Golf and Safari Route in Limpopo Province is an important cluster which was identified by Limpopo Tourism Agency (LTA) as a key driver in the tourism industry to boost tourism and increase arrivals into the Province. LTA in collaboration with PelePele Travel and Marketing held the 2nd Annual Limpopo Tourism Golf Extravaganza at Legend Golf & Safari Resort on 12-13 September 2014.
The inaugural Limpopo Tourism Golf Extravaganza last year, was part of the 2013 September Tourism Month celebrations. This was officially launched at the Golf Tourism Seminar hosted by the National Department of Tourism (NDT), Limpopo Economic Development Environment and Tourism (LEDET), PelePele Travel and Marketing and LTA on the 22nd July 2013.
Growing on last year, this year’s tournament included twenty two (22) PGA golf professionals and seventy (74) amateur golfers from various provinces and media. In attendance at this year’s event was the MEC for LEDET, Mr. Seaparo Sekoati, PGA Chief Executive, Mr. Ivano Ficalbi and LTA Board Chairperson, Mr. Mashilo Matsetela. Professionals battled it out for the R50 000 cash prize purse. Winners were announced in the evening of the 12th September 2014.
The Pro Prize purse of R50 000 was broken down from 1st – 15th place for the Pros as per the schedule. Pieter Kruger was the winning Professional golfer on 41 points, winning R9000. The overall winning four ball team for the amateur competition, using the pros results as well, was the Alrich Labuschagne Team, comprising of Pro Alrich Labuschagne and his three amateur team mates on 93 points. They won the much sought after Extreme 19 helicopter flip at Legend Golf & Safari Resort and the newly launched Limpopo Golf Passport, valued at R3900 per player.
The Marketing Director of PelePele Travel & Marketing, Ms. Natalie van Blerk was satisfied with the way things went and said: “The 2014 Tourism Month Golf Extravaganza Pro-Am was a great success, showcasing Limpopo yet again at the forefront of driving golf tourism to their province through the collaboration of private and public sector. Teams from around South Africa attended this event as well as key dignitaries and members of the media to celebrate tourism month and Limpopo’s huge potential for golf tourism arrivals”.
The Golf Extravaganza was also used to launch the Golf Passport. The Limpopo Golf Passport is a product of the collaboration between the private sector and the public sector as an initiative to drive domestic tourism to the Province. It enables the bearer to play four rounds of golf at any of the six Limpopo Golf & Safari Resorts mentioned above. “The passport is available electronically through the central agency PelePele Travel & Marketing and must be redeemed within 24 months of purchase. The collaboration makes this initiative the first of its kind in the country. This initiative will see an increase in the domestic golf enthusiasts to the Province and it will further showcase Limpopo as a prime golf destination. The Passport was available from then on and the first recipients were the four ball winners of the Tourism Month Golf Extravaganza Pro-Am. Congratulations to them”, added van Blerk.
The Extravaganza was also used to launch the 2015 Limpopo Pro-Am Series. As a further initiative to showcase Limpopo as a prime golfing destination, Limpopo Economic Development, Environment and Tourism through Limpopo Tourism Agency and the six Golf Resorts will host a 2015 Pro-Am Series. This will be made up of five qualifying rounds at each of the Limpopo Resorts, with the grand finale taking place at Legend Golf & Safari Resort in September tourism month such as this event, to further enhance Limpopo’s stand as a golf destination. The Series will welcome golfers from around South Africa and internationally. The first event will take place in February at Hans Merensky Hotel & Spa.
The MEC for Limpopo Economic Environment and Tourism, Mr. Seaparo Sekoati said: “The launch of the 2015 Limpopo Series Pro-Am today, consisting of six events, one being held at each of the six Limpopo Golf Estates during the course of the year, is a sign that this niche product is being well nurtured to become a giant is sport tourism”.
The vision is for this golf event to grow every year for it to start attracting the highest level PGA and Tour Professionals in South Africa and abroad. The ultimate goal is to stage an event of the size of the Nedbank Golf Challenge.