Lifetime dream of township golf course within reach

Posted On Monday, 29 November 2010 02:00 Published by
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Townships golf is set to make a comeback on the Sunshine Coast thanks to a Port Alfred grandfather’s 50-year love affair with the game.

By David Macgregor

Townships golf is set to make a comeback on the Sunshine Coast thanks to a Port Alfred grandfather’s 50-year love affair with the game.

After decades of playing on a patchy piece of veld near the local rubbish dump, George Mbomboyi is now counting the days until the official opening of the Nemato Golf Course.

Although only a nine-hole course, an excited Mbomboyi said they also planned to have a “19th hole” clubhouse – where players would be able to drown their sorrows or buy everybody a hole-in-one round.

“It is a dream come true. Our club has 88 members and we do not even have a golf course to play on.”

According to the 63-year-old, the project had received widespread support from local business and more affluent golfers who were all keen to see the game blossom in the township.

A vital function of the course would be to identify and nurture a next generation of golfers.

Mbomboyi, who is the club’s president, still remembers taking up the sport more than 50 years ago using clubs he made from wire with recently deceased local star Albert Feni.

“We need a place where we can get the kids off the street … a place where we can develop new talent.”

Using local golf courses to nurture up-and-comers would be “too expensive”.

“Port Alfred has a rich history of black golf that goes back many years. People still play on the original course that people made with their hands, but it is badly neglected.”

Campaigning for a course since he retired to Port Alfred in 2002, the golf crazy grandfather has already secured existing buildings for toilets and a club house and has built a driving range – helped by the community.

The course, complete with bunkers and other traps, has been designed by Mbomboyi and other members after the area was professionally surveyed free of charge.

About R500000 is still needed for the 88 members to realise their dreams.

“We are waiting for a tractor so we can sort out bunkers and greens. We hope to be open by June next year.”

The course, which will impose a “nominal charge” for a round of golf, will create seven much-needed jobs for people like a budding greenkeeper, clubhouse manager and others.

Although the area is stretched for water, Mbomboyi said sprinklers would keep the greens plush using a brak water and sewage mix.

In the 1960s and 1970s players from across the province would visit the seaside resort to play tournaments on the township course during the day and watch the local talent take part in evening beauty pageants.

Source: Daily Dispatch

Publisher: I-Net Bridge
Source: I-Net Bridge

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