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The History of Non-European Golf Region by Region

Facts and figures relating to the history of non-European golf and golfers are few and far between. A certain amount of information has come through in press cuttings and a detailed search through the archives of the major newspapers would no doubt throw up a good deal more. This would be a seriously time consuming exercise. Another source of information is the pages of SA Golf magazine, published for the first time in 1926 and containing in the overall a wide coverage of the history of the game in South Africa. From time to time the coverage of non-European golf in its pages is good, particularly in the 1960's when Papwa Sewgolum was such a dominating force, but sadly this is not always the case. So much of the history is not there, even in some instances such important events as the SA Non-European Championships, and filling in the gaps is not easy.

In the years before the unification of the white (SAGU) and the non-white (SAGA) controlling bodies, golf amongst the non-white populations, Black, Coloured and Indian, was much more active than most people would imagine. In addition to the national controlling body, SAGA, there were controlling bodies in all the provinces, and in other smaller centres besides, and tournaments of all kinds were a regular feature on the golfing calendar. Golf clubs abounded, many consisting of small groups of enthusiasts playing on rough and ready courses laid out on areas of bare veld. In the forefront was the Transvaal where as far back as 1954 there were in excess of 30 clubs affiliated to the Transvaal Non-European Golf Union with memberships totalling over 600. The Transvaal (N-E) GU even published an annual covering their activities and giving the results of the various tournaments held in the region.

To give some idea of the extent of the spread of golf amongst the non-white population and the enthusiasm for the game amongst the non-white golfers, a region by region chronological summary of the activities within the various provinces follows. The information is gleaned almost entirely from the pages of SA Golf and the date given with each entry is the issue of the magazine in which the information is contained, not the date on which the event took place. In addition some of the entries have been taken from newspaper cuttings found amongst the old files of the magazine.