Durban CC to host 2010 SA Open

Durban CC is to host the 100th edition of the South African Open Championship in December – and that’s official.

Durban Country Club will host the 100th edition of the South African Open Championship from December 16 to 19 – and that’s official.

It was confirmed on Tuesday by the South African Golf Association and Dlamini Weil Communications, the new promoters of South Africa’s flagship golf tournament, which this season was staged at the East London Golf Club and in 2009 at Pearl Valley in the Western Cape.

The SA Open in recent years has been jointly sanctioned by the Sunshine and European Tours and is the second of the four RSA-based tournaments that kick off the European Tour every year.

Durban Country Club is no stranger to the world’s top golfers, having hosted the South African Open on 16 previous occasions, more than any other venue.

“We are delighted to welcome Durban Country Club back on board as the host venue for 2010,” said Mbali Ngqula, managing director of Dlamini Weil Communications.

“Given their illustrious history as a venue for the national Open, it is certainly fitting that they will host the 100th playing.”

Since it was first shaped from the bush and dunes of the KwaZulu-Natal coast in the early 1920s, the 18-hole championship course, designed by Laurie Waters and George Waterman, has remained a classic.

Gary Player, Bobby Locke, Ernie Els, Tim Clark, Tony Johnstone, Wayne Westner and Bobby Cole are amongst the illustrious list of past champions of the SA Open when it was played at Durban Country Club.

The 90-year-old course has achieved and maintained a standard of golfing excellence that has seen it ranked between No 1 and No 3 in South Africa and among the top 100 courses in the world.

Ann Robbie, chief executive officer of Durban Country Club, said, “We certainly have a long history with the SA Open and are deeply honoured to have been selected to host the 100th playing.”

“As always, the course will be a great test of golf and we will ensure that it is in pristine condition. We have established ourselves as a world-class golfing venue and we believe our course will enhance the reputation and prestige of the South African Open.”

Enver Hassen, president of the South African Golf Association, expressed his approval of the spectacular venue, saying, “This course, with its challenging lay-out and wonderful spectator viewing locations, will provide a dramatic stage for the world’s second oldest Open.

“The South African Open sits proudly on the amateur and professional schedule with a list of past champions that compares with the best in the world. We look forward to welcoming the world’s best golfers to Durban Country Club in December.”

Gareth Tindall, commissioner of the Sunshine Tour, added, “The SA Open has gone from strength to strength in recent years and is truly one of the great sporting events held annually in South Africa today.”

“We are delighted to hear that Durban Country Club will be hosting the SA Open. This is fantastic news for our professionals and further evidence of how we are determined to build the legacy of the South African Open, by staging it at top venues.

“We look forward to working closely with Durban Country Club when they stage the competition for South Africa’s oldest golf trophy.”