Johannesburg - It was a moment
of immense pride for the members of Soweto Golf Club as a European Tour event
held its official pro-am in this iconic township for the first time this past
The pro-am for February’s Joburg Open had to be
cancelled because of the heavy rain at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf
Club that week.
But this afforded the City of Joburg the opportunity
to make the Sunshine Tour and European Tour co-sanctioned tournament as
inclusive as possible and move the pro-am to Soweto Golf Club.
On Monday and Tuesday this past week, Sunshine Tour
and Sunshine Ladies Tour professionals joined Soweto Golf Club amateurs and
various business leaders and government dignitaries in a two-day pro-am.
And Herman Mashaba, the Executive Mayor of the City
of Johannesburg, announced that in future the Joburg Open pro-am will always be
played at Soweto Golf Club.
“What a great pleasure it was to have the
professionals join us in the heart of Soweto,” Mashaba said.
“When I first heard of the plan to take the canceled
pro-am to Soweto, it was music to my ears. What a wonderful opportunity. It is
our desire to work with the Sunshine Tour and Joburg Open to make Soweto Golf
Club one of the greatest in our city.”
The club is currently undergoing its most extensive
upgrade in history, with the clubhouse recently refurbished as part of a
three-phase plan to also erect a fence around the course and then upgrade the
“This is about the whole community of Soweto and
them being proud of this facility. Our role as government is to help create
that enabling environment, and we need the private sector to play its part as
has been the case here,” said Mashaba.
Selwyn Nathan, the Executive Director of the
Sunshine Tour, expressed his delight at one of South Africa’s biggest golf
tournaments making such a major commitment to the development of Soweto Golf
“When Bongi Mokaba, the city’s Event Management
Director, and I spoke about the idea of hosting the pro-am in Soweto, it was
with the goal of continuing to ensure that a tournament like the Joburg Open
truly benefits the residents of this city.
“One of the most pleasing aspects was that we
created about 120 jobs just for the two days of this pro-am by using only local
suppliers in Soweto, from the catering to the caddies.”