The PGA of South Africa launched its new logo and slogan at its inaugural awards dinner at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club on Monday evening, entrenching its vision of being the heart of golf and using the game to make a greater impact in South Africa.
‘Touching lives through the game of golf’ is the new slogan for the country’s oldest association of professional golfers. It was introduced by legendary South African professional, commentator and PGA of South Africa Honorary Life President Denis Hutchinson.
The new slogan makes a clear distinction between the work done by South Africa’s registered PGA professionals within all aspects of the golf industry, and the touring professional. It recognises the role played by PGA of South Africa professionals in driving the game at golf facilities by enhancing the golf experience, creating added enjoyment and increasing participation.
‘In coming up with the new slogan we wanted to convey more strongly just how integral the PGA professional is to assisting the amateur golfer to play more golf and have more fun while contributing to the success of a golf club, and the general industry as a whole,’ said Ivano Ficalbi, the Chief Executive of the PGA of South Africa.
‘Anybody within the South African golf industry has at some point interacted with a PGA of South Africa professional, from junior golfers and beginners receiving lessons, to our top touring professionals who would have started their careers with a lesson from their local PGA professional. Our professionals are active in all aspects of the golf industry locally and globally, and this includes various projects into Africa.’
The new slogan ties in with the PGA of South Africa’s drive to assist their members and the golf industry to create more golfers, more rounds of golf and stronger golf facilities.
‘We know from global research that the best practices we are equipping our PGA professionals with helps to drive more participation in the game. Research has shown that golf club members who are in a coaching programme with their local PGA professional are 100% more likely to remain members of the golf club than those who aren’t. And rounds of golf by club members in a coaching programme increased by 20%,” said Ficalbi.
‘Our aim is to help South African golf clubs realise where their true value lies, in their membership. A PGA professional touches so many lives, and this is in keeping with our focus as a respected global brand. Our aim is to ensure that our PGA members are trained in all aspects of the golf industry to assist the relevant golf clubs, bodies or development projects in delivering successful projects.’
For Ficalbi, the new slogan also reflects the incredible growth of the association in the past few years.
‘The PGA of South Africa now has partnered with over 30 major corporate brands which gain access to the association’s over 600 members. We have put in a great deal of effort to get the PGA of South Africa to this point, where we can be recognised as a meaningful partner by major blue-chip companies.’
The awards ceremony recognised the standout PGA of South Africa professionals of the year.
The 2015 PGA Professional of the Year was San Lameer Golf Estate Golf Director Meyer du Toit, while Llewellyn van Leeuwen of the Tuks Academy was voted the 2015 PGA Teaching Professional of the Year.
The 2015 National Order of Merit winner was Michael du Toit, and Johan Smit was the 2016 PGA National Champion.
Kloof Country Club’s Kate Brett Castle was named the 2016 PGA Apprentice of the Year.
By Michael Vlismas