2022 End Of Year Message
2022 was a fruitful year for the South African Disabled Golf Association. Characterised by growth and the unearthing of some exciting talent, let’s reflect on the year that was.
From a competitive golf standpoint, 2022 was a year for the books. Through the tremendous support of golf clubs and sponsors we were able to stage an astonishing six SADGA Opens – the Ebotse, Irene, Metropolitan, Kwazulu-Natal, Tshwane and Cape Town Disabled Opens respectively.
Each SADGA Open was well supported by our members, many of whom were fortunate to receive support from their home unions. Boland Golf Union, Central Gauteng Golf Union, Gauteng North, Kwazulu-Natal Golf Union, Southern Cape Golf Union and Western Province Golf were integral to the staging of these events through financial support as well as the donation of apparel among other tournament essentials.
Some exciting new prospects graced these tournament fields and announced themselves as players to watch for years to come. David Watts was the undisputed standout performer – sweeping to Physically-Disabled Medal victories at every Open he contested, namely: Ebotse, Irene, Kwazulu-Natal, Tshwane and the Cape Town Disabled Opens respectively.
These results helped David enjoy a meteoric rise up the World Rankings For Golfers With A Disability which afforded him the opportunity to fly the South African flag in three G4D Tour events, doing so with pride and distinction. I’d like to wish David luck for the upcoming G4D Hero Cup tournament, taking place in Abu Dhabi from 13-15 January.
Not to be outdone, our Deaf golfers left their mark on the calendar year with Jay-Jay Botha, Cedric Touzard and Charles Williams representing South Africa at the Deaflymics in Brazil. It is deeply gratifying to have our elite Physically-Disabled and Deaf players represent the SADGA on the international stage, a testament to the depth of talent we have within the association.
Integral to many of our golfers elevating their games has been the newly-formed partnership with Callaway Golf South Africa. Callaway’s Brand Manager Riaan Spangenberg and his team have pulled out all the stops to provide some amazing equipment and apparel prizes at our events. They were kind enough to sponsor David and Charles with new sets of clubs which will go a long way to helping the pair realise their full potential.
This groundbreaking partnership was the brainchild of Connor Lourens who joined as SADGA Development Manager in 2022. On behalf of the Board of Directors I’d like to thank Connor for the fantastic work he has done to date, we are thrilled to have him be a part of the SADGA team.
Wonderful as this new partnership is, I’d be remiss not to pay homage to our longtime supporters. The Provincial homes of the SADGA – King David Mowbray Golf Club (Western Cape), Mount Edgecombe Country Club (Kwazulu-Natal) and Zwartkop Country Club (Gauteng) have once again been fantastic in their support of our golfers by offering preferential membership rates and green fees as well as cultivating a welcoming and inclusive environment.
Thank you to every golf club which hosted a Provincial Day or SADGA Open this year, we appreciate your support of disabled golf.
I’d also like to reserve special thanks for the King David Sports Trust who have provided considerable financial support to the SADGA not just in 2022 but for a number of years. For this we are all incredibly grateful as KDST have been crucial to the upliftment of our members both on and off the course in the Western Province.
Nomads FOG have too have been incredibly generous in their support of the First Swing Program in 2023 and had a hand in the modified golf environment unveiled at Mary Kihn. Nomads have been ardent supporters of the FSP over a number of years and have contributed to each one of the SADGA’s modified golf environments.
A modified environment was also installed at Westrand School made possible by the Central Gauteng Golf Union. We are indebted to each and every organisation which contributed to the First Swing Program in 2023.
The City of Cape Town ensured that National Disability Awareness was a fantastic celebration of the talent we have with South African Disabled Golf through their title sponsorship of the Cape Town Disabled Open for a second consecutive year. It was a great thrill for the assembled competitors and First Swing Program golfers to have Executive Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis on hand at the prizegiving during which he offered some very kind words about the platform the SADGA provides its golfers to showcase their talent. We thank the Executive Mayor for being so generous with his time and for his willingness to take a number of photos with the excited golfers.
With a memorable 2022 in the rearview mirror, an incredibly exciting 2023 is on the horizon. 2023 will see alterations to the Race To Challenge Cup ranking system with players only able to earn points through participation in SADGA Opens and Provincial Days respectively. The Race To Challenge Cup rankings will also be split into four categories: Physically-Disabled Medal and IPS as well as Deaf Medal and IPS.
As the year winds down, on behalf of the SADGA Board of Directors I’d just like to wish everyone a happy, safe and enjoyable festive season and encourage you all to cherish the time with your loved ones.
Thank you to our Board Of Directors, members of staff, coaches, loyal sponsors and supporters – we appreciate the immense impact you have had on disabled golf in South Africa this year.
The SADGA Offices will be closed from Thursday the 15th of December until the 9th of January 2023.
Thank You To:
King David Mowbray Golf Club Ladies
Western Province Senior Ladies
Nomads Furtherance Of Golf
Boland Golf Union
Central Gauteng Golf Union
Gauteng North Golf Union
Southern Cape Golf Union
Western Province Golf Union
Callaway Golf South Africa
Retief Goosen wines
Patrons: Retief Goosen, Dale Hayes
National Lotteries Commission
Alfred Dunhill Links Foundation
City of Cape Town