Development and Transformation plans in the Golf: Meeting with Professional Golfers Association of South Africa; South African Golf Development Board & Rainbow Academy of Golf

Sports, Arts and Culture

04 September 2012
Chairperson: Mr M Dikgacwi (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee heard presentations from the Professional Golfers Association of SA (PGASA) and the SA Golf Development Board (SAGDB), as well as input from a community golf initiative, the Rainbow Golf Academy of Khayelitsha, on the development of golf in South Africa. The PGASA said there were five golfing bodies in SA- the PGASA, the Sunshine Tour, the Women’s Professional Golfing Association, the South African Golf Association (SAGA) and Women’s Golf South Africa. The latter two managed amateur golf in South Africa while the others catered for professional golfers. Amateur golf was self-regulated. There were currently 300,000 active golfers of which 130,000 were affiliated golfers. There were 455 golf facilities and 14 provincial unions. Funds of the union were retained to develop golf within the union. Some funds were allocated to the main body for funding national squads. The PGASA had a SA Qualifications Authority recognised three year diploma course in golf. It ran two projects; Golfwise which trained prisoners in Glencoe and a program in the special Olympics, which took the form of a 6 week program in 15 schools. The PGASA felt that it was not the right body to develop the game as it focused on developing the people working in the industry. It had however run a programme called the Grow Golf Association, which went to schools and trained a teacher there to be a level one coach and to promote golf as a sport subject.

The Board said that its challenge was to expand the game into the community, given that golf was seen as an elitist sport. It had 1787 players and 35 coaches in previously disadvantaged areas. The program consisted of an introduction to golf followed by a development program where talent was identified and developed and players were introduced to tournament golf. This was followed by golf academies which gave additional support to golfers who qualified and this was backed up by high performance coaching and support given for the national squads. It was concerned that there was a lack of support from the three tiers of government for golf. The Department of Sport did not want golf included as a sports code and there was a need for tertiary golf scholarships. There was also a lack of public golfing facilities. Sponsors provided sponsorship on a rand for rand basis and that there was no funding in some of the provinces, therefore there was no SAGDB operations. Work was being done in the rural areas where it focused on the basics of golf. The PGASA gave support in the form of equipment, golf club memberships and tournament entry fees. One of the program’s players, Muzi of Soweto, had graduated to represent South Africa in golf.

Members asked why there were 14 provincial unions when there were only nine provinces. How were bodies helping develop future golfers in rural areas? Why were some provinces, like the North West and Limpopo, not on the list of provincial unions? How did they view the disabled in the sport of golf? Were there doping control procedures in golf? What was the rate of people being caught for doping? Did the associations assist in disadvantaged schools to groom golfing professionals? Did the SAGDB have a list of priorities to present to the Department of Sport? Where did corporate businesses in South Africa stand in support of development? Were there development programs at club level? Was there a caddy school? How did equipment suppliers help the game? Did applications for Lotto funding have to go through the PGA or the SAGDB? Members felt there was a need to transform the sport and the structures of the golfing bodies to represent the entire society and this was the task of the leadership of the bodies. Members said there was a danger of a fragmented response to the development of the game which should be avoided.

The Rainbow Golf Academy of Khayelitsha made an appeal for support to teach golf in the rural areas and that golf caddies were not getting enough support. They wanted the PGASA and the SAGDB to assist.
Golf was, by and large an elitist game, but that areas like course maintenance, caddying and sports management were areas where golf for the broader community could be supported and developed, especially in ports previously disadvantaged areas. It was almost impossible for the Rainbow Academy to operate. Was there assistance to people like these, who did not have access to equipment or to golf courses and did not have money to afford the game, so that they could learn the game?

Meeting report

Briefing by Professional Golfers Association of South Africa (PGASA)
Mr Ivano Ficalbi, Chief Executive, PGASA, said that there were five golfing bodies in the country- the PGASA, the Sunshine Tour, the Women’s Professional Golfing Association (WPGA), the South African Golf Association (SAGA) and Women’s Golf South Africa (WGSA). The latter two managed amateur golf in South Africa while the others catered for professional golfers. There was a clear distinction between amateur and professional golfers and once a golfer turned professional could not return to be an amateur. Amateur golf was self-regulated.

