Limpopo; Mookgophong: Limpopo Tourism Agency's (LTA) Board Chairperson, Mr. Andrew Dipela, hailed the hosting of Limpopo Championship from 30 January to 02 February a great success. JC Ritchie successfully defended his 2019 title, defeating Wilco Nienaber in Euphoria Golf Estate & Hydro.
"I am excited that we hosted a successful golf tournament and reached the objectives we set from the beginning. We wanted to showcase Waterberg and its ability to host international golf tournaments. Both Koro Creek and Euphoria Golf Estate were in pristine condition that won the hearts of both European Challenge Tour and the Sunshine golfers," said Dipela.
Dipela further said that he was pleased with the temporary jobs that were created as a result of the tournament. He gave examples of the increase in the number of caddies that had to be used and the increase in numbers of the hospitality services.
“I also want to congratulate JC Ritchie for winning the tournament two years in a row. On Tuesday, 28 January 2020, I played alongside him at the Pro-Am challenge; seeing him determined to defend his title today added to the excitement of the tournament,” Dipela concluded.
Thomas Abt, Deputy Commissioner of the Sunshine Tour said: “This was a huge success, exposing international players to two golf courses and having a bigger reach with the European audience. We went to all of Europe via our live streaming channel.”
“There is no doubt that we shall continue with the relationship we established with Limpopo Tourism Agency, it is absolutely wonderful, the dedication of the team throughout the tournament has encouraged us to forge forward with the partnership,” added Abt.
There were 204 players registered for the tournament that included 102 European Challenge Tour golfers and 102 from the Sunshine Tour Southern Africa. Their week-long stay in the Waterberg has had a greater impact on accommodation as well as other services that made their stay comfortable.
Some of the beneficiaries from the tournament have been amateur golfers who had the opportunity to play alongside the professionals during the Pro-Am challenge on Tuesday, 28 January 2020.
Felicity Shiba, a golf blogger and amateur said: "I played with Ben Stow from the UK who was here for the first time. He enjoyed the weather but was also patient with us, showing us techniques in this oftentimes difficult Euphoria course. This tournament cements the growing golfing culture in Limpopo and this was for me an enjoyable experience."
The tournament ran parallel activities that added to the tourism mix. Famous Limpopo comedian, Mashabela, performed on Friday night whilst Ricky S and his band had revellers ease into the night with the jazz offering.
Small, medium and micro-enterprises from the five Limpopo districts had the opportunity to exhibit and sell their products at Euphoria during the weekend. Products ranged from local gin, clothing, shoes, food paste, books, beads and other accessories.