LOCAL and regional professional golfers will heave a huge sigh of relief as a new tour, the Chevron Golf Tour which will carter for Southern Region golfers, is set to take off later this month with a US$5 000 purse money.
The tour, which is the brainchild of some Zimbabwean golfers, will hit the ground running with the staging of the Rozwi Classic at Bonanza Golf Club and Ciêla Resort Hotel in Lusaka, Zambia, from June 28-30.
Zimbabwean professional golfers had since resorted to the West and East Africa Golf Tours as they lacked game-time after the folding of the Zambezi Tour back home with the Sunshine Tour oversubscribed.
According to a media statement released yesterday, the Tour is aimed at reviving Southern Africa Golf legacy which has been dying a natural death.
"The Tour is for male professionals and marks the start of an 11-tournament season that will be played between Zimbabwe and Zambia.
"The concept and development of the Chevron Tour was driven by a rich legacy of golf in the Southern African region. We have a team that recognises the place and importance of this legacy and we would like to revive it and watch it grow.
"The Chevron Tour is owned by a group of companies that will take professional golf to countries along the Zambezi River through the Chevron Tour and the Zambezi Cup.
"The Zambezi Cup will be played in Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe and will be once-off tournaments for players to accumulate more points on the Order of Merit on their road to winning the Tour Championship Cup.
"The aim of the Tour is to give our professional players game-time and to increase their capacity to earn a living from the sport they love," the statement said. The Tour is also aimed at reviving some golf courses whose standards had been going down with some having dwindling subscription numbers.
"Further to this, our golf courses are having a hard time and struggling to stay open. We hope that the tour can reignited a love of golf and bring new players to the game. All journeys have to start with the first step, from the concept phase we have received support from the regulatory bodies like the Sports Commission as well as support from corporates and friends of golf from across the continent.
"From as far as Egypt to Tanzania we have partners we are working with to make this a success.
"Because of the environment, we believe that it is important to not only lay a foundation but the right foundation and grow from there.
"For this we have also designed a set of programmes and events for players and sponsors that will grow skills for the players off the course, for example financial management, athlete nutrition, fitness and for the sponsors we have wine tasting and investment planning, among several others," the Chevron Tour further stated.