Professional golf is back on South African fairways, with the Sunshine Tour set to resume its schedule this August with a new Gauteng swing of five tournaments that will be known as the Rise-Up Series.
The Rise-Up Series will feature five 54-hole tournaments each with a purse of R600Â 000 and with a full field of professionals, but played according to the COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Strategy submitted by GolfRSA and approved by the Departmernt of Sport. The final round of each tournament will be streamed live on the Sunshine Tour streaming platforms and DStv Now.
The Rise-Up Series will tee off at Killarney Country Club with the first event from 19-21 August. It will then travel to Glendower Golf Club from 26-28 August, followed by Pretoria Country Club from 2-4 September, ERPM Golf Club from 23-25 September, and Huddle Park Golf Club from 30 September to 2 October.
â€œWe are delighted to be able to announce our return to tournament golf with the new Rise-Up Series and extremely grateful to Betway and African Bank who will be sponsors on the series and whose immediate support has helped us to develop this series,â€ said Sunshine Tour Commissioner, Selwyn Nathan.
â€œIt has been a long wait for our member professionals and our sponsors, and we thank them for their patience and understanding. Ever since we suspended our activities in March this year, we remained resolute that we would not resume playing until we had the necessary confirmation from government and had consulted thoroughly with our sponsors. That is why we are only now announcing this resumption of our schedule as we are confident that under the current government lockdown Alert Level 3 and with our planning in place, we can resume tournament activity in a safe, responsible and controllable manner.â€
The Sunshine Tour has worked closely with GolfRSA and its official Risk Mitigation Strategies in order to meet the full compliance necessary for the resumption of its tournaments.
Only professional golfers and their registered caddies, as well as Sunshine Tour staff and officials and limited media and TV crew will be allowed on-site at each tournament. The professionals and their caddies as well as tournament staff will be screened prior to the start of the Rise-Up Series, and monitored and tracked with the use of the official HealthDocs platform. There will also be daily screening and processing of all persons entering the tournament venues. No spectators or player support staff will be allowed at the tournaments. There will also be no hospitality facilities for the professional golfers and their caddies.
â€œOur main focus is to ensure that none of our member professionals or staff is in any way compromised from a health standpoint. We are confident we have taken every possible step to make this not only a safe return to professional golf, but also a welcome one with a Rise-Up Series that will reflect the role our game plays in representing the spirit of sport and its ability to help uplift society in challenging times,â€ said Nathan.
Rise-Up Series Tournament Schedule
19-21 August: Rise-Up Series Event 1 Betway Championship at Killarney Country Club
26-28 August: Rise-Up Series Event 2 sponsored by African Bank at Glendower Golf Club
2-4 September: Rise-Up Series Event 3 at Pretoria Country Club
23-25 September: Rise-Up Series Event 4 at ERPM Golf Club
30 September â€“ 2 October: Rise-Up Series Event 5 at Huddle Park Golf Club