Outdoor, social and print media have announced what is said to be the biggest golf tournament on the local professional circuit, the Tshwane Open golf tournament, which will take place at The Els Club Copperleaf, Centurion at the end of February 2013.
There will be a total of 156 international and local professional golfers participating in the event. The Tshwane Open forms part of the 2013 Sunshine Tour and is co-sanctioned with the European Tour. The Sunshine Tour represents the highest level of competition for male professional golfers in southern Africa.
"The Tshwane Open intends to raise the profile of the Tshwane brand internationally, build competence and empower Tshwane people in a sustainable manner. The tourism industry is set to be a major benefactor of the event. Not only will this premier sporting event attract golfing fans, but it will also expose the world to the many facilities, attractions and cultural riches that the city has to offer our visitors," explained the strategic executive director for communication, marketing and events, Nomasonto Ndlovu.
Some of the world's finest players
According to Selwyn Nathan, executive director of the Sunshine Tour, the Tshwane Open will be the last of an unprecedented six co-sanctioned events with the European Tour held in SA over summer and will feature some of the world's finest players.
"Of course, some of our best players who have been so successful around the world will be competing as well, and we look forward to making announcements in this regard in due course," Nathan said.
The city's investment in the tournament aims to do more than merely present an event of international calibre. The Tshwane Open also aims to stimulate job creation and the developmental aspect of sport. Initiatives are being launched to develop the sporting careers of aspirant golfers who don't have the background or financial means to make a substantial entry into the sport.
Some of the planned legacies of the Tshwane Open include the establishment of a Caddies Foundation, which is aimed at providing various benefits to Tshwane-based caddies, and the introduction of development clinics. Schools will also be invited to experiential golfing activities at the venue.
Challenging and enjoyable for golfers of all levels
The Els Club at Copperleaf will be the location for the tournament - a premier course designed by Ernie Els using the natural topography of the area to create a course that is challenging and enjoyable for golfers of all levels. It is the second "Signature" golf course by Ernie Els in South Africa. The course has been designed to the highest possible standards and USGA specifications.
"The golf course is growing into a piece of art that can only be experienced from a first person's vision. There has been a lot of effort, sweat and tears put into the pre-preparation to improve on the quality, look and feel of the course itself. The venue is situated in close proximity to various reputable accommodation facilities in Tshwane. We will continually strive to raise the bar and will give each participant and spectator an unforgettable experience," explained Jaun Geyser, the PGA head professional of The Els Club Copperleaf.
The Tshwane Open will take place at The Els Club Copperleaf, Ernie Els Boulevard, Mnandi, Centurion from 28 February until 3 March, 2013.