Dream trip for South African kids

Exchange scheme provides lucky youngsters with unforgettable experience and an inspirational photograph with their heroes at the Home of Golf.

A photo call with the legends of South African golf, a chance encounter with Tiger Woods and a place in the pro-am at the Scottish Open – for two aspiring golfers from South Africa, it sounds like the perfect adventure.

Craig Baba and Banele Mavuso enjoyed this once-in-a-lifetime trip as the latest beneficiaries of a tie-up between the Scottish Golf Union (SGU) and the South African Golf Development Board (SAGDB).

An invitation from Martin Gilbert of Aberdeen Asset Management gave the boys the chance to play in the pro-am at the Scottish Open at Gullane.

“My round there with Justin Rose was the highlight of the trip,” said Baba.
After meeting Tiger Woods and Martin Kaymer during a breakfast at the Old Course Hotel, the boys had a photo opportunity on the 17th fairway (below) with Nick Price, Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Branden Grace and George Coetzee. All in all, an inspirational experience.

“It was just amazing,” said Mavuso. “It made me want to play well enough to play overseas.”