Just as Tiger Woods, Nick Price, Trevor Immelman, Jack Nicklaus and Annika Sorenstam have done in years past, amateur golfers will travel from all corners of the globe to participate in the World Amateur Team Championships at De Zalze and Stellenbosch Golf Clubs.
This year a record numbers of 49 women’s teams will compete in the biennial international golf championships for the Espirito Santo Trophy from Oct. 18-21.
The women’s championship, which precedes the men’s Eisenhower Trophy, began in 1964, and the last championship in Puerto Rico in October of 2004 included 48 women’s teams.
Exemplifying the spirit of the founders, the captain of the 1958 USA men’s team, Robert T. Jones, perhaps golf’s most famous amateur, said at the first gathering of international delegates: “I believe you should all feel great satisfaction in having taken a most constructive and far-reaching step in the promotion of cordial, friendly relations in the free world.
“Golf, being a game founded and thriving upon the virtues of courtesy, mutual respect, consideration and understanding, must be an ideal medium for bringing together the opposite corners of our free world,” Jones concluded.
To bring the world to golf and vice versa, the IGF conducts the World Amateur Team Championships biennially, in three different zones around the globe.
The organization was founded to encourage the international development of the game and to employ golf as a vehicle to foster friendship and sportsmanship. The IGF comprises the national governing bodies of golf of more than 100 countries.
The IGF is the recognized international federation for golf for the International Olympic Committee. For 2006, add the South African Golf Association as host, in conjunction with Women’s Golf South Africa.
“We hope to give the players a memorable international experience,” said Stephanie Parel, joint deputy secretary of the IGF. “While it is highly competitive, only one team will win and hopefully everyone will take away a sense of pride in having represented their country along with their teammates, which is a very rare achievement.”
To assure that the entire experience is unparalled, “the IGF secretariat will make at least three site visits in advance of the Championships to review the courses, the hotels and general facilities and to discuss the logistics of the whole event with those involved from the host country,” said Grant Moir, joint deputy secretary.
“In this way, it is hoped that the IGF can bring the experience gained from previous Championships to the table as well as The R&A’s and USGA’s long history of running Championships.”