R1.5m added to GolfRSA relief fund to help out of work caddies

Golfer marking his ball
Golfer marking his ball
Shaun Roy/Sunshine Tour/Gallo Images
  • CEO Grant Hepburn revealed that GolfRSA encouraged clubs to repurpose caddies and casual staff to help combat Covid-19.
  • Golf courses across South Africa opened last week as social golf is now permitted under Level 3 restrictions.
  • Hepburn stated that R1.5 million has been added to the Covid-19 relief fund so far.

GolfRSA CEO Grant Hepburn confirmed that R1.5 million has been added to the GolfRSA Covid-19 Relief Fund which has already helped thousands of caddies across the country.

In April, GolfRSA launched a R1 million relief initiative with R500 000 added by the National Squad, aimed at helping caddies and casual workers who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Hepburn stated in a GolfRSA video on Monday that the fund has already helped caddies at 143 clubs around the country.

"The (several) clubs have done a lot of work to help caddies in terms of vouchers and food parcels. Most clubs have tried to continue to pay their caddies during this time but we spent that R1 million and thousands of caddies have been helped," said Hepburn.

On Monday, GolfRSA revealed that they have received an additional R500 000 from the South African Golf Development Board, while a further R1 million was donated by an anonymous international benefactor.

However, there are several golf courses around the country that were financially crippled by the nationwide lockdown and it will take a while before they will recover.

"Some of the clubs will be able to open their gates as soon as they get up and running again," said Hepburn.

"Others will take a bit longer as they have to build up some income from golfers playing so they can save up for the jobs that have been lost."

ALSO READ | GolfRSA reveals Covid-19 safety measures, including: No searching for stray balls, no 19th hole

GolfRSA has encouraged all clubs to repurpose their caddies and casual workers by assisting them in the required risk mitigation.

"GolfRSA also rolled-out its Covid-19 Relief Fund to provide vouchers to those caddies who are not attached to a club initiative - or for caddies at those clubs who were willing but financially not able to assist their caddies," read its statement.

"We would urge clubs to consider repurposing their caddies and casual staff in assisting in the required risk mitigation. For example, raking bunkers during play, monitoring pace of play at Halfway Houses and help ensure golfers are practising social distancing at practice areas and tees, fairways and greens.

"Possibly, clubs could add a small fee onto the green fee of each round so as to cover the remuneration of these caddies and casual staff."

YOU can help:
  • Enter the GolfRSA Help Fund Raffles and stand a chance to to win items and experiences, which includes a signed TaylorMade cap by former world No 1 Dustin Johnson and a round of golf with four-time major champion Ernie Els.
  • Bid in the GolfRSA Online Auction as you could buy Sergio Garcia's golf bad or a golf experience in England with former England batsman Kevin Pietersen 

- Compiled by Lynn Butler

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