JOHANNESBURG - The 2017 Joburg Open Pro-Am golf tournament kicks off on Monday at the Soweto Country Club in Pimville, Soweto, under the auspices of the City of Joburg and will continue until Tuesday.

The tournament was scheduled as a precursor to the Joburg Open tournament which should have taken place from February 23 to 26. But it was postponed after the playing field was waterlogged and declared unplayable following heavy rains over Joburg earlier that week, said city spokesperson Nthatisi Modingoane.

Following the postponement, a decision was taken to take the Pro-Am to the Soweto Country Club.

This decision was informed by the city’s objective to change the face of golf in Joburg and take the big tournaments to the people, irrespective of class.

Bringing tournaments such as this one comes with a number of benefits for the Soweto Country Club, he said. These include:

To showcase the new clubhouse and expose potential sponsors to the Soweto Country Club for further developments of the club.

Contribute to revenue generation for the running and maintenance of the Soweto Country Club.

Contribute to the township economy by creating employment opportunities for the people of Soweto during this period and encouraging the people of Soweto to book and utilise the venue for their own events.

The city, said Modingoane, also wants to build civic pride and encourage the community of Pimville to take ownership of the facility and protect it from vandalism.

The community has an opportunity to book the club for events like weddings,social club meetings and lunches.

The city entities have also come on board with Pikitup having done a clean-up of the area and provided 240-litre bins that will remain there after the event.

Johannesburg Water has sorted out the water-pressure problem at the club house and City Power has connected and provided electricity to all temporary structures as the area falls under Eskom.

Staff from the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington golf clubs visited Soweto to assess the state of the golf course, Modingoane pointed out.

They provided rakes for the bunkers and committed to training the green keeping staff on the maintenance of the golf course after the Pro-Am tournament, Modingoane added.

The Star