Adventure Travel Abroad

South Africa’s Past, Present and Future in Golf | Adventures In Golf Season 4

South Africa’s Past, Present and Future in Golf | Adventures In Golf Season 4

Hi, I’m Erik, and this
is “Adventures in Golf.” For this episode, we
traveled to Cape Town to tell the complicated story
of golf in this wonderful city. And if Nelson Mandela’s glasses
over here are any indication, we’ve got our work
cut out for us. [MUSIC PLAYING] All right, first
shot in Cape Town. Our intelligence
tells us that we should come here to play golf. And the truth is, we have
no idea what we’re actually going to do. I think we’re going to check
out as much golf as we can. But before golf, what
is rule number one? Coffee. Turns out coffee
is all we needed. While inside, we
got a tip from a fan to check out a course nearby. All right, here it is, the
Metropolitan Golf Club, with a sick logo, I might add. And since we didn’t even
know we were going here, they didn’t know we were coming. Hey, I’m Erik. Jared. Hey, Jared, nice to meet you. We just got in Cape Town. We decided to come
to the local spot. Yeah, Can you tell us
about this course? The Metropolitan was
redesigned in 2010. OK. Obviously, we had the
soccer World Cup here. So all the course actually
used to go through the stadium. So we had to redevelop and
redesign the whole course. We’ve been told we’ve got the
greatest greens in the country. Oh, great. Really, really special. Is it a public
course, municipal– It’s a municipal course. It is open to the public. A nine-hole course,
but we have 14 greens, so it plays as 18 holes. Oh, cool. So we’ve got five holes on that
side, four holes on this side, and we’ve got three
holes with double greens on the back with the two flags. Awesome. I was just looking
to play a few holes with someone who
knows about golf in South Africa and Cape Town. The morning of
unknowns has led us to TJ, who has agreed to
play a few holes with us, starting with the sixth. There’s some trees
directly in line with the green, which
I think is kind of rad. Have you ever hit the trees? It’s the bad shot
if you hit the tree. Thankfully not. And you guys play meters. Meters, yeah. Right. So you’re going to lead the way. Absolutely not. It’s your course. We’re down here right now. There’s two flags on the green. And the white flag
is the front nine, and the red flag
is the back nine. [LAUGHS] Whoa. That is a really good shot. I have had no practice swings. Pin high, 40 yards left. No problem. You got a tap in birdie. What’s your handicap? Plus 1. Plus 1. I don’t think I could even
say I want to aspire to that. I don’t think that will
ever happen for me. I just get to the
top of my swing, and my insides start to congeal. [MUSIC PLAYING] Maybe we play down the
match element of this story. As we continue
playing, I realize there’s more to the story
of golf in South Africa than just what’s on the surface. In a country where 80% of
the population is non-white, we have yet to come
across anyone who isn’t. For more information, I spoke
with our tour guide, Leslie, for a quick history
lesson on apartheid. Apartheid was
basically, as the word suggests, keeping people apart. The laws and the
reason it started out was the belief was that it
is better for white people to mingle with white
people, for black people to mingle with black people,
and colored people to mingle with colored people. Now I know that term,
colored, is something that is offensive in the US. We don’t use it in America. It’s a term– But here, it’s totally normal. It’s totally normal. So apartheid was
basically then the idea of trying to keep colored
people with each other, because the belief
is that they have their own culture,
history, heritage and it’s better for
them to interact, and the same with
different black tribes that we have in South Africa. Unfortunately the
apartheid government went through the steps
where they took the best of everything for white people. They gave them the best
areas, the best beaches. The benches with
the best views would be whites only, kind of thing. And this is up until 1994. It started maybe late ’80s. Things started relaxing
as it became clear that it was going to end. But yes, effectively, the first
democratic elections in 1994 was when things started
changing in South Africa. Is there now a good model
of diversity in the golf communities in South Africa? Oh, yes, yes. There is? Of course, yeah. There’s a few
black professionals coming through the ranks
as well, which is good. OK. And there’s a lot of, I would
say, development, as well, in sports. Kids living in informal
settlements and stuff like that. Like First Tee programs
and things like that. Yeah. Oh, that’s great to hear. That was enough putt. I’m hitting again. [LAUGHS] You dunked
both in the water? No, TJ, thanks for asking. No, one of them is safe. As TJ pointed out, there are
many programs and foundations dedicated to bringing South
African youth into the game. Coincidentally, we’ve run into
former LPGA professional, Sally Little, playing at her home
course, who just so happens to have created such a program. I have a trust now,
the Sally Little Golf Trust that I work with kids in
the city, underprivileged kids, and we’re teaching
them to play golf. And hopefully, they’ll be
coming onto this course as apprentice members
in the future. It’s something that’s going
to take time to evolve. Meet Michael Mgodeli. In 2004, he was selected to
join the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation, whose
goals include producing successful, well-rounded
young golfers. As a direct recipient,
Michael explains how important these programs really are. I know that discipline from
golf, you need to be honest, you need to put
your time into it, you need to try and
