THE organisers of the two-day Nedbank Mohokare Golf Classic say it’s all system go for the 2018 edition of the annual event to be staged at Maseru and Ladybrand (South Africa) Golf clubs starting tomorrow.
The Mohokare Classic, which started in 2003, is now in its 15th year and is part of Nedbank Lesotho’s initiative to support and promote sports development in the country with a focus on golf, including women and youth.
The Mohokare Classic is open to all golfers, young and old, male and female and players register as individuals before they are teamed up into teams of four to provide a mix of handicaps in terms of ability and to promote a spirit of competitiveness.
Last year’s edition of the tournament attracted 144 local and regional golfers and was also graced by His Majesty King Letsie III.
“Months of preparation are coming to a close for the highly anticipated annual golfing event, the Nedbank Mohokare Golf Classic 2018,” a statement from Nedbank Lesotho said.
“Now in its 15th year, the Mohokare Golf Classic, also affectionately known as Lesotho’s Major, is a prestigious golfing event sponsored by Nedbank Lesotho and managed by the Mohokare Organising Committee, a partnership that has grown from strength to strength over the years.
“This unique golf tourney has also attracted a number of other local corporate sponsors. The much-anticipated Classic, which spans two days, boasts golfing enthusiasts and participants from all over Southern Africa; Lesotho, South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe including the Basotho diaspora from the region which provides a healthy boost for the local hospitality industry.”
The organisers said this year’s edition of the tournament is expected to have 156 golfers.
“Over the two days, a total of 156 participants will have the opportunity to show off their skills on the greens, build the spirit of friendship and camaraderie, while enjoying a great deal of fun and networking.
“The Mohokare Golf Classic also plays host to professionals in the sport, including local development teams with a focus on growing women and youth participation in golf.”
In celebration of the tournament’s 15th anniversary, winners in both the female and male category will get a chance to watch the prestigious Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City, in the North West province of South Africa.
“For its 15th year anniversary, the Classic promises unique prizes for the two top winners in the ladies’ and gents’ categories with an opportunity to go and watch the prestigious Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City, and a variety of winnings for all other categories. With this being one of the largest playing fields in the tournament’s history, this is truly a Classic not to be missed.”
The main sponsors of the golf tournament, Nedbank Lesotho, who have been part of the event since 2005, said they are proud with the growth that the annual event has seen in the last 15-years.
They also confirmed that this year’s tournament will be graced by 153 golfers with 71 of them coming from Lesotho while 82 are coming from neighbouring countries such as South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe.
“The Nedbank Mohokare Golf Classic now in its 15th year running, with Nedbank Lesotho’s involvement spanning as far back as 2005 when it played a role of co-sponsoring the event and continued over the years culminating in the bank becoming the main and brand sponsor of the tournament.
“Nedbank is pleased to be a part of this long standing and unique tourney which brings players and supporters from the breadth of Southern Africa; from Lesotho, South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe to play golf, network for business opportunities, form life-long friendships and enjoy the hospitality of Lesotho.
“Nedbank remains committed to supporting the tournament, and other similar quality initiatives that support the growth and development of golf as a sport, including for youth and women development,” Nedbank said.
“From early on this year, the organising committee has been hard at work to ensure the success of this 15th year anniversary edition. The Mohokare Golf Tournament started in 2003 as a friendship and networking opportunity between Basotho in Lesotho, South Africa and friends in Botswana who decided to rotate playing among the three countries annually.
“The founding members are: The late Champ Motsapi Moorosi, the late Sehalakane Mohapeloa, Lietsiso Mohapeloa, Tsebang Putsoane, Sam Mphana, Mpeake Sekhibane, Pule Mokhobo, South Africa, and Newman Motsepe from Botswana.
“In 2005 the competition received a boost with sponsorship by Nedbank Lesotho and Sun International (now Avani Lesotho) and started playing at the Maseru and Ladybrand golf courses which partnership lasted until 2010 when Nedbank Lesotho became the lead sponsor. In 2012 the tournament was rebranded the Nedbank Mohokare Golf classic with Nedbank as the main sponsor and the following year celebrated the 10th anniversary in 2013.
“Similar editions to the Classic are now played at Lekoa known as the Lekoa Classic played in March and the Kgalagadi Classic in Botswana in July which cements the friendships formed at Mohokare. Over the years, participation of women and youth has steadily increased with 13 ladies and three juniors registered to play this year; this includes a Nedbank sponsored development team headed by Ernest Moloi as Lesotho’s only professional player and three youth golfers,” the organisers said.