10 July 2012
The South African Golf Development Board’s (SAGDB’s) countrywide development programme received a significant boost on Monday with a major donation from Master PGA Professional and coach Gavan Levenson and former professional Justin Hobday.
The pair handed a cheque worth R115 000 to the country’s leading development organisation with the simple instruction to “spend it where it’s most needed”.
SAGDB managing director Ken Viljoen said the donation was a great surprise. He said Levenson and Hobday had asked that the funds be used to give some players the chance to take their game to a higher level and added that the donation would go a long way towards furthering the careers of the organisation’s top players.
‘Raise the level’
“Gavan and Justin hoped that we would use the donation to give some of our rising stars the chance to raise the level of their games and compete against the best amateurs in the country,” Viljoen said.
“That is why we plan to use these funds to assist our top players to enter and play in the 12 Big Easy Tournaments on the Sunshine Tour, Glacier tournaments and other national events around South Africa.
“The donation will ensure our top players have the funds to travel and enter these tournaments, where they can test themselves against the top players in the country,” Viljoen said.
“It will give them much needed national experience and also enable them to earn points at these events, which will boost their South African Golf Association’s official rankings.”
Hobbers and Legs
Levenson and Hobday founded “Hobbers and Legs” in the late 1980s with the express purpose of raising money for underprivileged golfers who needed financial assistance. Both players were still competing internationally and held fundraisers everywhere they travelled.
“Over the years, we raised quite a lot of money and were able to help quite a few youngsters who needed a leg up in the game,” Levenson explained.
“We didn’t want to handcuff any players and giving money to the SAGDB to administrate it as they saw fit seemed a much better solution. We have both been very impressed by the work the SAGDB has done over the last decade.
‘From strength to strength’
“The programme has gone from strength to strength and has produced some amazing golfers,” Levenson said. “But as a non-profit organisation, the SAGDB relies on sponsorships and donations to carry out their golf development programmes around South Africa.
“We know corporations or golf industry suppliers often come to the party with cash donations or equipment, but it’s not always easy to convince individuals to support their cause.
“That’s why we decided to hand the funds to the SAGDB to assist the top players in the organisation,” Levenson said. “The only way to improve and excel is through competition, and we hope that this gesture will give some of our country’s future champions the boost they need to get to the next level.”
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