Setting The Pace For Women’s Golf Development

After her recent epic victories at the Cell C SA Women’s Open at the San Lameer Country Club, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Blue Bay LPGA in Hainan, China, South Africa’s top women’s golfer Lee-Anne Pace is back in South Africa and is geared up for the inaugural First-Pace Golf Day for Girls.  The development initiative is scheduled for 11 November 2014 at the Pearl Valley Golf & Country Estate near Franschhoek.  First Car Rental and Lee-Anne Pace, who is now ranked 29th in the world, are collaborating with big names and brands in golf to hold a talent-spotting event for young girls who attend schools near the award-winning course.

The First-Pace Golf Day for Girls was originally set to happen in May this year, but was postponed after the announcement that Pace had qualified for an LPGA Tour event after a ranking reshuffle. Pace thought she would only be gone for a week, but performed well enough to continue playing for six more months.  The aim of the First-Pace Golf Day for Girls is to spot natural talent at grass roots level, combined with the right passion and attitude.  Two young girls will be offered a sponsored prize package valued at approximately R80, 000 each, not to mention being coached and mentored by the best in the golfing industry for 12 months to develop their skills.

“It’s fantastic that First Car Rental is supporting women’s golf and taking the initiative to grow and develop the sport through the First-Pace Golf Day for Girls, especially in my home area near Paarl.  This event will help us scout for young talent.  We hope to assist two star players develop their skills so that they can compete at a professional level one day,” said Pace.  Eleven government and private schools from the surrounding Franschhoek area were identified and 40 girls between the ages of 9 to 17 years old were nominated by their school heads, coaches and teachers to take part in the fun, but testing afternoon.

There will be tutoring on the day by well-known names such as Pace and Rae Hast, pro golfer, author, full-time teaching professional at Erinvale Golf Estate and member of the WPGA board.  They will be supported at various stations by James Wade; Coaching Director of South Africa at Swingfit, James and his team are very influential in golf development and has created many champions, Carl Krog; Golf Manager at Pearl Valley Golf & Country Estate, pro golfer and instrumental in sponsoring and supporting the First-Pace Golf Day for Girls, Abrie Swanepoel; pro golfer at Pearl Valley Golf & Country Estate and Bridget Keogh, golf attendant at Pearl Valley Golf & Country Estate.  First-Pace Golf Day for Girls aims to nurture young talent and help develop the proper attitude, character and personality upfront so that they may continue to become the country’s superstars tutored by the best there is.

The fully-sponsored prize package for the two winners includes playing rights and full use of facilities at Pearl Valley Golf & Country Estate; coaching and mentoring by professionals such as SwingFit in association with Boland Ladies Golf; a set of golf clubs and bag, plus applicable golf clothing and shoes (kindly sponsored by Puma and Cobra).

Event details:

Date and time of event: Tuesday, 11 November 2014 from 15:00 – 17:00
Venue:  Pearl Valley Golf & Country Estate, Franschhoek, Western Cape

Photo: Lee-Anne Pace
Photo credit: Justin Klusener