September 2011

SAGDB players shine in the Southern Cape

Franklin Manchest is one of a crop of promising SAGDB players in the Southern Cape

Twelve players from the SAGDB's programme in the Southern Cape competed in the recent Southern Cape Junior Golf tournament held at Fancourt. This contingent made up nearly one fifth of the 62-player field.

The best SAGDB player on the day was 13 year old Franklin Manchest, who picked up the prize for the second best nett score in the A division. The eight handicapper shot a round of 79 for a nett score of 71.

"Franklin is part of a very strong group of players we have competing at u/14 level," said the SAGDB's development manager for Southern Cape, Johan Erasmus. "This group is starting to dominate junior golf tournaments and we might even have one of the making the u/18 side next year."

In the B division, 17-year old Chester Appels emerged as the winner. He carded a round of 86 to top the section.

Playing in his first official tournament, Keanon Johnson took the prize for the best nett score in the C division. The 36 handicapper shot 105 over 18 holes, for a nett score of 69.

"Keanon has just turned ten years old and we see a promising future for him," Erasmus said.

Erasmus added that these and other recent successes of SAGDB players in the Southern Cape have served to further motivate the coaches in that region. Having seen the benefits of putting in extra work on course management and short game skills, the SAGDB's coaches are putting in more effort into these crucial areas. They are also encouraging them to play more competitive golf.

"We are trying to empower these top players with more technical knowledge so as to get them to break 80 more consistently," he said. "We believe that the only way they can improve is for them to start playing more competitive 18-hole medal rounds and that is why we let our top eight players compete in the monthly medal competitions at their clubs. We are also motivating these players by entering them into club opens and other open tournaments when funds allow for this."

Erasmus added that while the performances being produced by the Southern Cape's top players are hugely encouraging, there are still difficulties that need to be overcome.

"We really require better equipment for our top players," he said. "Many of them are playing with outdated and inferior clubs, and this is always going to hamper their success. Having said that, however, we have a number of players in provincial teams for 2011 already and that is really a big boost for them as well as for our image in the Southern Cape golfing community. People are noticing that our players are coming through on merit."