Golf | 21 May 2017 | By The Mail Room
Sun City partnerships develop young golfers with North West Golf Union
As part of Sun City’s investment into the North West community, PGA Professional Quintin Byleveldt, the manager of Sun City’s two pristine, world class golf courses, has implemented a Schools Golf Development Programme for children from communities surrounding the resort in collaboration with the North West Golf Union.
Sun City operates two of the most recognisable golf courses in South Africa, the Gary Player Country Club golf course and the Lost City Golf Course, both of which are multiple award winning courses. With the Gary Player Country Club being home to the Nedbank Golf Challenge, Sun City considers its investment in golf development as an investment in the long term sustainability of the resort as a golfing destination.
“We would love to see one of our young development programme golfers competing in the Nedbank Golf Challenge one day, and potentially even win the prestigious tournament,” says Byleveldt.
Having operated his own teaching academy for junior golfers in Pretoria for a number of years, he has a keen interest in developing young golfers and caddies, inculcating a passion for the game. The North West Golf Union, assisted with sourcing golf clubs for primary school aged children from the South African Golf Development Board, children from disadvantaged communities have access to the equipment they need to learn to play golf on one of South Africa’s finest courses, the Lost City Golf Course.
According to Byleveldt, the goal of the Sun City Schools Golf Development Programme is two-fold; firstly to develop young golfers who otherwise would not have the opportunity and also to uplift Gary Player Golf Club caddy, Peter Mazibuko, who has ambitions of becoming a Teaching Professional.
The youngsters are transported to the resort, courtesy of Sun City, given lunch and then enjoy their weekly lesson on the course’s driving range. After they have completed the eight week course, they get to play a full round of golf.
The weekly golf lessons with the youngsters are hosted by Mazibuko under the guidance and mentorship of Byleveldt. The North West Golf Union is also working to help raise funds to send Mazibuko on a golf coaching course.
Byleveldt says: “It is heartening to see the programme at work, impacting positively on the lives of these children. They learn to channel their energies into healthy outdoor activity, they become part of a group and they learn respect, responsibility, integrity and perseverance while their self confidence and self esteem grows. In the long term, golf skills can be applied to allow them to pursue a career, whether it is working in golf retail or becoming a professional player one day.”
Further demonstrating its commitment to golf skills development amongst local youths, Sun City also raised R300 000 in aid of the South African Golf Development Board’s North West Chapter through its Sun City Cares initiative during the Nedbank Golf Challenge.