The KeNako Schools Golf Festival, played for the first time from 17th to 19th May, was an amazing success. A full field of school teams travelled to George to play in the inaugural event and at the end of the week all of the schools that played indicated that they would like to return to play in 2013. One of the successful features of the tournament was that it catered for the ‘star’ young golfers but it also allowed those school children who normally don’t enjoy the opportunity to play in such events a chance to compete against other schools. There were 2 divisions – the main competition was played by the best golfers who played medal; but a second competition allowed schools with higher handicaps to enter a team and they played a separate Stableford Points competition. The beauty of the event is that all players played on the same day at the same course; they stayed together; and many new friends were made because it introduced a different set of people to the tournament.
Playing conditions on day one at George Golf Club had been excellent, but on the Friday at Oubaai the weather turned nasty and players were exposed to tremendously challenging conditions, with strong winds accompanied by rain and very cold temperatures. On Saturday at Kingswood it did not rain but the cold and the wind still proved to be extremely challenging for the boys and girls playing in the tournament.
The tournament was won by the 1st team from Paul Roos Gym. They entered the final day level with the KeNako Academy/Glenwood House School team and after 9 holes on the final day at Kingswood it was still very tight. The quality of the top boys from Paul Roos Gym then showed as they played the back 9 superbly to ultimately win by 9 shots. Their number one player Dylan Raubenheimer, who recently won the SA Amateur title and who has been selected to play for South Africa in Japan in June, had struggled on the front 9 and was at one time 6 over par for the day but he came back superbly with a string of birdies – he played the tougher back 9 holes at Kingswood in 33 to ultimately shoot a 74 which showed his quality. Dylan finished the 54 holes played on the 3 different courses in 2 over par 218 which was an outstanding effort given the very tough weather conditions on days 2 and 3.
The KeNako Academy/Glenwood House team can be proud of their efforts in finishing 2nd. Two of the boys on the team, Garen Niemand and Cameron Moralee, finished tied 2nd in the individual medal standings for the week behind Dylan Raubenheimer, which was an outstanding effort given the high quality of players at the tournament. The Paarl Gym team finished a further 6 shots behind the KeNako Academy/Glenwood House team in 3rd place. From a local school perspective the team from Point High School in Mossel Bay, whose team of 4 players all attend the Louis Oosthuizen Academy, finished in 5th place, whilst the local SAGDB team played extremely well to finish in 6th place. Robyn Meyer of the SAGDB team deserves special mention. He finished the week as the 5th leading individual player, just s stroke behind Meyer Pauw from Paarl Gym who finished in 4th place in the individual standings. Thanks are due to George Tourism for assisting KeNako Academy in ensuring that the SAGDB team could play in the event.
In the Stableford Points division the tournament was won by Strand High School, with Parel Vallei High School finishing as runners-up.
The players at the tournament were lucky enough to enjoy sessions with the KeNako team of professionals as part of the daily program. Many of the players would have been exposed to new aspects relating to improving their golf, including mental and physical skills. Simply playing in such a tournament and interacting with players from different parts of the country adds a new dimension to the life skills of each individual. Every evening dinner was enjoyed by all players in a marquee set up at the KeNako Academy so the players had ample time to mix and meet and to share experiences and stories. Whilst at dinner action pictures of all players taken each day were screened for them to enjoy. This added to the fun of each evening’s entertainment.
The KeNako Schools Golf Festival is an exciting event that is now established and one that is set to grow in future years. The intention is to grow the event to include many more school teams in the coming years. This can only happen if additional tee times can be negotiated with the local golf courses, but the local clubs have been very supportive, not only of this tournament but also of junior golf in the Southern Cape region, so there seems to be no reason why the KeNako Schools Golf Festival cannot host as many as 50 school teams in 2013. Special thanks are due to the George Golf Club, Oubaai Golf Estate and Kingswood Golf Estate for opening their courses to the KeNako Schools Golf Festival.
Winners Division 1 – Medal : 9239
Paul Roos Gymnasium – 1st Team – Stellenbosch
L to R: Migael Slabber, Dylan Raubenheimer, Mgr Tienie Hendricksz, Coach
Rudolph Buys, Robert Bougas, Kemal Palanduz
Runners Up: 9235
KeNako/Glenwood House – George
L to R: Caylum Boon, Aidan Boon, Garen Niemand, Cameron Moralee, Coach Roger Wessels
Winners Division 2 – Stableford Points : 9236 Strand High School – 2nd Team
L to R: Rohan v.d. Merwe, Linden Stapelberg, Marcel Geldenhuys, Christo de
Swardt & Roger Wessels (KeNako)