Willie van Zyl, the long-time development manager for the SAGDB’s programme in Gauteng North and a respected golf administrator in the province passed away in February. He will be fondly remembered for his contributions to the sport in the province, which he served for many decades.
“His presence and wealth of experience will be impossible to replace,” said Grant Hepburn, the SAGDB’s managing director. “We will miss his kindness, good humour, and utter dedication to golf and the SAGDB. His contribution to the game in our country is immeasurable.”
Oom Willie, as he was affectionately known, was instrumental in setting up and guiding the SAGDB’s operations in Gauteng North since his appointment in 2008. Under his encouragement, the Gauteng North Golf Union was one of the first provincial unions to fully support the SAGDB’s costs in their region.
“We decided to take the lead in showing other provinces that it is time to make a significant difference to the development of young golfers,” he said when the decision was made back in 2010.
Van Zyl’s legacy will continue to live on in the many young golfers he influenced and the lives he changed through golf.
“Oom Willie meant so much to the young players in the programme,” said the SAGDB’s managing director Grant Hepburn. “He was greatly loved and deeply respected. He will be sadly missed.”