By FELIX MALUNGA –
TWO experts from the Women Professional Golfers Association (WPGA) of South Africa are in the country to check on the preparations at Ndola Golf Club for the first-ever Zambia Ladies Open Championship.
Jenny Germs, a board member of the WPGA, said they were happy with the vision of the Zambia Ladies Golf Union (ZLGU) to bring women’s professional golf to Zambia.
Germs said in an interview in Ndola that WPGA was happy to partner with ZLGU and wanted to see if the Sunshine Ladies Tour could sanction the Zambia Ladies Open Championship to be held between March 26 to 30 under a K521,000 budget.
“We are happy with the vision to have the Zambia Ladies Golf Open here and bring women’s professional golf to Zambia. As WPGA of South Africa, we are very excited to see if we can partner and sanction the event.
We are here to look at all logistics and see where we are going with this. So we are really excited about this,” she said.
Barbara Pestana, another board member, said WPGA wanted to help ZLGU in improving the sport as it was the organisation’s aim to grow the game of golf among women in the southern African region.
“So we feel very privileged we can have an opportunity to work together with the Zambia Ladies Golf Union and make something quite special for women’s golf,” she said.
Pestana also said the Sunshine Ladies Tour season would start on February 13 in South Africa.
ZLGU president, Moono Mwila said she was pleased that WPGA, through the Sunshine Tour, were in Zambia to look at what her union was hoping to achieve in staging the first Professional Ladies Golf tournament in March.
Mwila said hosting the tournament would also act as part of the celebrations to mark 50th anniversary of ladies golf in Zambia.
She said ZLGU was confident Ndola would meet the standards required to host the event and that the Alex Mashano-led organising committee would raise the required budget for the championship.
“Zambia is one of the best destinations that you can go to and I am sure the ladies pros will have the best time of their life here and they will never forget ever coming to Zambia. So it’s an exciting time for us, it’s a huge milestone and we are hoping that this will be the beginning of good things to happen in ladies golf,” she said.
Apart from checking on the readiness of the Ndola golf course, the WPGA officials, who end their tour of duty today, will look at the hospitality side of the city to ensure the people coming for the event will be comfortable with accommodation facilities.
And ZLGU held its first fundraising tournament in Ndola for the Zambia Ladies Open on Sunday where K20,000 was realised.
Two more fundraising tournaments have been lined-up in Mazabuka and Kitwe before the start of the championship.