Botswana golfers are expected to benefit from the newly launched regional golf championship, named the Windhoek Lager Africa Jacket Golf Championship. The tournament, which was launched locally in Botswana on Wednesday, is expected to bring together amateur golfers from Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Speaking at the launch of the tournament which was held at the Gaborone Golf Club, the head of Marketing Exports at Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL), Paul Norris said besides winning a trophy and having his name on the championships’ floating trophy, the overall winner of the tournament will also get a wild card entry to compete against professionals in one of the PROam event in South Africa through.
However, to get through to the finals, local players will have to prove themselves as the best locally in four selected tournaments. “Following great conversations with the initial participating countries we have agreed the following process and rules for the inaugural championship: Each participating country’s union or association will choose 4 existing tournaments in their country which will count towards the Windhoek Lager Africa Jacket Golf Championship and all players entering these tournaments will be eligible to participate in the Windhoek Lager Africa Jacket Golf Championship,” Norris explained. According to the NBL head of Marketing Exports, players in the championships will compete in three divisions, namely, the Division A which will be for players of up to 9 handicaps, Division B for players of 10 to 16 handicaps and Division C for players handicapped 17 to 24. Norris said one ‘player ending top of each division in each of the participating countries will be invited by the Namibia Amateur Golf Union (NAGU) to compete in a final tournament to be held at the Windhoek Golf and Country Club in Namibia to determine the winner in each division and the overall regional AMATEUR champion golfer.
Meanwhile, the journey to the Windhoek Lager Africa Jacket Golf Championship started on Friday at the Orange Classic Golf tournament. The tournament, which is one of the four earmarked as qualifiers is ongoing and is expected to come to an end today. According to Botswana Golf Union (BGU) representative Martin Mogomelo, the other three tournaments selected for qualifiers are the Botswana Close which will be played on the 22 ÔÇô 23 February 2014, the Jwaneng Open on 29-30 March 2014 as well as the Botswana Amateur on the 26-27 April 2014. While four tournaments have been selected as qualifiers, only 3 best scores from the tournaments will be used to determine the national winners who will then advance to the Windhoek Lager Africa Jacket Golf Championship finals. Speaking at the launch, the Mogomela alluded that as BGU strives to develop golf in the country, the arrival of the Windhoek Lager Africa Jacket Golf Championship will help entice aspiring golfers to go that little bit further to enter competitions. “This Championship provides the perfect opportunity for all golfers, with an official handicap of course, to participate in a competition with the possibility of playing in a regional play-off against players from throughout Southern Africa,” Mogomela explained.
The BGU representative said he expects the tournament to tempt players that normally play golf socially to join clubs to qualify for the tournament whilst challenging existing members to play more tournaments to try making it to the regional finals. “What we as the BGU really appreciate, is the fact that the Windhoek Lager Competition is enhancing our existing golfing programme and that we can now offer an extra incentive to our dedicated golfers,” Mogomela explained.