understand what you’re doing and the conditions
of everything. Be it at school, be it
in life, in business, everything changes. There’s no perfect swing,
if that makes sense. You learn all the
things you need to learn about life as a golfer. You learn trust,
you learn patience, you learn all the values. Changed my life,
and that has been a result of all the foundations
that golf has given me. Thanks, guys, that was fun. I can’t believe that’s
it for Metropolitan. I want to stay and
play all the holes. Our next course is about
an hour south of here, and we decide to take
the coastal route. Like Lofoten, Norway,
the drive turns out to be one of the most
beautiful I’ve seen. [MUSIC PLAYING] So we’re pulling up to
the Clovelly Country Club. The word, country club,
has me a little bit worried that it’s private. But feel like someone
would have told us. How’s it going? Hey, there. What’s up. I’m Erik. Erik, how is it? Nice to meet you. Yeah, you too, man. Yeah. [INAUDIBLE] Oh, Leslie messaged you? Yeah, yeah. Oh, great. All right, so we
have made contact. That was the case. Cool. This course looks incredible. Stunning, stunning. One of the best kept
secrets, without a doubt. Just from walking
in, I’m like, I can’t wait to go
play a few holes. So do you have your clubs? Of course, yeah, let’s go play. Cool. Awesome. Awesome. That was easy. That was easy. All right let’s tee it off. Let’s go. Show me the way. You see that yellow
house on thie hill? Yep. There’s another double
story house right of it. Got it. We’re aiming at a
target seven miles away. It’s all good. Kind of bailed out. That’s a good shot. Which you can always do. Clovelly was built
in 1926 originally as a nine-hole course, largely
to serve the naval community, which is based in Somers Town. And then we put down one of
the first automated irrigation systems in the
early ’80s, and that was when the tides turned to
what you see behind us here today. It’s like we’re in the valley
of dinosaurs or something. It feels like Jurassic Park. We have a limited footprint. We have no space to
expand or lengthen. So every hole is designed
with something different that demands something
of each different player. It’s not about
length at Clovelly. Hitting it straight and managing
the wind is all you need to do. [SIGHS] Wow. Look at that fairway with the
mountain in the background. It’s a paradise. Yeah, there’s a nice bit of
heart and soul in Clovelly. And it’s had strong ties
with the Ackerman family, and they’ve poured a lot
their heart and soul into it. So originally, it was owned by
our current club president’s father and his partner,
because they were refused entry at two clubs in Cape Town
because they were Jewish. Wow. They said, well, we
want to be members. What do we do? We’ve heard about
this nine-hole course. And they came and bought
it for 3,000 pounds. What? What year? In 1928. Whoa, this place is
almost 100 years old. 1928. And then they launched it
as Clovelly Country Club as we know it in 1932. Wow. It’s beautiful. If I lived anywhere near
here, I would always be playing this golf
course, without a doubt. It’s like a dream. Ace Cams live on
“Adventures in Golf.” 120 meters to the pin, so
good little pitching wedge, over a tree and over a lake. Wow, the sunlight is
just perfect right now. Oh, that looks really good. Best strike in Africa. I’ll say that. Mr. Ackerman, our current
club president, in the ’70s, against everyone’s good
judgment and advice, he decided to open Clovelly
to everyone, race, religion, gender. So basically opening up a
country club to people of color was unheard of. Unheard of. Against the law. Against the law? And this was the
first place to do it. Yeah. So that’s– That’s crazy. –everything that’s
stuck with us now. I mean, that’s right at
the heart of Clovelly. Yeah, now I see maybe
why we were drawn here. The evolution of
golf, it’s phenomenal. The amount of talent that there
is in South Africa is crazy. I think what you guys have been
exposed to internationally are the superstars now. There’s a lot that’s coming. And the Clovelly
Country Club may be the origin for such talent. In 2003, the club launched their
own youth development program to develop golf,
academic, and life skills. And by coincidence
yet again, we’ve run into a foursome of
young golfers, who are here as a part of that program. The pinnacle of our
program is education. So golf is an
outreach that we use to bring kids from the informal
settlements to the academy. What would you say
golf has taught you that’s been most important? Dedication, determination, and
just strength, mental strength. Because why? When you have a
bad hole, you just have to block it out and
pretend it’s a brand new hole, forget about what happened,
and just carry on playing. How old are you? 16. Well, jeez, you got me beat,
and you’re 22 years beneath me. As a closing bit
here, would you say that golf is open
as much as it should be to all types of people? Golf is open if
you can afford it. That is why we use golf as
an outreach for our kids, because under normal
circumstances, they would not be able
to afford to play golf. Everything costs money,
gloves, balls, everything. So we get them in, and we give
them an opportunity to play. We focus on the academics. We focus on life skills,
so the basic fundamentals that they need to
succeed in life. So as simple as
manners, the gratitude, to writing letters to companies
and sponsors saying thank you. Under normal circumstances,
you wouldn’t get this. So they have an opportunity
to spread their wings and play golf. Like so many things in
life, the future of golf is in the hands of
the next generation. And while so much of South
Africa may be late to the game, they are clearly making
up for lost time.

