April 2013

Hepburn takes the SAGDB helm

Grant Hepburn has taken over as the new Managing Director of the SAGDB

Respected PGA coach Grant Hepburn has been appointed as the new Managing Director of the SAGDB. Hepburn took over from Ken Viljoen who retired on 1 April.

Hepburn has been involved with the SAGDB in different capacities since 2000 and most recently served as its Technical Director from early 2010. He has extensive coaching experience, having assisted Robert Baker as a coach on the PGA Tour and helped many of South Africa's leading players such as Richard Sterne.

Hepburn said that he believes that a big part of his job will be to build on the SAGDB's current relationships but also build many new ones to benefit the programme.

"Our current sponsors, donors and the golfing community as a whole are vital parts of our success," he said. "Those relationships must be nurtured."

"In particular, the SAGA is a big supporter of ours and I am keen to strengthen our partnership with them. I'm very interested to listen to any suggestions that they may have and to work more closely with them to enhance our programme."

"But I also hope to raise the profile of the SAGDB through the ongoing contact I will have with people within the golf community all over the world," he said. "I have established a wide network over the years that I have been lucky enough to be in the sport, and I believe that can be used to the benefit of the development programme."

Hepburn added that he will continue to act as the head of the the SAGDB's coaching programme and take a personal interest in the development of its top players.

"My passion and expertise lie in coaching, and so I will continue to run the coaching program, train the coaches and coach the advanced players," he said. "I will also continue to deepen our relationship with the PGA of South Africa, which endorses our coaches and their training."

He added that he will be travelling around the country as much as possible, seeing the SAGDB's programmes in action and making sure that he stays in touch with what is happening on the ground.

He believes that the strong foundation that already exists at the SAGDB will make his job much easier.

"My predecessor ensured that the SAGDB has excellent structures in place and I am fortunate to be able to utilise those structures going forward," he said. "I have a fantastic team around me, many of whom have been with us for many years and I will be working closely with them, taking advantage of their specific areas of expertise."

Speaking on behalf of the SAGDB Board of Directors, SAGDB Chairman Selwyn Nathan said that Hepburn was the obvious choice to take over as MD. He said that they were looking forward to the new energy he would bring to the post.

"Grant has such enthusiasm for golf and for the SAGDB and we are confident that he is the right man to take this organisation forward," he said. "With him at the helm, I think there are exciting times ahead for the SAGDB."