from the professionals,” he said. “I am sure the number is going to grow from 47 next year, because we have a number of children from the area who have already indicated that they want to join us. They have never played the sport before and we teach them everything from basics. The development helps them a lot, because they have never been exposed to the sport before.
“They no longer wonder around the community and misbehave. They spend their time with us after school and get some meals everyday after the lessons. In the five years of our existence, I can highlight eight of our kids who are now participating in national competitions. They are playing very well. We are grateful for such opportunities and they are going a long way in helping children.”