The upcoming Canon South Africa Disabled Golf Open, from 15 to 17 May 2017 at the King David Mowbray Golf Club in Cape Town, promises an inspiring show of exceptional talent, perseverance, courage and determination. Canon South Africa encourages the local community and golfing enthusiasts to be there to watch as 80 of the world’s top golfers with disabilities compete for top accolades. This year’s field is one of the most diverse in the tournament’s 19 year history, with players from across the world, some as young as 12, competing.
Young players who have risen through the ranks of the South African Disabled Golf Association’s (SADGA) First Swing Programme will be competing in the 2017 Canon South Africa Disabled Golf Open. They include 16 year old Enrique van Wyk who was born with a physical disability condition and Grade 11 learner, Jabu (Cameron) Price Moor from KwaZulu-Natal, whose arm was paralysed in a car accident when he was one year old. These are children who have shown dedication, commitment and passion to learn, to try, and to never give up on their dreams of playing a sport.
“It is extremely gratifying to see exceptional sportspeople excelling on the course despite their physical challenges. The shows of tremendous talent, sportsmanship and courage at the annual South African Disabled Golf Open are nothing short of inspiring.
We call on the community to be part of this amazing event by supporting the golfers, some of whom boast handicaps lower than scratch,” says Dana Eitzen, Corporate and Marketing Communications Executive at Canon SA.
According to SADGA (SA Disabled Golf Association) spectators are welcomed at the three day event, with entry being free. The King David Mowbray Golf Club will be open to spectators from 08:00 to 18:00, with the competition kicking off at 08:30 on each day.
The Canon SA Disabled Golf Open will be held in accordance with the rules of golf as approved by the R&A Rules limited; the Modification of the of the golf for golfers with disabilities as approved and published by the R&A Rules Limited and Local rules approved by the Golf Club. The tournament will be played over 54 holes at the Golf Club, with players competing in disabled, visually impaired and deaf divisions.
The maximum handicap for men and ladies is 36. Disabled golfers with handicaps of 18 and under will play 54 holes, medal stroke play while those with handicaps of between 19 and 36 will play 54 holes stableford. The overall Champion Golfer will be the player achieving the lowest cumulative gross score over the 54 holes. Deaf golfers with handicaps of 9 and under will play 54 holes medal stroke play while those with handicaps of 10 and over will play 54 holes stableford. The overall Deaf Champion Golfer will be the player achieving the lowest cumulative gross score over the 54 holes in the deaf division.
Amongst the South Africans playing in the tournament are Byron Calvert, Herman Van Wyk, Ben Van Zyl, Rupert Fortmann and Reinard Schuhknecht. Travelling to South Africa to compete are Bob MacDermott (Canada); Martin Williams (Wales); Shaun Bakker (United Kingdom); George Mecs (France), Cian Arthurs (Ireland) and Manuel De Los Santos amongst others. De Los Santos, a regular competitor in Canon South Africa’s annual PRO Golf tournament, hails from the Dominican Republic and since losing his leg in a vehicle accident in 2003, has won many international events for disabled golfers in Europe. In 2007, he became the first amputee to play in the French Golf Grand prix alongside high level able bodied Amateur golfers.
South Africans have historically dominated the tournament, with Ben van Zyl winning the event from 1998 to 2003; Pieter Jansen in 2004; Nico Wentzel in 2008; Iglin Grobbelaar in 2009 and 2010; and Daniel Slabbert from 2011 to 2013, and again in 2015.
“Support South Africa’s top disabled golfers at the King David Mowbray Golf Club in May. You will be heartened and inspired by the spectacular talent and high standard of play. All of the competitors have inspiring stories and have risen above their circumstances to be recognised amongst the world’s very best,” concludes Etizen.