THE SUNSHINE SENIOR TOUR SENIOR MANAGEMENT

Your management continues to strive for good governance with respect to the activities of the Senior Tour, while always trying to secure and deliver to most of the expectations from members.

In the hype of State Capture and various corporate financial scandals, poor economic performance, negative growth compounded by Covd-19, South Africans have come through a tough and challenging year. Investment continues to be hard to come by especially in these unprecedented times, but we remain confident that the Senior Tour will grow in 2021 off the low base of 2020 that was down an estimated 75% from business activity in 2019.

Some members question the tournament prize funds when they enquire how the sponsorship was derived. Members should only be interested that your management is doing its best to create and secure events and post a prize fund from an approved budget that contains operating expenses. Standard prize fund breakdowns will be posted on the website shortly and there will no longer be equal amounts from certain low finishing positions in the distribution. All event prize funds will be published at every event before it starts. This year we had sponsors withdraw sponsorship extremely late causing a rectification from a previously communicated number. It happened at Orkney and Silver Lakes.

Golf Carts for bigger events must be outsourced and sold on tournament days to recover costs. Also, we hire a golf course for a few days at cost. Now just consider the Silver Lakes event where we had a weather delay, and it was changed to a 2 -day event. The implication is a loss of revenue on carts and we pay for the course day lost at our risk. We thank Silver Lakes for their compromise in this situation to reduce losses. To the concerned members we are a properly audited company largely run by volunteers where operating staff are paid for work done at events.

We welcomed some quality players onto our membership this year including Doug McGuigan, Brett Liddle, Des Terblanche, and Grant Muller who all qualified through career earnings or by being a winner of the Sunshine Tour. This category of membership carries a one-year exemption in their 50th year of age group.

Kenneth Dube, Mike Scholtz and Rob Wiederkehr played in one event this year and we hope they enter the Q-School in January 2021 to attain playing privileges on our Tour.

TOURNAMENT NEWS

Venue        Winner Score
CCJ                      Kevin Stone 129
Orkney Doug McGuigan 137
Sun City Doug Mc Guigan 139
Copperleaf Nic Henning 137
Silver Lakes David Frost 138
SASO (Plett) Suspended to April 2021
NMBC SLA Renewal in progress
SHC (Dainfern) To be revived in 2021

 

The Order of Merit 2020 was won by Doug McGuigan and only those who competed in 2 events were listed. This can be found on the Senior Tour website.

The ‘Rookie of the Year’ 2020 is Doug McGuigan.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Classic was postponed to 22-24 April 2020 due to the PE metro not being able to meet the agreed commitments as well as Covid-19. A new agreement with amendments is in process to accommodate the new dates.

We thank Fidelity for their investment in the Senior Tour in 2020 with two events that somewhat eased the pain for our members. These events in 2021 will be 36 -hole, limited field size tournaments of 46 exempt professionals and 4 pre qualifiers. The Board needs to consider, discuss, and resolve if these Fidelity events and other 36- hole events may be changed in format to two-day Pro-Ams. Kevin Stone won the CCJ Fidelity event with a Fidelity series record score of 129 (68+61), while Nic Henning won at Copperleaf.

The SASO, held at Plettenberg Bay for the last three years has been postponed to 6-9 April 2021. Members will be kept informed of the Bitou Municipalities’ adjusted budget decision to complete their three- year contract with the Senior Tour. This happens on 29 January 2021according to the Mayor of Plettenberg Bay.

Thanks to all the professionals and their amateur partners who participated in the events that were scheduled and played this year through COVID-19. The sponsors have been thanked and we trust that their support will be forthcoming next year and beyond. We especially thank Jannie Ackerman, David Frost Wines and all the other sponsors who ensured that we had a SA Senior Masters this year. David Frost and Mark McNulty played in the weather shortened tournament and finished as winner and runner up respectively, a great boost to our organisation. This can only help our cause in further promoting the SA Senior Masters, Silver Lakes, and our outreach to potential investors. It was a pity of the Solar Mining sponsorship withdrawal this year.

Covid-19 caused the suspension of sponsorship for 4 events from contracted investors. This necessitated your management securing other events. We struck a deal with Sun International where we played events at the Wild Coast Sun and Sun City, the latter an Order of Merit tournament with a limited field condition. The WCS was a practice event also with limited conditions of entry. The events were remarkably successful and a meeting last week with SI suggested that we will have the potential to have six tournaments in 2021 dependent on investors from the private sector. These included an event with an international flavour, probably co-sanctioned with the Europeans either in PE, CT or the WCS to be held at the end of November. (Race to WSC for the top 30 on the order of merit 2021?) The WCS event was won by James Kingston (139) and Sun City by Doug McGuigan.

