The Sunshine Senior Tour

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

Expectations are high from members in the current period of uncertainty in our country, with low economic growth and the restrictions imposed by Covid-19. Investment is hard to come by from both the private sector and the Public Sector. Sponsorship Contracts with the government and Fidelity have been suspended and dependent on the uplifting of Covid-19 restrictions to level 1 and the economic status of the investor. We remain confident that the senior tour will grow year on year from 2021 and that we will deliver on our planning going forward in the coming years.

Covid-19 has certainly set us back in that most tournaments were cancelled on the schedule for 2020. In the interim we have created some ‘Practice Sessions’ at venues like: State Mines, Glenvista, Goldfields West, Wild Coast Sun and Blue Valley. These were low key events meant to keep the players in shape and add some competition. They were not supported very well and there will not be any more of these until next year.

Management has reset the business and already have secured two new events for 2020. We are pleased to announce the following confirmed events that will carry 2020 order of merit status:

Orkney Golf Club 3-4 October 2020 Prize Fund R100k Min. Pro-Am format
Sun City/Lost City 13-14 November 2020 Prize Fund R100k Min. Pro-Am format
SA Senior Masters 18-20 November 2020 Prize Fund R200k Min. Pro-Am format-Silver Lakes

We are still working on the SA Senior Open and Nelson Mandela Bay Classic with reasonable confidence that the Plettenberg Bay event will take place from 27-30 October 2020. The PE event is marked for 21-23 October 2020. Both have R500k prize funds and we hope for the best outcome. The Simon Hobday Classic event hangs in the balance and will only take place if the SASO in Plett happens. Dates set aside here are for 25-27 November 2020. There is also a possibility of an event in Nelspruit from 5-6 November, still to be confirmed.

The AGM took place on 17 August and was poorly attended although there was a quorum. Resolutions were adopted to the Rules and Regulations and the wearing of shorts remain prohibited in order of merit tournaments. Professionals may wear shorts in practice rounds of tournaments. Members may request the minutes of the AGM to be sent by email only through admin@seniortour.co.za

From the AGM the question arose about subscriptions for 2021 concerning the low tournament activity in 2020. The response from management is that the Board will meet to resolve certain options of extending existing 2020 membership into 2021 at a lower rate or keeping membership rates the same as 2020 or keeping the normal R&R in place to qualify for membership in 2021 given that there will be at least 4 -OOM events in 2020 or a combination of adding the OOM years of 2019/2020 and projecting rankings from there.

Tournament News

1. Fidelity

We have spoken to Fidelity about their continuation of sponsorship in 2020. The response was to wait until their Board met at the end of September before a decision could be taken. As you already know, Kevin Stone won the only Fidelity event this year in March with a great score of 15 under par 129 over the 36 holes that included a second round 61.

2.Practice Sessions

There have been 5 of these ‘lockdown events’ to assist in honing the skills of the players with very low prize funds. Thanks to all those who participated and contributed to the activity.

3.New events

Orkney Golf Club and Sun International(Sun City) have partnered the Senior Tour to created two new events as previous mentioned. We need to look after sponsors as they are our lifelines to having events. So, it would be appreciated if all the participanting professionals write these sponsors letters or emails of thanks after the events. We will provide details in the Players’ Information Sheets.

4. SA Senior Masters

This will again be played at Silver Lakes Golf Club. The event will revert to 54 holes of stroke play with a minimum prize fund of R200 000. The event will take place from 18-20 November 2020. Mark McNulty will defend his crown won last year.

The SA Senior Masters will have a reduced prize fund this year due to economic conditions. Nevertheless it will take place from Wednesday to Friday as per the dates above over 54 holes stroke play for the pros. Play will be pros only on Wednesday Morning and the pro-ams on Thursday and Friday. The starting field of 45 will be drawn from 35 exempt players from our ranking list and 10 players from a pre-qualifing round with details to follow. The pay out will be cut to the top 30 and ties from the 45 that play the 54 holes if the PF is R200k. If the prize fund moves up further decisions will be taken and the players informed.

5.  The Board

The Board and their sub committees have been working on other prospective events including beyond our borders. We all have to be patient and realise that the Covid position has had a huge affect on our economy and investment from others for our cause has diminished.

Website 

We are pleased to announce that a new Senior Tour website under the Sunshine Senior Tour banner is under construction. It will not have the same bells and whistles as the Sunshine Tour domain but we believe it will have better navigational options and a Players’ Sign In facility. We hope this will be ready by mid October 2020. In the meantime information will be inserted and posted on the current website until we can cross over to the new.

The management requests you keep your game sharp and be safe and healthy in these uncertain times.

The Board of Directors