With international golf returning to South African shores for the first time since the outbreak of the coronavirus, ANDRE HUISAMEN unpacks all the details you need to know.
The Sunshine Tour has been hard at work since local golf returned to ensure that at least some of the annual co-sanctioned events with the European Tour go ahead.
The cancellation of the Nedbank Golf Challenge, though, was inevitable, mainly due to the fact that it caters for a lot of corporate hospitality due to Nedbank’s significant involvement.
Ultimately, in what would have been the event’s 40th birthday, it means fans would’ve been a crucial part in Africa’s Major. They always have been and they always be will due to the uniqueness of golf in an iconic place like Sun City.
Nonetheless, a lot of credit has to go to Sunshine Tour and GolfRSA in making three events possible where local South African talent will have the opportunity to compete against some of the best golfers on the European Tour.
The circumstances have also led to the re-establishment of the Joburg Open, which used to be part of the European Tour and formed a crucial part of the South African golfing calendar up until 2017.
The European Tour’s restart, though, has been in full swing for a couple of months now with a string of events scheduled in different countries to limit each player’s movement and risk of being exposed to Covid-19.
This has been the case for competitions that have taken place in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Portugal, Spain and now Italy.
The same rules and health guidelines will apply when these players travel to South Africa in November to make sure they remain in a type of bio-bubble.
All players, including South Africans, will be tested before each event, while interaction will also be severely limited.
With the Alfred Dunhill Championship added to the list, golf fans across the country can be genuinely excited about the prospect of seeing international golf on TV again in what will be an incredible opportunity for our local players.
It also provides a massive boost to mark that this magnificent country is once again open for tourism and that South Africa is ready to incrementally move on from the devastation of 2020.
- Joburg Open – Randpark Golf Club (19-22 November)
- Alfred Dunhill Championship – Leopard Creek (26-29 November)
- SA Open – Gary Player Country Club (3-6 December)