There were currently 300,000 active golfers of which 130,000 were affiliated golfers. There were 455 golf facilities and 14 provincial unions. Funds of the unions were retained to develop golf within the union. Some funds were allocated to the main body SAGA for funding national squads.

The WPGA had 30 members and the Sunshine Tour had 250 members playing tournament golf. The PGASA had 500 members; some were professional golfers earning a living from the winnings of the tournaments while others were golfing professionals who worked in the industry as coaches and trainers. The PGA had a SA Qualifications Authority (SAQA) recognised three year diploma course in golf. It ran two projects; Golfwise, which trained prisoners in Glencoe and a programme in the special Olympics which took the form of a 6 week program in 15 schools. The PGASA was not the right body to develop the game as it focused on developing the people working in the industry. It had however run a programme called the Grow Golf Association, which went to schools and trained teachers to be a level one coach and to promote golf as a sport subject.

He said golf would be an Olympic sport in 2016 but it would be limited to 60 men and 60 women based on the world rankings.

Discussion
Mr M Dikgacwi (ANC) asked what the difference between the WPGA and the WGSA was. Why were there 14 provincial unions when there were only nine provinces?

Mr M Rabotapi (DA) asked how the bodies were helping develop future golfers in rural areas.

Ms M Dube (ANC) asked why some provinces like the North West and Limpopo were not on the list of provincial unions. How did they view the disabled in the sport of golf? Were there doping control procedures in golf? What was the rate of people being caught for doping? Did the associations assist to groom golfing professionals in disadvantaged schools?

Mr Ficalbi replied that there was a SA Disabled Golfing Association. The WGSA was the amateur women’s body while the WPGA catered for women professionals. He said SAGA had split the country into 14 regions based on where its members were. Two to three golfers were randomly tested for banned substances at tournaments. One did not find banned substances being used as there was no need for strength in golf which placed an emphasis on co-ordination. Most of the people caught were for recreational use of substances. The PGA had approached the
Skills Education Training Authorities (SETA’s) regarding disadvantaged schools but had been told that golf was not regarded as having a critical shortage and therefore no funding had been given.

Mr Ken Viljoen, Managing Director, SA Golf Development Board (SAGDB), said that the organisation’s challenge was to expand the game into poor communities given that it was seen as an elitist sport. There were 1787 players and 35 coaches in previously disadvantaged areas. The programme consisted of an introduction to golf followed by a development programme where talent was identified and developed and players were introduced to tournament golf. This was followed by golf academies which gave additional support to golfers who qualified up to the high performance coaching and support given for the national squads.

It was concerned that there was a lack of support from the three tiers of government for golf. The Department of Sport did not want golf included as a sports code and there was a need for tertiary golf scholarships. There was also a lack of public golfing facilities. Sponsors provided sponsorship on a rand for rand basis and that there was no funding in some of the provinces, therefore there was no SAGDB operations.

Mr Grant Hepburn, Technical Director, SAGDB, said that work was being done in the rural areas and the focus was on the basics of golf. The PGASA gave support in the form of equipment, golf club memberships and tournament entry fees. One of the programme’s players, Muzi of Soweto, had graduated to represent South Africa in golf.
Mr Rabotapi said the Sun City golf course was in a rural area and asked what the SAGDB was doing to develop an interest in golf in the rural areas.

Mr M Hlengwa (IFP) asked if the SAGDB had a list of priorities to present to the Department of Sport and Recreation. What rural outreach programme did it have, notwithstanding the funding challenge?

Mr G Mackenzie (COPE) asked where the corporate businesses in South Africa stood in supporting development, given that it was seen as a rich persons sport. Were there development programmes at club level? Was there a caddy school? How did equipment suppliers help the game?

