Golf | 18 Jul 2017 | By Michael Vlismas

From putting lines to tight lines as SA pros fish for charity

André Cruse (left) and Vaughn Groenewald relax during their rounds with a bit of fishing during last year’s Vodacom Origins of Golf series. The 2017 Vodacom Origins series will tee off on Monday with an official charity trout fishing competition between the professionals at Highland Gate Golf and Trout Estate | Photo by Petri Oeschger/Sunshine Tour

Since 2004 the six-tournament Vodacom Origins of Golf Series has defined itself as the most unique series of tournaments on the Sunshine Tour. And this year it will do so again when the 2017 series tees off next week with a fishing competition amongst the country’s professional golfers.

This Monday, before the start of the first tournament at the Ernie Els-designed Highland Gate Golf and Trout Estate, seven of the Sunshine Tour’s finest fishermen will for a moment forget about their putting lines and worry about their fly lines instead.

Professionals Wallie Coetsee, Titch Moore, Doug McGuigan, Oliver Bekker, Tyrone Ferreira, Merrick Bremner and Steven Ferreira will take part in a trout fishing competition at Highland Gate on Monday.

Every fish they catch will see Vodacom donate R200 to the three official charities on the series – the Walter Sisulu Foundation and its work performing life-saving surgery for under-privileged children with heart disorders, the New Beginningz Charity which assists children living and working on the street, and the Smile Foundation. And the charities will also benefit from a further R200 donation for every birdie made by a professional or amateur throughout the tournament.

The Highland Gate tournament officially tees off with the main 54-hole professional tournament next week Thursday and for a total purse of R750 000. The 36-hole pro-am begins on Tuesday 25 July.

This will be the 14th year of the Vodacom Origins of Golf series, and it will travel to some of the most spectacular golf courses in the country, starting with Highland Gate Golf and Trout Estate and also including Arabella Country Estate, Zimbali Country Club, St Francis Links, Sishen Golf and Country Club and then the final at Simola Golf and Country Estate.

The amateur winner of the pro-am side of the series will earn a place in the pro-am for the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open at Heritage Golf Club later this year.