Vodacom drives inclusivity through Origins of Golf series
In the 20-year partnership with the Sunshine Tour, the Vodacom Origins of Golf series continues to support local talent and drive diversity within the sport. This year, for the first time, women golfing professionals will play alongside their male counterparts for the same prize money in the pro-am tournament.
Golf participation is on the rise worldwide, with golf body R&A reporting that there are 15% more players on course since 2020 and millions of people engaged with the sport through many alternative formats, such as driving ranges. Although seen as a traditionally male-dominated domain, almost a quarter of registered players are now women, with a 12% increase of women amateurs turning pro in the last year.
Since 2004, Vodacom Origins of Golf has hosted over 100 tournaments at the leading golf courses around South Africa as part of the winter leg of the Sunshine Tour. The series has played an important role in promoting golf at all levels, investing over R100 million into the local professional game and supporting initiatives such as development golf clinics that nurture talent and foster diversity in the sport.
Demonstrating this commitment to inclusivity, this year’s series will see the first-ever participation of Sunshine Ladies Tour professionals, who are competing for the equivalent minimum R2 million prize money as the Sunshine Tour professional male golfers on the same course. This historic milestone in the sport supports Vodacom’s gender equality ambitions for all sectors of society.
“We are delighted to announce a landmark feature which will see 10 Sunshine Ladies Tour professionals competing alongside Sunshine Tour professionals in pursuit of the same prize. This goes a long way in efforts to bridge the gender parity gap and is aligned with Vodacom’s pillar of Inclusion for All,” says Andisa Ntsubane, Managing Executive for Brand, Marketing and Sponsorships at Vodacom South Africa.
Over the past 20 years, Vodacom Origins of Golf has served as a platform for South African golf stars to launch their careers, amateurs to share the golfing experience with professionals and opportunities for Vodacom business partners to network on and off the course. As the Sunshine Tour’s longest-running series, it reflects the evolving changes in the game, including bringing in Vodacom’s advanced digital technology to keep players connected and delivering real-time updates to spectators, maintaining an exciting and competitive atmosphere at the event.
“The Vodacom Origins of Golf series remains a valuable tool for interaction with our customers as they share the fairways with the professionals, but also to meet our objectives of always making an impact on our communities.
“Since the start of this series in 2004, it has been closely aligned with our overall objectives of supporting the elite professional game in South Africa while at the same time growing the game through the golf clinics at every tournament with young golfers from that area.
“We are a company that turns problems into possibilities, with the clear messaging to Turn to Us to be empowered,” concludes Ntsubane.
The 2023 Vodacom Origins of Golf series tees off in Limpopo at the Zebula Country Club in August, followed by tournaments at Devonvale Golf and Wine Estate in the Western Cape in September, the Wild Coast Sun Country Club in KwaZulu-Natal in October, and the Grand Final at the Garden Route’s Pezula Championship Course in November.