Another new event this year was held at the Orkney Golf Club where Bornfree Civils sponsored the prize fund. This was an extraordinarily successful 36- hole tournament also won by Doug McGuigan closing with a great score of 65. We will be visiting the outlying areas more in 2021 based on the success of this event which is confirmed on our calendar for 2021. There were other sponsors including Agri Tracking that sponsored a hole in one prize. Rio Casino also weighed in with some complimentary accommodation and prizes. We thank all the sponsors for their contribution.

During the Covid-19 lockdown we managed to arrange four separate practice rounds at four different venues of State Mines, Glenvista, Goldfields West and Blue Valley. We thank all the professionals and amateurs who supported these events. The other practice event was a two- round tournament at the Wild Coast Sun. These were not order of merit events and were secured to keep our members playing under Covid-19 restrictions.

Your Investment Committee are working on several events for 2021 and hope to secure at least 12 events for the year. A provisional event schedule has been drawn up with negotiations on-going with potential sponsors. Only confirmed events will be placed on the 2021 tournament schedule and will be available 1st February next year.

MEMBERSHIP-SUBSCRIPTIONS, TOUR SCHOOL, CARDS AND BADGES 

Subscriptions have been held to R1600, the same as last year for the period 01 January 2021 to 31 December 2021 for the regular member category. Due to the Covid-19 position and golfing restrictions this year, membership for 2020 has been extended to all members until 28 February 2021. All members who finished in the top 40 positions on the 2020 SAST Order of Merit list will automatically qualify for regular members in 2021, if they wish to continue their membership.

By way of our constitution, all players/members, other than honourary members, who finished outside the top 40 on the OOM 2020 list will cease to be members on 31 December 2020, now extended to 28th February 2021. These players or past affiliate members must take up the following options to secure membership and/or playing rights for 2021:

  1. Enter the Q-School scheduled for 21-22 January 2020 at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club. Entrance Fee-R2 400. The top 10 will receive playing privileges for 2021 and probably be exempt in all standard 54 hole and Fidelity events other than co-sanctioned and limited starting field tournaments. Another 5  conditional cards will be awarded to fill in where the top 10 players do not enter. These Q-School graduates will need to pay a further R1600 Senior Tour annual subscription to retain membership to 31 December 2021.
  2. Those Affiliate and Regular members of 2020, who did not earn money, may apply for Affiliate Membrship in 2021, if they do not wish to attend the Q-School. The fee set here is R4400 and no playing priviliges will be afforded except through invitations.
  3. Those players who finished 31-57 on the OOM list of 2020 may elect to go to the Q-School to improve their ranking on the exemption list for 2020. Those in positions from 41 -53 may apply for Affiliate membership if they do not attend Q-School. Fee R 4400, again with limited playing privileges.
  4. Only members will be allowed to pre-qualify for standard events.(Minimum 4 spots)
  5. The extended two month membership period to 28 February 2021, will allow current members, not in the top 30/40 in the order of merit 2020, to gain the necessary upgrades in ranking if there are scheduled events before 28th February 2021. These will be in addition to the OOM 2020 as of the end of December 2020.
  6. The Board has decided that only members finishing outside the OOM 2020 top 40 may play in the “Kevin Smith”  or secondary professional competitions arranged by others. The Senior Tour does not recognise or subscribe to handicap or bonus competitions specifically arranged for our members in pro-ams.
  7. We srrongly advise the marginal players outside the top 40 to enter the Q-Schoolin January 2021 to ensure playing privileges in 2021.

Membership Playing Badges and Cards will be provided for players qualified in categories 1-7(c).

Please check the Senior Tour Website for details on the player rankings and starting field categories.

Membership Cards only will be issued to Affiliate Members.

On 18 May, we sent certain members an email to submit some career details about themselves. Some did, most did not. Please send these to Neville Clarke (admin@seniortour.co.za), so that we can archive the details and promote the Tour.

WEBSITE REVIEW AND RECONSTRUCTION 

A new website has been designed and is active on the this digital and social platform. There has been agreement from the Board to constantly review the website with new offerings and newsworthy blogs. Also, we have linked into their the Sunshine Tour website and now have the same look and feel as theirs. Phase two for us is to complete the player archives and tournament menus. We will have a ‘player of the month’ feature and finally a ‘player of the year’ award concluding in 2020.

We are also talking to a media/digital marketing company interested in compiling performance clips and interviews at our tournaments for social media interaction.

Thank you to all our members for your continued & loyal support of the Senior Tour during 2020.

This is also to wish all our members and their families an incredibly happy, peaceful, and healthy festive season with a prosperous new year in 2021.

SAST Management.