Joburg ready for 10th hosting of top golf event
The Joburg Open, one of the most prestigious tournaments on the South African and European golf tours, will be hosted by the City in January for the 10th time next year.
1. The tournament takes place from 14 to 17 January 2016 – placing it close to the end of the competitive European Tour.
2. It is again hosted at the iconic Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Course –rated among the top-20 golfing venues in South Africa.
3. The prize money of Euro 1.5-million is shared among all players who make the halfway cut – with the winner walking away with the sought-after trophy and more than Euro 200 000.
4. More than 200 golfers from across the world will tee off for the first round, with the top-70 scores at the halfway mark, qualifying for the final two rounds.
5. Johannesburg was the first City in the country to host its own golf tournament, with the initial event taking place in 2007.
6. Sponsorship has been secured to host the Joburg Open for at least the next three years. Among the top line sponsors are BMW, the Hilton Hotel Group, Primedia and The Pro Shop.
7. The tournament will be broadcasted during prime-viewing time in 35 countries – providing Johannesburg with great opportunities to market the City, its rich culture and world-class facilities.
8. Executive Mayor, Cllr Mpho Parks Tau calls this “a valuable opportunity to showcase the City as a world-class golf and leisure destination.”
9. The European Tour is expanding rapidly into countries such as India, Thailand, Malaysia and China – opening up new opportunities to market Johannesburg to golf tourists from the Far East, Asia and the Middle East.
10. The South African golf industry generates revenue of more than R30-billion a year. Joburg wants to increase its share of the estimated 54-million golfers world-wide looking for new destinations to play the game.
11. The Pro-Am tournament hosted prior to the main tee-off, attracts business people, celebrities and City leaders who will relish the opportunities to play with top golfers.
12. A group of prominent business people from India will be among the overseas visitors participating in the Pro-Am and spending time in Johannesburg.
13. Money raised during the tournament will be donated to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.
14. The tournament is designed to further the development of golf in previously-disadvantaged communities. Players will conduct training and development classes at the Alexandra driving range.
15. South African golfers have won the tournament six times over the first nine years. It has launched the careers of some of the greatest names in local golf such as Charl Schwartzel, Branden Grace and George Coetzee. The defending champion is Andy Sullivan from England.
16. Last year saw the appearance of some of the rising stars in local golf, among them, Thabo Maseko, Makheta Mazibuko and Musiwalo Nethunzwi.
17. The Johannesburg Open is the only tournament in South Africa where the top-3 placers will get direct entry into The British Open, the world’s most prestigious tournament.
18. Spectators can follow the action on the fairways and greens for only R50 a day, with free entrance for pensioners and children under 16.