Reader Comments

  1. Next time u come back to Cape Town, u have to play at Erinvale it was home to the World Cup in 1996 and it still the best of conditions

  2. Erik, the only reason I'm not insta liking this is because you're current 69 likes and I won't be the one to ruin the Majesty of this moment. I'll come back later.

  3. This is awesome, the previous video of the courses was great but this seems to really show South Africa and how amazing our people can be here, not just the golf courses.

  4. "Seperate but equal is a great practice. Still believe that, but the damn apartheid government screwed it all up." What a moron.

  5. Erik another great video thanks. The part about the Jewish guys who bought the course hit home for me being Jewish, I thought that was pretty special. Can I be you for a day? You travel the world, meet fantastic people and play golf. Where do I sign up??

  6. Amazing editing and such great stories to be told! Amazing that these types of episodes aren't hours long. Need to release the long edit version!!!

  7. Last episode of the season??? Nooooooo. Hope I'm wrong. Love the quartet of young dudes, no lasses, only complaint. Great show. My usual moan… Erik, make the damn things longer! ⛳️

  8. So glad you got to visit our beautiful city!! It is often overlooked and so happy you got to learn more about it. Would love to treat you to a round if you ever come back to Cape Town! Best wishes for the future!

  9. Did he just say 'unfortunately apphartheit went a bit too far'? He seems to like the idea of dividing people by colour and culture…

  10. I have watched every single one of your videos and this Erik might be my favorite out of all of them. Amazing job. This community should do a fundraiser for that group at the end!

  11. The future is that there will be no future. Once the whites are all murdered and terrorized out of the country it will become a total 3rd world cesspit and the golf courses will become relics of the past. Bottom line. As a world are we just going to keep covering up the atrocities committed in RSA against whites??? Are we going to pretend it isn't happening? The president of RSA straight up advocates killing whites. It's on camera. You can watch it if you have the balls. RSA will be destroyed. Zimbabwe 2.0

  12. Go do a story about the thousands of white crosses on hillsides of white farmers and their families tortured to death. The world media sure and shit won't touch it with a 500 foot pole.

  13. Why you in such a hurry all the time, EAL? You've got that Sponsor $ behind you yet you're running around from course-to-course on some huge time restraint or as if United are booking the next available ticket out of the place.
    Kick back and stay a little longer! Play a full 18 once and awhile. Maybe you should be knocking on Netflix's door 😉

  14. I love your content but is the 3 diversities not massively rascist and out of context. White, black and coloured?????????

  15. You are truly a Golf Spirit, Please continue taking us on this remarkable journey….Keep up the awesome work and Cheers to you for being our guide. Best content on the TUBE. If you are ever in Phoenix I would love to buy you that first coffee of the day.

  16. Thanks for coming to SA Eric and team! Bleak I couldn’t join at the Met, my home course. So much more golfing to see here, hope you have the chance to come back.

  17. Feels like the research done was a bit lazy…many more historic/representative/"important" courses in Cape Town. Still love the show though.

  18. phaggot golfer virtue signalling about DIVERSITY, diversity is a disaster and south africa has descended into hell post apartheid. there is NO MORE RUNNING WATER they have built no skyscrapers post apartheid

  19. Don't be in a hurry to leave South Africa EAL – I know stupidly rich people who've played just about every noteworthy, 5 star course on the planet, and they rate the courses along the Eastern Cape in S.A. as some of the best in the world. I've played those courses myself – they're the best tacks I've been fortunate enough to experience.

  20. this channel used to be good. now it sucks. what happened to ACTUAL adventures in golf like season one where he was going weird ass places. this is now just golfing in another country. lame

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