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December 20, 2017

Sub-Saharan Africa: Meetings and Golf, a Winning Formula

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Events and meetings held at golf clubs or resorts, whether for the day or overnight, yield a number of benefits for delegates and organisers. Golf estates, clubs and resorts are available in cities for a quick commute and breath of fresh air and in the countryside across South Africa for destination events with incredible views. We take a quick look at what’s on offer.

Golf in the City

Private golf clubs County Club Johannesburg, which has impressive grounds in Auckland Park and Woodmead, are popular for all manner of events but these are only available at the request of a member.

The Fairway Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort is part of the Guvon Hotels Group and has a symbiotic relationship with its landlord Randpark Golf Club and between the two facilities offer a range of corporate golf related activities. Once through the gates, the property provides a peaceful green haven close to the city centre and major highways but minus the hustle and bustle. Fairway caters for conferences, functions, corporate golf days, weddings and leisure guests. Conference facilities include Windsor I and II rooms which open up to accommodate 180 pax; three boardrooms that also serve as breakaway rooms for 10 pax each or open up to accommodate 80 pax; and Randpark I, II and III boardrooms open up onto the Vista Deck where cocktails from the upstairs bar are ideal for sundowners. Accommodation includes 116 rooms split between 62 hotel rooms and 14 double-storey golf villas, each with four en suite bedrooms. Also on site are Balata Restaurant, Bar Verve, gym, tennis courts, private pool courtyard and a luxury spa.

Houghton Golf Estate provides a “green lung” in the city and a place to escape for business or sport or both. It features an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus design golf course and conferencing facilities on offer include the Executive Suite for between 5 and 50 pax and The View which accommodates 60 to 200 pax. Organisers of conferences are able to manage lighting, sound and visual setup from a pad at their fingertips and furniture is designed for comfort. An events professional is on hand to assist with the planning and execution of golf days from beginning to end, including:

  • Golf day planning including marshalling, starting and scoring
  • Golf clinics
  • Spa
  • Sponsored holes management
  • Corporate clothing and promotional gifts
  • Gifts and prizes
  • Catering
  • Decor
  • Photographer
  • Master of ceremonies and entertainment

Golf in the Winelands

Stellenbosch Golf Club in the Cape winelands celebrated its centenary in 2004 and hosts a series of prestigious golf tournaments. The 18-hole golf course offers visitors rounds of golf on 18-holes or 9-holes plus reasonably priced coaching sessions for all levels of proficiency, for 30 minutes or 50 minutes, individually or in groups. Conferencing, parties and wedding facilities are available for between 20 and 80 pax with spectacular mountain views during breaks. Full day packages include venue hire; standard equipment; tea, coffee and juice on arrival; mid-morning tea and coffee with confectionary; lunch; and afternoon tea and coffee with biscuits. Accommodation is available at nearby Protea Hotel Stellenbosch plus a variety of boutique hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs.

Destination Golf Resorts

Oubaai Hotel, Golf & Spa is located outside of George in the Garden Route in an area known for its beaches, forests, nature reserve and mountains. The Ernie Els 18-hole Championship Golf Course is the major drawcard. The hotel features 100 rooms, Cucina and Waterside Grill restaurants, Freesia spa, fitness centres, outdoor swimming pool, tennis court, squash court and kids club. Events and meetings facilities include a 150 to 300 pax Ballroom, which can be split into two venues which accommodate 20 to 40 pax in Ballroom 1 and 30 to 110 pax in Ballroom 2. The Ballroom Foyer and Terrace on the second level are suitable for cocktail functions and can accommodate around 300 pax combined (200 in the foyer, 110 on the terrace). Four studios cater for between 10 and 45 people depending on whether used singly or combined.

Golf Tourism

Satsa Golf Council (SGC) was formed mid-2017 to take over from now defunct SAGTA to promote and market golf tourism in South Africa and increase exposure to the international market. Its role is to lobby national, provincial and local destination marketing organisations to include the golf sector in their tourism strategies and garner their support for the promotion of golf tourism in South Africa. Council members include Carl Reinders (Pro Golf Safaris), Adam Veysey (Giltedge), Sally Hancock (Sun International) and Peter Dros (Fancourt), who report to Satsa CEO David Frost.

The SGC provides public sector entities such as South African Tourism (SAT) with a means of transacting with the collective golf parties. SGC and SAT have identified three key projects for the 2017/18 period:

  1. Attending IGTM (International Golf Travel Market) in Cannes in December 2017 under a dedicated SA branded stand which will offer great exposure for SA as a global golf destination.
  2. In conjunction with IAGTO host a dedicated Golf Tourism Road Show in Europe focusing on the promotion of golf tourism.
  3. Host a dedicated International Tour Operator CEO Fam trip to South Africa where hand selected CEOs will be invited to experience the SA product offering.

These will be funded through the joint marketing agreement (JMA) and partnership with SAT and by the individual contributions and memberships of interested parties. The council is calling on all stakeholders that have interest in promoting their products and services in the international market to get in touch with the council via Satsa, says David Frost.

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