This is the first news letter that I write as President, and the idea of this news letter is to keep all our Clubs and Golfers informed of what is happening in the Union. The idea is to publish important news regarding the Union, our Players and our tournaments.
On a personal note I would like thank everybody for putting their confidence in me to run the Union, it is a huge honor for me and I will do my best to justify your confidence.
The success of our Union is very important, and it takes a huge effort from all involved. Personally I would like to thank everybody that is involved, starting with the Executive of the Union, all the Clubs and their Management Teams as well as every single Golfer that plays in the Free State.
Just a short explanation of how things work, the Union is managed by an Executive Committee which consists of the following people:
- PRESIDENT – Nicky Nel
- VICE-PRESIDENT – Butch Lombard
- SECRETARY / TREASURER – Christo Fourie & Ina Fourie
- MANGAUNG SUB-UNION – Colin Sorour & John Blair JR
- XHARIEP SUB-UNION – Charles Liversage
- LEJWELEPUTSWA – Henry Jones
- FEZILA DABI SUB-UNION – Butch Lombard
- THABO MOFUTSANYANE – Jannie Roos
- JUNIOR REPRESENTATIVE – Corne Viljoen
- SOME CLUB REPRESENTATIVES
We have five Sub-Unions as listed above, and each Sub-Union should have a Committee that looks after everything within his Sub-Union. Every single Club within the Sub-Union must have a Representative or at least a vote in what is happening within that Sub-Union.
There has been exciting things happening in the Golfing World since I took over as President of the Union in October last year; and the Gentlemen on the Executive have been working hard so that we can make this Union efficient and working for all our Golfers.
I must thank all the Clubs for their help in paying our affiliation fees; it was a huge effort from Christo, Ina, Sub-Union Chairmen and all the Clubs. Thank you for that…
The amazing win at the Masters for Tiger Woods shows that anything is possible, and Brooks Koepka’s performances at the Majors is something to admire.
We are one of the smallest Golf Unions in South Africa, and I am very proud to inform you that we had two Players in the last National Protea Team that represented South Africa at the All Africa Challenge in Namibia, which SA won hands down.
I would just like to clarify our new Fixture list for the 2020 season and some of the changes we made with some of our tournaments, it is very important that all the Players and Clubs understand the setup of our National and Provincial Tournaments.
It is our duty to make this wonderful game of golf available for all our Players in the Union, and also to select the best possible Players for our various Provincial Teams. It is imperative that we give everybody a fair chance to make our Provincial Teams, and not discriminate against anybody. Race, color and financial status should have no impact on our selection criteria and I will make sure that every single Golfer that wants to represent our Union gets the opportunity to do so. We have not removed any Tournaments from the fixture list but we will have less counting events for Provincial Teams. The idea is that less Tournaments count for Team selections; and I feel that all the other non-counting Tournaments will be well supported and all our Golfers can compete in them.
With the above in mind, we decided to only have a maximum of 7 Qualifying Tournaments available to be selected for any of our Teams. The biggest advantage for our Players will be that we have also reduced the qualifying rounds to a minimum 12 rounds per Player. In essence that means that a Player should only have to play 4 Tournaments to qualify for any of our Teams, which will reduce the financial difficulties for our Players that would like to qualify. The Order of Merit will be a rolling Order of Merit and will start immediately after the relevant IPT has finished, the only groups that will be effected this year is the Seniors and Country District Teams which will be sorted with an extra event for this year only.
The Executive Committee of the Union will be responsible for the hosting of 3 National Tournaments each year which will be the FS Open, the FS Mid-Am Open and the FS Senior Open. Together with that we will be responsible for hosting the FS Closed Championships and all of these events will count towards Team selection for the different Teams. The venues for these Tournaments will be decided by the Executive of the Union, and no Course in the Union will host more than one of these events per year which will also be rotated amongst the best Courses in the Union.
We will also have 5 Provincial Tournaments which will be the responsibility of the Chairman and Management Committee of the five different Sub-Unions, from selecting the Courses and hosting the events from start to finish. Those events will be counting events for our Team Selections, which means that a Player will have at least one local Tournament to qualify in and then will only need 3 more other events to be eligible for Selection. I believe that this will give more Players the opportunity to qualify for our Teams, and that the best Players will participate for spots in the Teams. These local events must be played on the best Courses in the Sub-Union, and can be rotated each year should the Committees decide to do so.
We have also decided to host five “Talent Search Days” within our Sub-Unions to identify more talented Golfers of any age to make our Teams more competitive, and that will give us the opportunity to help where we can to make sure that these Players get the opportunity to represent our Union at National level. The first of these events was held a while ago with great success in Bethlehem, and we are working hard to have the others done as soon as possible.
I must admit that I think we have a great Golf Union, and whilst I was attending the League Qualifying rounds in Reitz a week ago I have again realized how committed our Players are to make this Union work. It was great to see, and that commitment inspires me to make things better for all involved.
The Union belongs to every single affiliated Golfer in the Union, it belongs to every single Club Member in this Union, and most importantly it belongs to all the people that works at Clubs and in this great game of ours so please treat this Union as your own and let us all work together to make this better for all of us. This is an open invitation to every single Golfer in the Free State to talk to us, the Executive Committee Members, if you are not happy about things and/or if you have any ideas to make things better.
Have a great golfing week.
President – Free State Golf Union