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, Lee-Anne Pace, South Africa’s top women’s golfer, is back in South Africa and is geared up for the inaugural First-Pace Golf Day for Girls, which will happen on 11 November 2014, at the award-winning, Pearl Valley Golf & Country Estate, Franschhoek.
First Car Rental and Lee-Anne Pace, who is now ranked 5th in Europe and 29th in the world, are collaborating with big names and brands in golf to bring to Franschhoek a talent-spotting event for young girls who attend schools near the Pearl Valley Golf & Country Estate.
The First-Pace Golf Day for Girls was originally set to launch in May this year, but was postponed after the announcement that Pace had been selected to play on the LPGA Tour after an official reshuffle. Lee-Anne thought she would be gone for a week but performed well enough to continue playing for 6 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, and in the end, will award two winners 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.
Says Lee-Anne Pace, “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.”
Says Melissa Storey, Executive Head: Strategy, Development & Marketing, at First Car Rental, “Although the event had to be postponed, it has been for the best. Lee-Anne has returned to South Africa with two 2014 international titles to her name. Lee-Anne was a star to begin with, but she has proven that with passion and dedication, anything can be achieved. She will be an inspiration to the girls.”
Eleven schools (including government and private) from the surrounding Franschhoek area were identified from which 40 young girls from 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 playing different golf shots.
There will be tutoring on the day by well-known names such as:
• Lee-Anne Pace, ranked no. 1 in SA, 5th in Europe and 29th in the world, is also winner of the Compleat Golfer’s Golfer of the Year Award, and of the Women’s Professional Golfers Association (WPGA) Player of the Year Award, to name a few.
• Rae Hast, current WPGA President, pro golfer, author, and full-time teaching pro at Erinvale Golf Estate.
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 have 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
- Bridget Keogh, golf attendant at Pearl Valley Golf & Country Estate
First-Pace Golf Day for Girls aims to nurture young talents and help them 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).
Date and time of event: Tuesday, 11 November 2014, from 15h00 – 17h00
Venue: Pearl Valley Golf & Country Estate, Franschhoek, Western Cape