World Cup of Golf Draws Closer

by | Sep 12, 2006

One of the most significant international ladies golfing events takes place at Sun City from 19 to 21 January next year, and its staging is due to the efforts of two proud South African women, Lesley Copeman and Tania Fourie.

One of the most significant international ladies golfing events takes place at Sun City from 19 to 21 January next year, and its staging is due to the efforts of two proud South African women, Lesley Copeman and Tania Fourie.

These two created a buzz in the sports world a few years back, when they sneaked the coup of the century by hosting the inaugural Women’s World Cup of Golf at Fancourt in the Western Cape, and indications are that the third edition promises to be an even bigger event next year.

Earlier this year, tournament organisers were able to boast twice the first event’s total attendance half-way through the second day, with a final tally of 24,000 through the turnstiles of the game’s premier clash.

This week gsport…. for Girls! spoke to Alison Spratley, media manager for the Women’s World Cup of Golf, who was upbeat about prospects for the 2007 tournament: “We are looking to increase attendance by 25%,” she enthused.

[We are adding value in various ways, including…] zero price increases on tickets, local craft markets, the Ambassador’s Club – hosted by Sally Little, the opening ceremony, and naturally the players themselves – we hope will drive this number.

“The event is ‘Not just Golf’”, said Spratley, quoting the words of Tania Fourie. “The whole event has a vibe to it like no other golfing event.”

Acknowledging the necessary involvement of sponsorship in a headline event such as the Women’s World Cup of Golf, Spratley expressed gratitude to the North West Province, which has come on-board as a major sponsor.

“This naturally helps us showcase South Africa as a destination of value for international sporting events, encouraging tourism,” Spratley told gsport.

Spratley indicates that the change to a venue [from Fancourt to Sun City] is part of the reason for this past year’s success.

“We’ve found that corporates can cost-effectively now use this international spectacular to entertain their staff, clients and suppliers, with day hospitality packages, or for that matter, the entire weekend!”

“The event is easily accessible for day trippers from the surrounds, and the North West Province has a great push on tourism – there are a multitude of affordable bed and breakfast venues,” continued Spratley.

But Spratley is quick to ascribe the increase of accredited media, up from 140 to 400 earlier this year, to the caliber of the event, rather than the proximity of the venue to a large city. 

As to the players we’re likely to see stalking the greens come January 2007, Spratley refers to the stringent qualification criteria involved, previously reported on gsport here.

“It all depends on which players are selected,” said Spratley. “Annika Sorenstam – the world’s number one drew a huge crowd locally and internationally last.

“Generally the Japanese team always has a great following,” said Spratley, with Sweden, England, and Germany also likely to make a repeat showing.

“But what we found was that South Africans, as hospitable as they are, had a SA flag tattooed on one cheek, and an international team elected for the other cheek!” she laughed.

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Launched in 2006, gsport exists to enhance the commercial prospects of our women athletes, and other women in sport, by telling the inspiring story of SA women in sport. Thank you for your contribution!

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