It is hard to believe that the first Ambassadors Cup of Nations Golf Challenge is over!
The SACANCHAM event team led by Board member Lenore Kerrigan and consisting of CEO Mike Morgan, Co-ordinator Sandy Andrew, Field Marketing Manager at Open Text Mpho Nyembe and Sheena Caldwell of Bryte Insurance had only 10 weeks to pull together a highly successful event.
The Challenge was held at Steyn City, with the professional event team under the management of Jane van Niekerk ensuring that each and every detail of the day received their attention.
A full field of 18 4-balls consisted of representatives from seven embassies (Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Panama, Russia, India and Australia) hosted by corporate South Africa, with the balance of the field comprised of industry leaders insisting they and their companies be allowed to take part!
The support we received from Nedbank Private Wealth, Embassy Direct, The Blue Train, The Flight Centre Business Travel, Bryte Insurance – and a whole lot more – was immense. A full list appears below.
On the Day…..
Saturday the first of September – our Spring Day – dawned sunny and with not much wind. The challenging course was green and perfectly manicured. Steyn City staff collected each golfer’s golf bag and ensured it was placed on the correct cart. Beautiful golf shirts and caps were handed out at registration, and the ‘early birds’ either relaxed munching snacks on the Terrace, or practiced their game on the putting green and the driving range.
At 10am on the dot, Team Canada teed off on the 1st Hole, with The Sultans of Swing (aka Norton Rose Fulbright!) leading off the 10th.
The golfers arrived at the Halfway House ‘Build a Burger’ – sponsored by AGT Foods – with big smiles or worried frowns, depending on how the morning had been played. Then they were off again.
The excitement was palpable when the teams gathered in the club lounge area at the start of the prize-giving.
At stake? A floating trophy for the winning Embassy; 4 double tickets on the luxurious Blue Train to Cape Town sponsored by The Blue Train, with return flights courtesy of Flight Centre Business Travel for the winning 4-ball; and a choice of 3 exotic locations for the winning individual and partner, sponsored by Embassy Direct.
The United Kingdom Ambassador, His Excellency Nigel Casey, read a message from our Patron Her Excellency Sandra McCardell of the High Commission, Canada. The warmth of Her Excellency’s message showed her deep regret at not being present.
SACANCHAM’s Chairperson, Greg Nott, welcomed the dignitaries representing various embassies, those corporates who hosted the embassy players and the industry leaders who sponsored 4-balls. He expressed sincere thanks to all the sponsors, to the Steyn City events team and to the SACANCHAM event team.
Lenore Kerrigan, SACANCHAM Board member and Project Leader, then showed us all how to ‘play’ the crowd. She skillfully kept the anticipation and adrenalin high from the lowest-scoring winners, right up to announcing the main prizes.
A nifty white-suited Ron McKenzie, CEO of Embassy Direct, presented Sean Farrel with the winning individual prize of an exclusive getaway for two. Then it was the turn of Team Engineering to receive the trip on the luxurious Blue Train from the Executive Manager of The Blue Train, the very fashionable Vincent Monyake. Sam Kerrigan, Business Development Manager of Flight Centre Business Travel completed the presentation by handing Team Engineering their return air trips.
A highly disappointed Team Dachser leader, Detlev Duve, could be heard bemoaning the fact that there were only 2 points in it. So near and yet so far, Detlev. There’s always 2019!
We were thrilled that we had 8 lady players, and one of them – Belinda Lamb – certainly showed the men a thing or two when it came to winning prizes! Belinda won Best Lady Player, Longest Drive (16th) and the 3rd Individual prize.
Sam Bhembe won Nearest to the Pin (9th) and the 4th Individual prize.
Dinner and networking followed, with the relaxed atmosphere helped along with bottles of wine from Overhex, Johnny Walker from Dom and a generous number of bottles of beer from Jack Black.
The compliments are still coming, and we have had an exciting number of requests for bookings for next year.
As Lenore said, we had seven embassies represented this year but next year we will be aiming for eighteen!
Our sincere thanks go to all the sponsors for their incredible generosity.
The first four-ball prize was a trip for 4 couples on the luxurious Blue Train to Cape Town courtesy of The Blue Train, with flights back to Johannesburg sponsored by Flight Centre Business Travel. This unbelievable prize was won by a highly-elated Team Engineering.
The individual prize of a choice of 3 stunning venues for a few days of relaxation and pampering in 5 Star style was won by Sean Farrel and a partner, and sponsored by Embassy Direct.
Other amazing prizes came from Four Seasons Westcliff, Nestle, Trafalgar Properties, Discovery Health, Bryte Insurance, Norton Rose Fulbright, Volvo, Callebaut, Chubb Insurance, The Golfing Club, AGT Foods Africa and USB-ED.
We would not have had the successful golf day that all enjoyed had it not been for the co-hosting of Nedbank Private Wealth and Embassy Direct, who were also instrumental in attracting embassies and corporate players to the Ambassadors Cup of Nations Golf Challenge.
Bryte Insurance sponsored the beautiful golf shirts and caps and AGT Foods Africa sponsored the yummy Halfway House burgers….
Overhex Wines, Diablo and Jack Black kept the players’ taste buds happy with their bounteous sponsorships!
Again, thank you, thank you, and thank you for making our inaugural golf day the huge success it was!