The 105th BMW SA Open

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The World’s second oldest Open Championship concluded on Sunday with a victory for 22 year old South African, Brandon Stone and we were there to witness it thanks to tickets from Ticketpro.

I am no great golfer by any stretch of the imagination, I’m so bad, I don’t even have a handicap. In fact, I’m so bad I don’t get invited to play. I do however have an appreciation for the talent required to roll that silly little ball into the cup. A talent that requires hours of training, weeks of practice and a lifetime of developing and which can, and sometimes does, abandon even the best players when faced with a pressure putt.

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Image 1: Crowd favourites Branden Grace and Retief Goosen were followed by hundreds of adoring fans.Brandon Grace tees off from 3rd – Saturday

Golf is a funny game. The best are not remembered for spectacular shots but for consistency over many weekends of their careers. Sure, an amazing bunker shot to rescue a par, or iron from half way down the fairway to register an eagle help build your profile but the best golfers hit every stroke with unerring accuracy to within a few feet of the cup and sink those nasty twisters to keep ticking along.

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Image 2

My wife’s dad was a club pro and over weekends he tried to coach me. I must admire the man’s endless patience as I bungled my way through hours of instruction, slightly improving towards the end of a session, only to have completely lost all semblance of the lesson by the next one.

It is in his memory that I watch golf with a new found respect and appreciation for the straight drives, clever chips and 6 foot downhill putts to mention a few.

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Image 3: Brandon Stone – winner of the 105th SA Open on the 2nd – Day 3

I spent 3 days wandering the Glendower course during the 105th BMW SA Open and witnessed many great shots. Thursday was inhumanely hot and we, myself and 4 friends, spent most of the day moving from one shady spot to another and still got sunburned. The 17th hole provides the best shade between the green and the 18th tee with views up the fairway to the clubhouse and a small lake for a backdrop with an assortment of ducks.

At the end of the 2nd round my favourite golfer, Ernie Els, had been eliminated so we decided we would camp on the 2nd green and watch the guys approach and then tee off on the par 3 3rd literally opposite our position for most of Saturday. A bit of water to the left of the green and a bunker to the right on the 2nd meant you had to hit your approach nice and straight to avoid the traps. The 3rd is short and straight so the green was also visible from our vantage point.

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Image 4: The bar looks onto the 18th so VIP (other side) or regular spectator, the final hole can be viewed from the comfort of the air-conditioned lounges.

On Sunday, I decided to take full advantage of the media facilities and only photographed the greens and tees close to the hospitality tents. Hydration is important after all.

The final round was a tumultuous affair with Stone dropping 6 shots and making 7 birdies before walking off the course. I can’t imagine the tension experienced by Stone as he watched Brooks playing the 18th.

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To the delight of a young fan Stone agreed to take a “selfie” with him after numerous others had walked off the course ignoring him. That’s how you build a fan-base! You can read the details of his fledgling career on the european tour website.

This weekend it’s the Johannesburg Open at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Course.

Get your tickets now and join me?

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