By Michael Vlismas
13 April 2016
The Glacier Junior Series makes its first stop of the season in Pretoria this weekend, and it will be a significant one as Dale Hayes sponsors a tournament and a cause that is very close to one of South Africa’s great golfers.
PHOTO: Dale Hayes interviews Charl Schwartzel, also a supporter of the Glacier Junior Series, after his victory in the Alfred Dunhill Championship last December. Credit: Petri Oeschger/Sunshine Tour.
Hayes is the sponsor of the fifth tournament on the 2016 Glacier Junior Series at Zwartkop Country Club this Sunday, and which will feature top juniors such as Catherine Lau, Eric Wowor and many others.
But the Glacier Junior Series also partners with the nationwide Sanlam Cancer Challenge and its efforts to raise money for the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA).
And Hayes has experience with both that makes him a strong supporter of each of their efforts.
“The South African Junior Golf Foundation started in about 1960, and I played in my first golf tournament in 1961 when I was nine years old. The rule then was that you had to be 10 to play in a junior tournament, but they allowed me to play. And I’ll never forget seeing Hugh Baiocchi and Bobby Cole, who were the big stars of junior golf in those days, and wondering if I’ll ever play golf like them. There is no doubt that all of our top golfers wouldn’t be where they are today if it wasn’t for our strong junior golf in this country. Nowhere else in the world can they boast a better junior golf programme than in South Africa.
“When it comes to supporting the Sanlam Cancer Challenge as well, my parents had cancer but at a very old age, which is perhaps a bit easier to accept. My father Otway passed away from cancer at the age of 81. The Cancer Challenge does a huge amount to support the work of CANSA, and the link between the Glacier Junior Series and the Sanlam Cancer Challenge is just so important.”
For Hayes, this Sunday’s junior tournament also has a far more important purpose than just identifying the next stars of South African golf.
“It’s also about golfers who play junior golf and are just ordinary club members and remain passionate about the game. It’s not just about producing champions but producing golfers as a whole. My best memories of junior golf are the players I met that I’m still friends with today.”