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September 2011

Taking golf to Diepsloot

In its efforts to grow the game of golf around the Central Gauteng region, the SAGDB has become involved in efforts to revitalise the driving range at Diepkloof prison. The range has been in existence for many years, but fell into disuse until the Central Gauteng Golf Union and subsequently the SAGDB stepped in.

"The driving range at Diepkloof prison was built for the warders, the people who worked there and lived on the premises," explains the SAGDB's development manager for Central Gauteng Andy Ostle. "It is situated just inside the main gate and at present consists only of a hitting area, but players can hit 250 to 300 metres. Last year I was approached to get the range back into good condition and use it for development."

After receiving the go-ahead from the head warder, Ostle received funds from the Central Gauteng Golf Union to set up an irrigation system on the range and erect an office on the premises. The union also supplied balls and second hand clubs.

Golfing personality Dale Hayes was also approached for assistance, and agreed to sponsor the construction of a bunker and putting green at the facility. Work on these additions will begin shortly.

Following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Central Gauteng Golf Union and the SAGDB earlier this year, the potential for the range to be used as a practice facility for SAGDB players was also explored.

"The head warder is now keen to have the SAGDB teach golf to the children of the warders who stay on the premises," Ostle says. "That will be the main aim, but we have also received permission to have children from local schools use the range."

As the range is situated inside the prison's gate, it will however not be open to the public.

"I am hoping to use this facility as an additional SAGDB chapter and have a coach working there every afternoon," Ostle says. "Soweto CC, Southdowns GC and Crown Mines GC are all in close proximity, and they will be used when the youngsters are ready to progress to playing on a golf course."