Soweto Country Club hailed as golf venue of the future

Johannesburg Executive Mayor Cllr Herman Mashaba said he was convinced the Soweto Country Club in Pimville would soon be a world-class golfing venue.

The Mayor was speaking on the first day of the two-day Pro-Am at the newly revamped golf course after it was rained on the eve of the Joburg Open at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club in February following heavy downpours.

Mashaba said the Soweto course would produce the next Ernie Elses, Gary Players and Tiger Woods of the future.

“I’m encouraged by the support of the corporate world, the business community, the government and golfers themselves. As the Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, I wish to assure you all that the City will support the Joburg Open Pro-Am next year, and probably in the coming years as well,” Mashaba said.

A Pro-Am tournament features teams of three amateur players, each alongside a professional golfer.

Selwyn Nathan, the sponsors Sunshine Tours’ Chief Executive Officer, said renovations at the club would continue.

“In the next phase, we’re going to fence both the clubhouse and the course. We want to encourage companies and big business to buy holes and maintain them. That is the best way to generate revenue here,” he said.

The tournament was also graced by amateur golfers such as former chairman of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) board Polo Molefe, African National Congress struggle veteran Andrew Mlangeni, former Premier Soccer League spokesman Andrew Dipela, radio personality Thomas Msengana, Gauteng Provincial Government spokesman Thabo Masebe and newspaper journalist Happy Mnguni.

Mashaba, dressed in traditional golfing attire, also took part in the day-long, 18-hole event.

He, Larry Nestadt and Selwyn Nathan played as amateurs alongside professional golfer Merrick Bremmer.

Mashaba, who looked fresh after the tiring six-hour tournament, said: “This ended so quickly. I was still enjoying the game. I wish we could extend the holes to 24.”

There were 30 teens on the day featuring 120 amateur and professional golfers.

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