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​Scores of youngsters learned tricks of the trade from some of the best golfers in the business at the Joburg Open Golf Development Clinic.
SMALL, dimpled white balls whizzed through the air to the accompaniment of laughter and encouragement as professional golfers taught promising young players the tricks of the trade at a Joburg Open Golf Development Clinic.

MMC Chris Vondo shows how its done (Photo: Enoch lehung, City of Johannesburg)MMC Chris Vondo shows how its done (Photo: Enoch Lehung, City of Johannesburg)It took place at the Alexandra Driving Range in Lombardy East on 10 January, featuring children from the township of Alexandra and, for the first time, children from Ivory Park.

“For the sixth consecutive year, the City of Joburg continues to show its commitment to growing the game of golf among the youth of the city, [giving] 80 kids from Alexandra the opportunity to participate in a coaching clinic hosted by top golfers playing in the Joburg Open,” reported Bongi Mokaba, the City’s director of events.

“This year, 10 children from Ivory Park, [were] also invited to participate in the clinic.”

Tips on how to improve their game, such as advice on grip, swing and stance, were at the heart of the clinic, and who better to learn from than top local and international professional golfers. This year, 10 golfers from the Sunshine Tour and European Tour took to the tee boxes to impart their skills to the eager young players.

There were six South African golfers from the Sunshine Tour: Attie Schwartzel, Teboho Sefatsa, Alpheus Kelapile, Michael du Toit, Kyle Scott and Steven Basson. The remaining four professionals were from the European Tour: Barry Lane from England, Niclas Fasth from Sweden, Benn Barham from England and Raymond Russell from Scotland.

Also in attendance was the member of the mayoral committee for community development, Chris Vondo, who spent some time with the children and guided them with their swings.

Sunshine Tour golfer Michael du Toit helps a young golger get to grips with a golf clubSunshine Tour golfer Michael du Toit helps a youngster get to grips with a golf clubNext up to the tee in the 2012 Joburg Open is the Pro-Am, taking place at the home of the tournament, the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club, on 11 January. A field of 240 amateurs and professionals will take to the course to prove their mettle.

Thereafter, the main tournament will tee off on 12 January for four days of fierce competition and enthralling viewing for spectators.

Tickets are on sale at the gate of the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club until 16 January; single tickets are R30, and a full event ticket, which covers all four days, is R80. It is free for pensioners and children under the age of 16.

Alternatively, Supersport 1 will broadcast all four days of action between 12noon and 4pm.

The Joburg Open is a co-sanctioned Order of Merit event on the PGA European Tour and Sunshine Tour. Sponsors include the City of Johannesburg, Bwired, Volvo and Legacy Hotels and Resorts. New sponsors have also got involved in the tournament this year, and BMW, Investec, EOH and Primedia Outdoor are the latest companies to join the competition.

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Joburg player wins Open
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Joburg Open