A caddy workshop was held at Koro Creek Bushveld Golf Estate on the eve of tourism month.
On 24 August, approximately 30 caddies from three golf clubs – Koro Creek Bushveld Golf Estate, Euphoria Lifestyle Golf Estate and Kameeldoring Golf Club – attended this skills development programme. This initiative is a legacy project of the Limpopo Championship international golf tournament.
The caddy workshop, officially endorsed by the Limpopo Tourism Agency and sponsored by BettaBet, was an informative and educational session for caddies in attendance.
David Riddle, a PGA-qualified coach, headed the proceedings, equipping caddies with valuable lessons. SA Caddies Association president Ernest Guy was also invited to impart his knowledge.
‘These caddy workshops are a necessity to improve the standard of service provided by caddies to golf enthusiasts. Ultimately, a satisfied golfer results in more rounds of golf, more caddies required and increased revenue for golf clubs,” said David Riddle, golf director at Koro Creek Bushveld Golf Estate.
The skills development programme contributes directly to golf tourism promotion, whereby golf visitors enjoy a memorable experience.
The caddy workshop is an induction and training programme for local caddies wanting to be accepted and recognised at prestigious golf estates in Waterberg. The caddy workshops aim to upskill 70 caddies to provide a customer-centric service to golfers visiting Waterberg golf courses. Socio-economic changes have contributed to a decline in the use of caddies at golf estates nationally. One of the main objectives of the caddy workshops is to revive the caddy culture in South Africa.
“It has been sad to see caddies’ livelihoods threatened by this trend and yet it’s been an important and necessary part of the sport and culture of golf. It has also been a profession that has provided many disadvantaged youths with employment as it is fairly easy to learn the profession,” said Ernest Guys, president of the SA Caddies Association.
The workshop helps prepare prospective caddies for a career in the profession by teaching the young men the rules of golf, the role of caddies in the sport, and how to correctly behave and interact with players and colleagues when working in a golf estate. Part of the workshop focuses on customer care and the value that caddies bring to the golfing fraternity. It also helps them understand how golf estates operate.
Al Zoya, operations director at Royal Fairway, reiterated: “Caddy culture is centuries old and has been a source of employment and cultural exposure for young, disadvantaged people all over the world. We want to instil dignity in the profession and highlight golf as a sport that is accessible to everyone, not just the very wealthy.”
The course illuminates the career prospects for anyone who becomes a caddy and helps attendees understand how the career can be fruitful. A notable advantage of this programme is the way it seeks to instil a sense of self-pride and discipline in the young men and teaches them the soft skills required to be respected and successful in the field. Such soft skills help them in their personal lives, helping them be more conscientious young men.
The caddy programme was established with a substantial donation from sports betting company Bettabets.
“We at Bettabets are committed to supporting initiatives that provide opportunities for young men to possess skills, opportunities and values that create better communities,” said Smita Narsi, head of CSI and internal communications at Bettabets.
The caddy workshops are aligned with the Limpopo Tourism Agency mandate, destination marketing, economic investment job creation and skills development through tourism promotion.
Creating better access to opportunities for young people to learn the trade is another way that sport can and should be used to promote community development. It is also a way of giving disadvantaged groups access to a sport which is often inaccessible to the poor.
Royal Fairways will roll out the programme and monitor its impact on the golf fraternity.