Tshwane Open sets a benchmark as “More than just Golf”
- Created: 15 February 2016
TSHWANE – The 2016 Tshwane Open was a resounding success as Charl Schwartzel claimed his debut victory in a tournament that is setting a benchmark in South African golf as a true community event.
Since its debut on the European and Sunshine Tours in 2013, the Tshwane Open has consistently positioned itself as being about “More than just Golf”. It’s a model that the PGA Tour’s Waste Management Phoenix Open has perfected as it seeks to push the boundaries between the traditional golf audience and attracting a greater cross-section of a city’s residents.
The 2016 Phoenix Open drew a massive 618 365 fans, including a record 201 003 fans for a single day on the Saturday. The tournament is now widely recognised as “the biggest party on the PGA Tour”.
It may be on a much smaller scale, but it’s a vision the Tshwane Open seeks to emulate and in only a few years the tournament has already become a model as to how inclusive a golf tournament can be to the residents of a city, and even to those not necessarily interested in the golf.
During last week’s Tshwane Open the tournament featured a vibrant Night Market at Pretoria Country Club, with everything from craft beers on tap to an array of artisanal foods and live music on the lawns in the evenings. Local crafters were also given an opportunity to sell their wares at the club.
A permanent putting green was erected for children to enjoy, while there was also a dedicated Kidz Zone with child minders for those too young to spend hours watching live golf. Official vehicle sponsor Audi weighed in with a driver simulator for spectators to experience their newest vehicle, while Power FM radio station entertained VIPs in their appropriately-named Power Lounge at the club.
Some of the city’s residents arrived with their own vintage cars, which they displayed at the clubhouse.
The official Pro-Am was oversubscribed and stretched over two days. The City of Tshwane also treated the partners of the professional golfers to a full programme of social and cultural events during the tournament, including a celebrity-hosted cooking event to visits to some of the cultural landmarks in the city.
All of this was neatly included in a television broadcast that showcased the city to almost 430 million homes worldwide, from North America to Asia.
“From the very start of the Tshwane Open our aim was to showcase our city to a greater international audience and promote our tourism potential. We are delighted to once again be showcasing the City of Tshwane to the world,” said Executive Mayor, Councillor Kgosientso Ramokgopa.
“The Tshwane Open has been a perfect model of the value that a professional golf tournament can have for a city and its tourism objectives,” said Selwyn Nathan, the Executive Director of the Sunshine Tour.
“We are very proud of and grateful for our association with the City of Tshwane and the faith they have shown in the Sunshine Tour to help them meet their objectives.”
MICHAEL VLISMAS MEDIA
For further information:
CITY OF TSHWANE:
Director of Media Relations, Communications, Marketing and Events