Greenkeepers tee up for pride

Ivan van Heerden plays for the Greenkeepers at the second Greenkeepers vs Members Challenge.

The greenkeepers at Randpark Golf Club showed they are not to be underestimated, using golf clubs from as far back as 1975 to win the second Greenkeepers vs Members Challenge.

Roger King of the Members tees off, while Roger Innes and Ivan van Heerden of the Greenkeepers, and Alf Adami of the Members watch on.

Ivan van Heerden and Roger Innes, keepers of the Bushwillow and Firethorn courses respectively, played for pride when they took on Alf Adami and Roger King on 26 April.

Alf Adami plays for the Members on the day.

Incorporated in the challenge, which is becoming a tradition at the club and which the Greenkeepers have now won both times, is that the Greenkeepers use the oldest golf clubs they can get their hands on, while the challenging Members use any clubs.


Roger Innes of the Greenkeepers hits another ball out the bunker.

Alf Adami is a little worried about where his ball will land.

The losers must also plant trees at the club afterwards.

The challenge started out close but the Greenkeepers edged ahead in the better-ball team contest and had already won with five holes up with four holes to go.

The players relaxed and enjoyed the last four holes with the usual banter and jest that accompanies a friendly game of golf.

Ivan van Heerden plays for the Greenkeepers.

Roger Innes of the Greenkeepers hits out the bunker.

Then Adami and King dug holes near a stream and planted two River Bush-willows, permanent reminders of the special day.

Alf Adami plants a River Bush-willow.

“It was great fun, playing with the old clubs and winning,” said Innes. “It was like going back to the roots of golf, probably the way golf should be played.”

His teammate, Van Heerden, commented that the pair combined well together so that when one player struggled on a hole, the other excelled.

Roger King plays for the Members.

Roger King of the Members, tees off.

Despite losing, Adami said, “It was a great and challenging game – extremely competitive and well-spirited.”

Club general manager, Francois Swart, explained that management noticed there was little interaction between the Greenkeepers and Members and a stigma existed that the Greenkeepers could not play golf well.

Roger Innes hits one out the bunker for the Greenkeepers.

“We wanted people to really engage with the Greenkeepers – it was the Greenkeepers’ idea to use old clubs and to plant trees,” he said.

Roger Innes, Alf Adami, Ivan van Heerden and Roger King reflect on a great game of golf.

Details: Randpark Golf Club [email protected]; 011 215 8600.
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Nicholas Zaal
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