By Elliot Mathye
Provincial children’s tournament-level golf will receive a boost up in February and March when, for the first time out of the boundaries of Gauteng, the under-12 kids will be able to register for children specific golf tournaments in Port Elizabeth (PE) and Durban respectively.
The tournaments will take place on February 27 in PE and March 20 in Durban, and will cater for those aged between four and 12 who wish to learn the rules and etiquette surrounding the game of golf while practising the precision sport. The venues for this prestigious tournaments are Port Elizabeth and Mt. Edgecombe golf courses and promise to offer players the opportunity to play nine or 18 holes.
The introduction of two additional provinces to the Gauteng tournament golf calendar follows the decision by non-profit junior-golf-promoting organization SA Kids Golf, formerly known as Little Kids Golf, to expand its reach beyond Gauteng to give young golfers in the rest of South Africa the opportunity to play tournament golf.
“Parents had been asking for years for Little Kids Golf to come to their respective provinces. They were eager for their children to play tournaments, since tournament skills are vastly different to the skills required to hit balls on a driving range”, noted SA Kids Golf treasurer Catherine Telfer.
Some 100 children play tournaments in Gauteng each month, with SA Kids Golf boasting a mainly-Gauteng membership of around 200 under-12 participants. The non-profit organization would eventually like to grow the Eastern Cape and Kwazulu-Natal children’s golf community to these levels and hopes to get 60 children to register for each of the launch tournaments.
SA Kids Golf also holds the rights to qualify and send kids to the world’s top international children’s tournament in the USA and Europe. SA Kids Golf is the only South African organisation permitted to send children to the US Kids European and World Championships held annually in June and August, respectively. The team to represent South Africa on this international stage will be announced in March 2011.
SA Kids Golf has had extraordinary accomplishments at these and other tournaments over the last few years and it was only last year they had the European Champion in the Girls 9 division with Miss Woo-Ju Son. It is newsworthy to note that last year South Africa obtained almost 50% Top Ten finishes in the European Championships from the team of 30 children.
Aspirant golfers can play in one of the tournaments and, if the tournament-golf bug bites, can become members of the organization and play in what may become monthly tournaments in their provinces., Meanwhile, volunteers can also sign up to assist the Section 21 golfing company to categorize tournaments, mark the course out or even staff the registration table.