A TOTAL of 360 golfers from around southern Africa will converge on Port Elizabeth this weekend for the 49th edition of the Nomads national tournament.
The competition, under the guidance of national tournament coordinator Duke Nel, will take place at PE Golf Club from Saturday, involving golfers from the 12 South African Nomads clubs, plus colleagues from Australia, Botswana, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.
The Nomads concept was initiated 54 years ago when a group of golfers decided to get together on a monthly basis to enjoy a game of golf and to raise money for people less fortunate than themselves.
In a sporting mad country, the idea soon caught on, leading to the formation of the 12 SA Nomads clubs, plus overseas clubs as Nomads players emigrated around the world. This has seen clubs formed in Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland, England, Australia and New Zealand.
All the clubs operate under the same principles as the SA clubs, playing a monthly round of golf, while doing their bit to raise funds for those in need.
The week in PE will be a chance to rekindle old friendships, while renewing the Nomads creed of helping the poor.
Nomads have a number of ways in which they assist the needy, largely through the Andrew Mentis Endowment Fund which has seen the clubs donate in excess of R32-million to help others. “This is done on a local club level each year and the vice-captain chooses a beneficiary and identifies a project to work on,” Nomads furtherance of golf coordinator Ken Walker said on the Nomads website. “Nomads do not donate cash but rather buy goods and materials to finish the project.
“This monetary number is far exceeded when one takes into account for most projects Nomads donate their time and expertise at no cost to complete the project.”
In golf-related matters, Nomads support four junior golf partners.
“Each year Nomads are the title sponsor of all five national order of merit junior tournaments played around South Africa,” Walker said.
“In addition Nomads sponsor the SA Boys’ U19, U17, U15 and U13 championships.”
Nomads also support an SA girls’ tournament played each year in Orkney as the major sponsor, as well as the Rose Bowl tournament open to young women from all over South Africa.
Recently, Nomads also became involved in assisting South African disabled golf. A road show was held at schools in PE a fortnight ago to expose disabled children to the sport.
Nomads also support the SA Golf Development Board, working on a national tournament to get the best players from around the country to compete against each other. They have assisted with costs for teams to go to world championships.
“The funds raised for these projects come from our Golforama portfolio which is the score control provided to all tournaments run by the PGA, provided by Nomads who give up their time voluntarily,” Walker said. – Neale Emslie