The sport of golf has captivated spectators on golf courses as well as on television all over the world. The golf bug has also hit China very hard and the country is developing elite golf courses at a very fast pace more than any country in the world. The sport of golf has always been associated with the rich and famous. Golf equipment is indeed very expensive to acquire and so is membership of golf clubs where the sport is played. However, in North America and Western Europe, golf academies and societies have sprung up offering opportunities, sometimes to the less privileged youngsters to try the sport.
Agreat opportunity has arisen in Southern Africa for the development of golf with the restructuring of the European Professional Golf Tour to include the Nedbank Golf Challenge as part of the three -tournament end of season competition set-up. This is a big boost for the game. It offers young professionals in the region an opportunity to qualify for the mega-event in order to rub shoulders with some of the biggest stars in the professional game. The game of golf is no longer just “the gentleman’s game”, it is now a multi-billion dollar industry which ranges from equipment manufacturing, facilities development, golf tours, and television rights. Furthermore, the development of golf estates has become part and parcel of the game, where high class and luxurious hotels and lodges as well as residential properties are developed adjacent to golf courses.
There is no doubt that golf tourism contributes a significant portion to sport tourism in general all over the world. It is now up to the sports administrators, economists and accountants to undertake thorough research to establish relevant trends as well as facts and figures, especially for the Southern African region. With its relative political stability and economic development, Southern Africa offers great opportunities for the development of golf at amateur and professional levels on the African continent.
Read more at: The Southern Times