Mr S Mmusi (ANC) asked which year children should start to play the game.

Mr T Lee (DA) said an application, from the Port Elizabeth areas, had been made to the Lotto to develop a golf course but that the money had disappeared and no course had been developed. Did applications for Lotto funding have to go through the PGA or the SAGDB? Senior previously disadvantaged golfers were disadvantaged even though they had a passion for the sport. Was there any way the golfing bodies could assist such people?

Mr Dikgacwi said Lotto had advertisements inviting application for funds.


The Chairperson said there was a need to transform the sport and the structures of the golfing bodies to represent the entire society and this was the task of the leadership of the bodies.

Mr Lee said that 15% of Municipal Infrastructure Grants (MIGs) funds were earmarked for sports facilities and that the SAGDB should apply for these.

On the issue of transformation, Mr Viljoen replied that the SAGDB was going through a transitional phase. The SAGDB was a Section 21 Company and had received a clean audit. The body had received funds from Lotto two years ago to disburse, but too many organisations had applied. Since then funding had stopped. Golf had been recognised as one of the top six sports and received R500 000 annually.

The SAGDB had money for development but not for expanding the programme. The Board had concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Sunshine Tour in which funding would be made available for the establishment of a development chapter for every new area in which a new Open golf tournament was held. These funds would come from corporate sponsors’ social responsibility programmes. He said Remgrow had been a major sponsor covering the SAGDB’s administrative expenses. The SAGDB had negotiated with municipalities and in the case of Durban municipality, after six months it had stopped paying, owing the SAGDB R200, 000. The SAGDB was busy negotiating in the Free State with the Bethlehem, Clarens and Phutaditjaba areas. It had also applied to the world body, the Royal and Ancient for funding. He said every member of a golf club contributed R35 for development and there were 135,000 members, but that the money went into development programmes run by the clubs. The Caddy School was represented on SAGA and the Sunshine Tour.

Equipment suppliers Puma/Cobra had donated goods and a large shipment of used goods had been received from America.

Children had to start at an early age around eight years old. A challenge was that the equipment they needed had to be suitable for their size.

He said he knew nothing about the Eastern Cape golf course development.

Mr Simon Nyokala, Senior Coach Western Province, Head of Development, said there were interventions in rural areas and he himself had coached Chief Patekile Holomisa and discussed rural programmess but that it was hampered by funding limitations.

Mr Ficalbi said the PGASA was part of the World Alliance of PGA’s. The Sun City golf course was owned by Sun international and did not have members. He acknowledged that there was not enough communication between the PGASA and the SAGA and there was not one unified project to tackle development. Golfers like Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuisen, Dale Hayes and Sally Little also had their own foundations, trusts and tournaments. The Royal and Ancient raised five million pounds for the development of golf. These funds, if allocated to South Africa, would go via the SAGA. He said caddying was a club and SGAGA issue.

Rainbow Academy of Golf,
Khayelitsha
Mr Boy Daka of the Rainbow Golf Academy of Khayelitsha said he was a caddy teaching golf to children and made an appeal for support to teach golf in the rural areas and that golf caddies were not getting enough support. He wanted the PGASA and the SAGDB to assist.

Mr Phillip Gallan, a member of the Steenberg Golf Club and supporter of the Rainbow Golf Academy of Khayelitsha, said that golf was, by and large an elitist game, but that areas like course maintenance, caddying and sports management were areas where golf for the broader community could be supported and developed, especially in previously disadvantaged areas. It was almost impossible for the Rainbow Academy to operate. Was there assistance to people like these, who did not have access to equipment or to golf courses and did not have money to afford the game, so that they could learn the game?

Mr Nyokala said it was the responsibility of the SAGDB to be sensitive to Mr Daka’s appeal to train the youth.

Mr Viljoen said that the SAGDB had a thriving programme in Khayelitsha.

The Chairperson said there was a danger of a fragmented response to the development of the game which should be avoided.

The meeting was adjourned.


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